What a long strange week it’s going to be


I should be happy, but it’s not that simple. My direct manager (I qualify that because I support a bunch of managers, but directly report to Boss) is out of the country for the week on business, and you’d think that would be cause for celebration. Well, yes and no. This means there’s no buffer between me and Nebbish. I think Boss stops him from tasking me with lots of little bs, which I suspect is either Nebbish’s way of forcing interaction between us, or just his own laziness at dealing with details that he feels are beneath him. At least Nebbish has finally apparently gotten the message that I do not wish to engage in idle chit-chat with him. He’s one of those guys who if you give them an inch will take a mile, so I rolled up the welcome mat as soon as I heard I was being moved to sit across from him. Another co-worker observed to me the other day that Nebbish has the annoying habit of talking over anything you might say, there is no two-way conversation with him.

As I’ve no doubt mentioned in the past, Boss also does this, so I long ago (I mean years ago, before I even reported to this guy) gave up trying to participate in a conversation with him when he starts talking and regaling me with tales of previous jobs, which EVERYONE here has heard ad nauseum. I’ve heard him get shut down on the phone when the person on the other end has had enough:

“Back when I worked for Company X doing this, we had to do… what? oh ok, talk to you later.” <click>

Apart from the endless chatter (and lack of English skills – he still says ‘irregardless’, he’s from Texas, whaddya gonna do? – and the coughing and choking on phlegm…), Boss is not a bad guy. He’s always pleasant, even when he’s stressed he has never been short with me. So really, props to him for that, because I’ve had managers who could get really ugly, and I still wish one guy a slow painful death…  One thing he does that is kind of creepy is everytime I go over to talk to him about something, I can see him give me the once-over. Do guys really think we can’t tell when they do this? I don’t know about other women, but I suspect most of us are not enthused about older men leering at us. Boss is 65, and without being too specific, let’s just say he has a number of  years on me. Just, ewww. So yeah, there won’t be any of that this week, which is nice.

The manager I used to report to and sit across from is also out of town for business, which is too bad. We have the same sense of humor, and the same attitude towards corporate bull. I could take the spare laptop down and sit in my old cube for the week and work there, since it’s down where EVERYONE ELSE in the department is located. Except for this other manager (let’s call him Overseer) is on that row. He doesn’t trust me. He used to make a habit of calling my desk at 4:55 with some stupid excuse of needing me to set up a meeting for him (like it couldn’t wait until the next day?), or calling or coming by my desk during the day with some pretext of asking me something. Then he’ll joke about “Just wanted to make sure you weren’t sleeping,” or some such thing. This, despite the fact that I am at my desk every single day by 8:00AM or earlier. Unlike some of his direct reports, I never ‘work from home’ or take off during the day to run personal errands. I haven’t so much as taken a sick day for over a year now. Why he’s got it in for me I don’t know. I guess because I’m one of the low-life hourly people (yes, he has made elitist comments along those lines) who I’m sure he thinks should be punching a time clock and physically shackled to their desks for nine hours a day.  He actually said something to me the other day (in the context of trying to be funny) about not trusting me to which I replied, “I know you don’t.” It irks him to no end that Boss usually tells me to take off by no later than 3:30 every Friday. This really chaps his ass. So do I need to go sit by him? I’m thinking no. He seems to think the less someone is paid, the less trustworthy they are, and the fewer perks they deserve. I’ve heard from others that at his previous company (someone who also worked there related this) he and another guy used to spend the lunch hour speaking French to eachother, thinking no one else would be able to figure out they were talking about them. Did I mention he’s kind of an elitist? You never saw anyone so smug as he was a couple years back when gas prices started to skyrocket, and he was driving his brand new hybrid car.

Here’s the really scary thing, though: If Boss decides to retire, Overseer is the heir apparent to head the department, which means he’d be my direct supervisor. :::shudder::: He’d have my resignation so fast he’d have whiplash. However, Boss has repeatedly told anyone who will listen he has no plans to retire for at least two more years.

