Thursday, February 09, 2006

Just When You Think You Can't Hate Your Job Even More...

...you discover what a prick your boss really is.

As you may or may not know, I work as a receptionist/secretary at a law firm. My boss, we'll call him "Asshole", is someone who I've always thought of as a nice guy. A damned cheap guy, but a nice one. Turns out, I was sorely mistaken.

We're moving offices in a few months so we've got a lot of paperwork and files that need to be taken care of in order to facilitate the move, and there is a HUGE backlog of files. I'm talking years! So I've been helping out the legal secretaries whenever I can. Meaning, when I'm finished working on my current files, instead of catching up on less important work, I'll go to the secretaries and ask them if there's anything I can do for them to help them get caught up. (I'll spare you all the boring details. When I say "work on files", just assume I'm doing some boring legal paperwork.)

So there is one specific secretary, we'll call her "C", who I've been doing a lot of work for. After I finish working on the files, I give her a list of all the file numbers and she, in turn, gives that list to the lady in accounting so the file can be "closed out" in the system. (I have no clue what being "closed out" actually means but apparently it's very important. *shrug* ) Anyway, every time my boss sees me working on her files, he always casually says: "You're keeping a list of all those, right?" Now, I always assumed he was talking about the list I give to C that eventually goes to the accounting lady. But apparently he had wanted me to keep a seperate list of all the files I've worked on for her. So I mentioned this to C and she kind of shook her head and chuckled: "Yeah, he wanted to keep track of how much work I wasn't doing."

Now, it's not like C is one of those co-workers who sits on her ass and goofs off. She's been here the longest and works harder (and has more files to work on) than any of the other secretaries. So I was really pissed that, had I kept the list he'd wanted me to, I would have been unknowingly spying on C. The more I thought about it, the more it infuriated me. So I went back to C's office a little while later and mentioned how it was really bothering me and she just kind of grinned:

C: Don't let it bother you. We're used to it.

Me: Used to it? Does he do this a lot?

C: Oh, yeah! You didn't know?

Me: No! I had no clue that side of him existed!

C: I don't take it personally. Like when he came to me a few months ago to complain about personal calls and he said: 'I asked Rachel to keep track and she said there were 47 personal calls coming in to the office this week.' I didn't let it bother me.

Ok, now, if this were a tv show with sound effects, this would be the part where they play the sound of a needle scratching across a record.

Me: Wait, wait. What?

C: What?

Me: That thing about the personal calls. Was that just a hypothetical example or did he actually say that to you?

C: No, he really said it to me.

Ok, that? NEVER happened!! Asshole has never ever asked me to keep track of anyone's personal calls. I have never instigated a conversation with Asshole about the number of personal calls people get. The subject of personal calls has never, even remotely, come up in any conversation I have ever had with Asshole. Yet he's actually told people in the office that I was keeping track of their personal calls and reporting back to him? Hmmm, all those times people in my office have treated me like crap or snapped at me for no reason and I wondered what I ever did to deserve to be treated that way? Gee, maybe it all harkens back to the day when Asshole told them I was spying on them. Which I wasn't!

I don't even think it would bother me that much if it had actually happened because then I could at least tell people: "Yes, I did it. He's my boss. He pays my salary. He told me to do it. So I did it." But that didn't happen. It was a complete and total lie. I'm so blown away that he would do that! Did it not occur to him that:

a) I would find out about it.

b) It would have serious consequences for me and the way my co-workers treat me.

And the worst part is that it's not like I'm in a position to confront my boss about it. Not only would it probably get C in trouble, there's really no benefit to me confronting him. I need the job. I need the money. I'm not in a position to tell him what a prick he is and to shove his job up his ass. So I just have to grin and bear it.

But that list I'm keeping of people to kill once they legalize homicide? He's totally moving to the top!