September 6, 2007

About New Boss

Posted in Office Hijinks at 4:52 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

I feel really bad for New Boss.  Actually, I feel pretty terrible for any guy that has to work with mostly women, but since I know New Boss and I like New Boss, he gets most of my sympathy.  Oh, word of warning, I am about to be kind of unkind to my sex. 

Women (and yes, I am generalizing here, sue me.  Oh, no, wait, don’t.  But feel free to write any nasty little comment your heart desires below) tend to be more emotional than men.  This is often a good thing, but can also be a really bad thing; especially in an office.  Being a woman and working around a lot of women, I never really noticed how our temper tantrums and gossiping and mood swings and our general want of everyone else to be able to read our minds affected men until the one day New Boss had another man working with us. 

He clung to this guy like Kate clinging to that wooden door at the end of Titanic.  Unfortunately, Part- Time Friend is only in our office once a week.  So, New Boss was once again left tired and outnumbered. 

I saw this same exasperation in my coach in college.  He had to deal with 14 girls every morning and afternoon and after only a year or so, he was physically and emotionally drained.  Not to mention completely unsure of what was right or wrong anymore and so he left it up to us to pretty much control everything.

Fortunately, New Boss isn’t there yet.   

There we were, sitting in New Boss’s office, his head was down as he reviewed some of my work, I was listening intently to his comments and criticisms.  Then he looked up and registered a look of fear and dread so complete, he actually shuddered.  It was a look of absolute horror.  Not the oh-my-god-I-didn’t-expect-the-axe-murderer-was-hiding-in-the-closet horror.  No, this was much worse.  This was guy horror.  This was oh-my-god-are-you-gonna-cry horror.

In the third grade, I accompanied my mom for a portion of a parent-teacher conference.  I took her on the tour of the classroom and listened as Miss Newhart told her that I was a joy to have in class, although I did have a tough time accepting constructive criticism.   

Now, I had a little school girl crush on Miss Newhart.  I wanted to be just like her when I grew up.  The fact that I was doing anything she disapproved of broke my little, eight-year-old heart.  So I immediately set out to take criticism better; that is once I looked up criticism in the dictionary. 

So I know I am good at taking criticism. I have been practicing for more than 20 years.  However, my stupid face still gets in the way.  I really want to be good at what I do but, as I sat there listening to how much improving I have ahead of me, my face must have been contorting into a look of shock, or alarm, or disappointment or dread; maybe a combination of all three.  

But to New Boss it was a look that said,  “I think I am going to cry now.”   

He dropped the page, complete with proofreader’s marks all across it, started shaking his head and tried to justify his critical comments.

And, no matter how emphatically I shook my head, he wasn’t buying that I really was okay with all that he was saying.

I know New Boss reads the blog, but I don’t think his fanaticism goes back so far as to know about my affliction.  Still, I need his feedback to get better at what I am doing.  So I have resolved that the next time he is away, I will install a mirror behind his desk, just to the right of his head.   

Not only will this keep my face in check, but it will give me something to look at when I get bored or tired of listening to him. 

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