But, I may go hide out in one of the other empty cubes periodically, where some of my other co-workers keep suggesting I take up residence. I can even take my desk phone with me, they’re plug-n-play now.

It’ll be interesting to see what time Nebbish comes in this week, since he normally doesn’t show up until around lunchtime, and I’m hoping he’ll stick to that pattern. I think a lot of these characters are going to end up in one of my novels. It’s all grist for the mill, eh?

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23 thoughts on “What a long strange week it’s going to be

  1. This post was really good you had my imagination following you along!
    First I thought it was going to a happy post because the photo on top display pretty much “bright and shine what a beautiful day” then when I read on I bust out laughing. Starting at rolling up the welcome mat, lol.

    I actually picture the image of you in a ponytail with brown hair holding the end of the mat when you saw Nebbish and the mat which was red with burgundy border rolled up itself like in a cartoon. You took it under your arms with your head straight up with an umhf low sound coming from your mouth and started to march on, lol. This is what I exactly picture at that moment, lol.
    (Not a writer just nut job who have a creative sense of humor)
    Overseer sounds quite rude and annoying worst than Nebbish. Good for you to have a response when he said he did not trusted you. I am sure it shook him up a bit.

    The empty cube sounds pretty nice. Filling you know what will be funny to me. If one day you and Nebbish kick it off. Love have a funny way sometime. It is the one that you don’t like or don’t have an interest in is the one you fall for.

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    1. Ha, glad you liked it 😉 The thought of me and Nebbish EVER hooking up is just about enough to make me stick pins in my eyes. He’s a weird, whiny, little creep in need of a mother. I promise you there is NEVER going to be a love connection. I’d sooner join a convent.

      Overseer is just a piece of work. I liked him back when we both started working here (he started about 2 weeks before I did). I guess he was on his best behavior back then, getting settled in. He’s a relatively ineffectual manager as well. He actually asked people on his team if they’d be willing to work 60-70 hours a week. They’re having trouble filling an open position, which in all fairness is not his fault, but for him to ask him people to do that was just outrageous.

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      1. feeling and doing is two different things.
        If he is setting example and working overtime to I think it is fair to ask. But if he is just doing his normal set of hours and punching out it is not right to ask others what one won’t do.

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      2. I would have a hard time believing he puts in that kind of time, although I’m sure he would say he ‘works from home’ a lot and on weekends (which I seriously doubt, but can’t prove). I’ve seen him leave early, and he takes his share of time off.

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  2. Nebbish is both lazy AND in need of a friend. You are handling him the best way possible. The only way, really.
    – Does Bossman give you the once over, even if you make direct, humorless eye contact while he’s doing so? You know the look I mean: as though you’ve detected a bad smell, and you KNOW it’s coming from his direction. If that doesn’t discourage him, I’m afraid there’s no alternative, other than a fist in the eye, and I know you want this job till the big advance check for your next bestseller comes in. Besides, there’s something to be said for getting to bail at 3:30 on Fridays.
    – Overseer finds you intimidating because he knows you see thru his bullsh!t; that’s why men like that “don’t trust” women who have done nothing untrusworthy. The only way to deal w/that is to ignore it best you can until you can use it to your advantage. That day will come. (I’ll bet they were speaking crappy high-school French that a real Frenchman wouldn’t even understand.)

    The illustration is so trippy and funny – it reminds me of the cat food commercial where the cat takes one bite and is transported into that hypercolorful world full of butterflies and rainbows (or as my young nephew sez “It looks like that cat’s On Drugs!”)

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  3. I thought the guy in the picture looked an awful lot like Jim Carrey. I sorta swiped it off a page of psychedelic art. I could use some of those drugs around here… 😉 (just kidding).

    It’s hard to make an issue of the eye thing with Boss. I figure with his health the way it is, he’ll be lucky if he lasts two more years. He should just quit now if he plans to have any retirement at all before he kicks off.

