PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I'm exceptionally light-hearted this week, gosh, wonder why? I am hesitant still to even blog about my Former Employer, because it feels a little too dirty-laundry-ish and would certainly seem like I was exiting with poor sportsmanship. So I thought I'd blog about an OLD boss I had, and in fact was the absolute CRAZIEST boss I ever did have, with perhaps the exception of the woman I worked for in college, who was agoraphobic and never left her home and basically I went through her mail, with her on the phone, sorted it for her, and had what she wanted to read delivered to her house. She was in charge of selecting films and such for the campus, so I also made the posters for the films. It was really quite an easy job, she just lived in denial and would talk about going out and playing tennis and whatnot, even though she hadn't left her home & had all the windows covered in plastic, for years. So, she was just sort of mentally ill.

But my SuperCaliFragiCrazy boss, let's call her "Jodi", was WONKERS. Good god, the stories. She had her own agency. She actually wanted to be a movie star. She spent money like one, that's for sure. Gosh, I hardly know where to begin and end with the stories. When I interviewed, she was nice as pie. She even wanted to compensate me with a CAR. A Lincoln Navigator. Hello, that is too big for me. I would have to get a running start to even make it into the front seat. I declined, preferring cold hard cash to a giant tax and gas burden. Anyway. She wanted to be big and important and glamorous. She was intensely paranoid, and had every single piece of email route through her computer, incoming & outgoing. She rifled through offices at night. Her apartment was above the agency, and she would listen in on the phones, thinking we didn't know. One night, five of us had worked late & we decided to all go out and grab dinner. We headed to the 39th street area, planning on going to a cheap burger place over there. Jodi tagged along. We discovered said burger joint was closed, and as we did that sort of aimless-milling on the sidewalk trying to determine where to go next, Jodi commanded, "Follow me." We dutifully did, and ended up at the now-defuct Cafe Allegro, one of two four-star restaurants in Kansas City. Now, the dinner that we had? This was how she entertained clients, and there wasn't a client at the table. For seven people, our bill was thousands of dollars. Yes, you read that correctly. Like $2,500 plus tip. Are you staggering? We didn't because we'd had so much to eat & drink it was a blur. What did we drink, twenty dollar bills blended with vodka? Yes, this will be the only time in my life that I've had wine that cost FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS A BOTTLE. And she ordered two bottles. Her style was to order one of everything and if someone liked it, order two more. Keep in mind this woman eventually went bankrupt, and fled the state, with a million-$-plus lawsuit against her for unpaid accounts. You see where the money was going? I have so so many stories about her, and I only worked there four months. The breaking point for me was when she called me in to the conference room to scream at me over something stupid. Ordinarily, I am a pleaser. I want approval. I need it, I've always needed it, and have been learning the necessary lesson of getting it from myself, not others, as I grow up. At this time I was still a lot more over on the "must please" side of things, but when she started screaming at me, in front of two other people she'd just finished screaming at, all I could see were the ugly lines around her mouth and how unattractive she looked while she was yelling at me. And while she continued with the SHOUT SHOUT SHOUTING I was off in a corner of my brain, conferring with my gnomes, and we all agreed that I was so out of there as soon as I could get another job.

But the funniest, craziest, most insane story was this: She had a business assistant and a personal assistant, because she was a movie star, at least in her own mind, not an advertising executive. Then one of them quit. I was already gone when this took place. She was upstairs in her apartment, getting dressed, and she couldn't get her pantyhose on. Now, Jodi was a large woman, and as a large person myself, and most women in general will, too, I can attest to the fact that pantyhose are a pain in the butt. However, Jodi, living in her little fantasy dream world, wouldn't buy the correct SIZE of pantyhose for her body, but a much smaller size. And thus, she couldn't get them on. So she called both her assistant, and the assistant media planner up to her apartment to PUT HER PANTYHOSE ON HER. When her assistant told her, after hoisting and pulling & tugging and being way too close to her boss' skin and underwear and things one never needs to see or know, that they weren't going to fit, Jodi commenced with the screaming about how she KNOWS her size and she ALWAYS buys this size and they should just TRY HARDER. It became an ongoing joke with our group of friends - what would your annual salary have to be, to put pantyhose on your boss? And no playing the "well if my boss was Cindy Crawford" game, we're talking your boss is Roseanne Barr before all the surgery and weight loss and ten times meaner. She finally screamed at the two assistants to leave and she found something else to wear.

As I prepare for my new job next week, I would like to go on the record to say that I will never. Ever. ask anyone to put my pantyhose on me. EVER. Because that, my friends, falls under the header of "things a boss should never do".
posted by PlazaJen, 10:28 AM