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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The New Guy

There's a new asshole at work.

The trouble is: he looks, talks, smells, shaves, farts, and clears his throat exactly like me.

In fact, I'm beginning to think he is me.

The new asshole at work is grouchy, disagreeable, curt, defensive and irritable. And he farts a lot. This is not someone with whom you'd be exactly leaping around to do a project with. Or spend a few hours with.

Or employ.

That's right-- my totally non-essential job has weathered the unremitting storms of the economy, but I truly believe my boss would be absolutely justified in taking it away from me, because I'm definitely the new asshole at work. I like to think I'm this way for a good reason, but sometimes I'm not sure. I feel like I'm constantly being corrected, managed, instructed, patronized, hovered over, unappreciated, reminded, henpecked. And, maybe that's all true-- but, really, isn't that what real bosses are supposed to do? I don't know. I've never had what I would consider to be a "real boss." I feel like I certainly don't have one now-- maybe that's why I resent her for trying to behave like one.

I tried some inner-monologue stuff as I walked along the pathway leading to work.

"You're going to be good today, right? Please, be good. Be a good boy today. Be good."

I wasn't good yesterday.

It didn't work.

What I fear most isn't really my behavior, or the consequences (I can't realistically picture myself being fired anytime soon) it's my inability or unwillingness to stop acting the way I do. I feel like my employer's behavior, her negative attributes, are spiraling downward at the same time, but maybe they're doing that in reaction to my own attitude. Maybe it's the reverse. I really don't know anymore. But I feel like I, who is recognizing what he's doing, should be able to stop. I should be appreciative of the job I have, when so, so, so many have no job at all-- when I know that, if my job were to be offered up in the local rag, there would be at least 30 breathless, desperate people panting for it.

I like to think that I'm good at what I do, that I do not deserve the constant smotherings I receive at work, but I'm not so sure. Our office is totally disorganized. My desk is a nightmare. Our systems are, well, who am I kidding-- we don't have any systems. I forget to return phone calls. I forget to give messages. I forget to record things in databases and spreadsheets.

I forget.

This is not me. I wasn't meant to be in an office, I tell myself-- but what is that, really? It's a convenient excuse-- it's a defense mechanism. It's a half-hearted apology for my ineptitude. I didn't belong in an eyeglasses shop, either. I didn't belong in a loan processing office. And I certainly didn't belong in an ambulance. And yet, there I was.

And so the bumbling and fumbling continue, and perhaps my ire and anger is really not directed at my boss at all, but at the new asshole at work.


  1. One of my favorite lines when it comes to these situations comes from the movie Babe (ya know the one with the pig) "It'll do Pig, it'll do." Not exactly the job you want, but it keeps you out of the unemployment line.

  2. yesterday i didnt do shit at work. i also feel like i should be grateful i have a job but i hate it so much sometimes.. i forgot to record things on spreadsheets too. i suck at my job.


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