    I believe Overseer is fluent in French, actually. He and his second wife got married in Europe, but that may have been Italy (I think he also speaks Italian). It just seemed like such a pompous thing to do at work. Honest to god, though, if Boss leaves and Overseer takes over, I am so outta here.

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  4. DD,

    Just make sure Nebbish never discovers these posts. Then again, he sounds so narcissistic and clueless, that he might take them as compliments. 😉

    btw, your office sounds like a great setting for a sitcom. 🙂

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  5. Heh, I live “Dilbert” every day of my life. We’re absolutely convinced someone on the inside here is feeding Scott Adams tips.

    Here’s the latest. Yesterday at 4:45, I got up to go rinse out my coffee cup in the break room before leaving for the day. As I did, Nebbish got up from his chair and followed me down the aisle asking some bs question that he knows I don’t have anything to do with. So I sort of mumbled something in response, and turned to go into the breakroom. He followed me, still yammering about this issue. I honestly don’t know what he said, I quit listening. As we entered the break room, there was another woman in there using the sink to wash up a couple things. He kept talking, but kept walking, I think since she was in there. He just went on out like he had someplace else to go. Douche bag. I was fuming, I’m going to hurt this guy if he keeps it up.

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    1. One year when I was in college, I lived down the hall from a guy who was, to judge from your description, a lot like “Nebbish – the University Years.” One night, he was droning on in my ear, just as you described above, while I was trying to get some studying done in the student lounge (I think my slutty roommate had laid claim -pun intended – to our room,) while John T., a big, shiftless, not terribly studious but loveable neighbor on the same floor was drifting in and out on his way to the laundry room. After about 4o minutes of this, as John T. passed thru the lounge for the 3rd or 4th time and noticed that Nebbish Junior had STILL NOT SHUT UP, he drifted over, insinuated his full 6′ , 250-lb. frame between myself and Neb Jr., leaned into his face and shouted “SHUTUPYOUPRICK!!!” in a booming baritone, his accent redolent of the slums of Camden, NJ (DD knows what I mean. All the rest of you just imagine the way they talk in the toughest neighborhood in your home town.)

      My fondest hope for you is that on your last day at [redacted], before you head off for greener pastures, someone has the decency to do this to Nebbish on your behalf 😉

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      1. That is f’ing hilarious!!! 😀 OMG, that man is worth his weight in gold.

        Bright side: Nebbish spoke not one word to me today. Overseer however was on a tear. He must have called me six or seven times over little bs connected with setting up a gal who’s coming in for a couple months on a temp assignment. You’d think it was the queen mother, the way he fusses. I finally gave up answering the phone and let it go to voicemail when I saw it was him calling.

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      2. I’ll take your word for it; it’s just that I’ve never heard of a supervisor that self-important giving a diddly damn about a temp worker, unless he had some kind of ulterior motive, nudgenudge, winkwink.

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      3. Oh yah, sorry, I should have been clearer. She’s not a temp, she’s just coming over from the Asia office on a temporary basis to fill in while they try to fill a vacant position in the dept. And this is kind of classic Overseer behavior, he sweats the small stuff like this, instead of dealing with the larger issues. This is easier to handle than say, confronting direct reports who have poor work ethics.

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  6. Ah, this post and string of comments has me chuckling… or maybe it’s because i’m home from work before 8 PM for the first time in weeks. altho the hours are kicking my butt, my boss is great. and we have a few laughs over the useless managers who seem to be “waiting for godot” rather than make a decision. my boss happens to be female … not that it matters, but she’s all about the biz — not her ego.

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  7. The one manager I like is like that. He gets as fed up as I do with all the posturing and politics and jockeying for position. If it wasn’t for him, I would have been out of here. He’s the one who hired me initially, and to whom I reported for the first 2 1/2 years I worked here. He seems to be the only one with any common sense. Managers like yours and my former boss are few and far between.

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