Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bad vibe

This is one of those situations where a boss can find fault with your failure for providing "a good vibe" although you may be hitting all the marks for civility.

I was in a job where where a control-freak hotel manager refused to let do the job he was nominally training me to do--he took over tasks I started, reduced the number of things on my checklist--and took me aside to tell me that he didn't like the tone in my voice when I said "Please", "Thank you" or "you're welcome" to our hotel guests. That was exasperating , of course, but I just nodded, contained my impulse to scream, and assured this guy that I would try harder to have less tension. I hadn't a clue to what he was getting at, and nearly quit, thinking I wasn't paid enough to have a moron take a dump on me like that.

The next week , following a nightmarish Sunday morning checkout, the same manager asked me to step inside his office and to close the door behind me. I sat down while he sat on the edge of his desk, looking down at me, his glasses pushed like flight goggles around his forehead.

"Ted, I get the feeling that you're happy working here" he started, but I didn't let him proceed to what he wanted to discuss. He could save the speech for the next wage slave.

"I'm not" I said,"and you can take my name off the schedule right now. I don't work here anymore..."

I punched out and went home and eventually found work as a bookseller, a trade I never strayed from since the mid eighties. I still don't make that much money, but at least it has benefits that pleases the soul, if not the bank account or health plan.