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Me - ‘the boss’

“I wish I was childless! I wish I didn’t have any kids!”

Looking at him one would think the guy has been given his last thirteen days in this world by the doctor.

This was the wish of a father of three; not because he was a bad father to his three kids; not because he couldn’t afford to put food in his children’s mouths, though many moms and dads worry about just that, preventing their kids from malnutrition. He was in fact that a member of a dwindling species whose number one priority is giving kids proper upbringing in a slippery world, a species whose three priorities in life are children, children and children. The dinner table is always full; his wife is a loving mother, also member on another dwindling species.  So, how come such a devoted father who seems to have such a good home life wishes he didn’t have kids?

His boss! That was the reason. Like mentioned in a previous article, this guy, too, is victim to prejudices of a very unfriendly boss. We have more than our fair of those guys, don’t we! Those bosses who act like Idi Amin, Augusto Pinochet, and Pol Pot rolled into one. The riddle is that our guy couldn’t pin his boss’s hatred to any particular reason. He couldn’t even guess. Still his boss is making sure that life for this guy wouldn’t be smooth.

The harassments assume different forms. But he feels them most serious of all was that someone was trying to make him look like a sympathizer of some political group which is not seen with kind eyes by those in power. And this guy is the kind of the person who adheres to the saying ‘keep away from live electric wires and politics.’

Given the fact that many bosses are having field days for all the wrong reasons, I’ve decided to be one. No vacancy, please. So, now that I decided to make myself a boss, I better get down to business. I want to get the feeling of having so many @#$"* to kick around with impunity. (Well, it’s not always one hears of bosses feeling the heat for mistreating their staffs.) First thing is I’d be downsizing the staff. People might call it ‘restructuring,’ or one of the politically correct jargons we hear so much of these days. I’ll call it for what it is – sacking. That is what I’ll do; I’ll sack quite a sizeable number so that no one would think of me as that jelly-kneed weirdo who doesn’t have the guts to see tears and despair of grieving employees. Why should I need two hundred people while even a hundred are more than enough!

So, at least a hundred should go. I don’t have the will for nice ‘Ciao! Ciao! Signorina!’ letters ending with something like, “I hope you’ll get a more rewarding job, and wish you…” or saintly phrases like that. They have to be shown the door with something without any fanfare. What? What about their families!? Who do you think I am? Some guy who is vying for a front row seat in Heaven!? I don’t give a rat’s #$” about their families. I have my own criteria as to whom to kick out and away. Now don’t you lecture me about the hard-working guys, about guys laboring to make the organization the envy of others by registering triple digit growth! Ha! Those aren’t for me. I thought I made my intention clear even if in a roundabout way: The one and only important thing in the organization is ME! Any decision depends on my interests.

Who to toss out and far is not a quantum-something riddle. There are those in the staff who seem to be wallowing in that primitive thing they call ‘pride’. They don’t greet me the proper way, the proper way for me. I want, or need, them to bow as low as their good-for-nothing back muscles allow them. I want them to act as if I was the modern Julius Caesar. For all I care, they a can squeeze their pride in some peanut butter jar and just get out of my sight. Personal Pride! You must be kidding me; how could anyone talk of personal pride in my presence. I, the boss, am PRIDE!

Then there are those who always seem to be overdressing; at least that is how I see them. They are always well-groomed, cleanly shaven, snow white shirt collars and all that. For me, that is ‘overdressing!’ They are doing it to make me look some pedestrian who couldn’t even tie his shoe properly. Theirs heads are already on the chopping block, and I wouldn’t listen to any leniency plea!

Then, there is the million dollar question to evaluate the fate of my staff. Which part of the country do they hail from! Why are so many people grimacing at hearing this? That is how things are done these days, isn’t it? Don’t tell me you never expected for things to become so rudimentary as to go looking for people of your own ethnic or religious group! I’m only conforming!

Now having taken care of those who will be given their marching orders, let’s see what I should be doing to those I spared. No question, I have to move the staff around. By moving I am not talking about a couple of guys changing offices. I mean a complete overhaul. Especially, I will have to handpick those who are near me. First comes my secretary my most important ally in standing or prone positions. I take her advice, advice given informally and in a more, recreational and solitary atmosphere. Of course her looks matters. I am a believer of rejuvenation when it means three nights a week in the arms of a Cleopatra who still makes the thermometer pin jump every time she puts her arms around me. What a lady! I beg your pardon; What if she is married! WHAT IF SHE IS MARRIED! Sorry, but I have to break it to you; by asking me about my secretary’s marital status you proved time has left you behind. I don’t really care! God bless her hubby. She, too, wouldn’t care, not with all the unofficial benefits she gets from me. Any staff member who tries to be too chummy with her is picking a fight with me! He will have himself to blame as the earth beneath his feet gives way. I don’t believe in ‘sharing,’ except of course, unless it is her husband.

One criterion for all the staff is they have to be ‘yes men/women.’ There isn’t a second option here. Either they are, or they aren’t. They don’t have to wait until I say “Jump!” They should take the imitative and jump without my saying so. They should jump and only then ask me “Is that high enough!”

Another thing I am determined to do is form my own clandestine intelligence team. Yes that is exactly what I said, ‘clandestine intelligence team.’ I want those people to be my eyes and ear. Since every staff member is guilty until proven innocent, I want a minute-by-minute report on is who is saying what, who is becoming too friendly with whom, which staff members hang out together regularly, and the sort of stuff. This is a 24/7 job. Staff members I chose for this task should be happy! Because it’s a ‘paying’ task! Not that I’ll dig deep in my pockets. Hey, I control the organization’s finances, and I know how to maneuver the books!

On second thought, maybe I am the last person to throw my weight on the big leather chair. Maybe I’m not cut to be a leader of anything let alone an organization of a couple of hundred staff. Maybe, I should spend a few more years on the wooden chairs in the multipurpose offices to get the feel of what being ‘just another staff member’ means. Maybe, I need to spend a few years in a situation where proceeds political loyalty doesn’t appear anywhere on the list which is topped by professional competence.  

Well, too many b&@#s are the warming the wrong chairs! ‘Put the right b&@#s in the right chairs’ and the world will be a far better place.


Contributed by Ephrem Endale
Contributed by Ephrem Endale