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?