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Today in My History

2000: Gay Kids
2001:  (No entry--I was sick)
2002:  The Death of Trust
2003:  Finding My Inner Endorphin
2004:  You CAN take the City out of the Girl
2005Dog Day Afternoon

2006:  Boundaries 

2007: "Cuzn" Day
2008: ENOUGH, Already!
2009:  Aces of Cakes
2010:  The Big Party
2011:  Communication Gap
2012: History in a Nutshell

Bitter Hack
: 3/11
"Midsummer Night's Dream"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 3/28
"Me Talk Pretty Some Day"

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mail to Walt


29 March 2013

A comment on a discussion board for the "over 50" set on Swap Bot got me reminiscing about an old boss I once had.  One of a few creepy bosses I've had in my life.

This guy had about five female employees, a big office with a library (which he pronounced "liberry"), and I went to work part time in the early days of my transcription enterprises, never realizing that this would be my lifelong work.

This guy was a work-a-holic, working night, day, and weekends.   Though it would seem that things would be casual in such a small office, he wanted zero personal interaction among the employees.  He was willing to pay to avoid it.

People would go on vacation and when they returned, he would treat the entire office to lunch at a restaurant to welcome the vacationer back to work.   That would seem like a nice thing to do, but he figured that we could talk about the vacation over lunch and it would never have to be mentioned in the office setting.

It would make sense if this was a busy office, with clients coming in and out all the time, but I honestly can't remember a single client who came to visit us.   I'm sure one did, but it was so infrequent that it was not an issue.  He had the type of job where he frequently met with clients in settings other than his office.

And though devoted to his wife, he was also apparently a bit of a letch.  Instead of giving us bonuses, he would, from time to time, send us out to buy new clothes, which we had to then wear into the office and model for him in the "liberry" behind closed doors.  I never had any problem with him, but I heard reports that there were women who got chased around the liberry.  In those days, sexual harassment was not the big deal that it is now and I don't think anybody ever reported him to anybody.

I didn't work full time, but worked on call and I would be called in on weekends.  I hated working long hours on a Sunday but it never occurred to me to say no.  I was working one Sunday morning when he was ranting and raving around the office.  It was just the two of us there and he was furious because his new grandson was being baptised that day and he had to leave the office and go  to the damn baptism.

I listened to this for awhile and I finally blew up at him.  I told him that work would always be there, but this was the ONLY chance he would ever have to be part of his first grandson's baptismal ceremony.  I don't remember what else I said, but I remember yelling..."You GO to that baptism...and YOU SMILE!"  

To my great surprise, he did.

I also clearly remember when I quit the job.  I decided I just couldn't take him and his foibles any more and I gave him my notice.  It was 1986.   I remember that so clearly because I remember how I felt walking out of that office into the beautiful clear spring day, feeling like a 100 pounds had just been lifted from my shoulders and feeling that all was right in my world.

I know it was 1986 because it was just a few weeks later that my friend Gilbert died and it all came crashing down.

This wasn't my last experience with the creepy boss, though.  I don't know how much later it was--it might even have been a couple of years.  Out of the blue I got a call from him asking if he could work one more day for him.  I said I could and he asked me to come to his house to get my instructions, which I thought was pretty weird.

Well, it turned out that he had a meeting to go to and was going to be out of the office all morning and what he wanted me to do was to go into the office and do some work, but I was really there to make sure that nobody talked while he was gone.   I was supposed to report back to him on anybody who talked about anything except business while he was gone.

I was flabbergasted and told him that it was demening and disrespectful to his employees and I refused to do it.  I don't know if he got anybody elsse willing to be his stooge or not.

I haven't heard from him since that day, though this is a small town and I used to see him all over the place.  I'm not sad about that.

He was definitely an experience, but one I'm glad I didn't have to have for long.


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