The Boss

I have a really strange work environment. I’ve done a few jobs throughout my teen and adult life, and this one is by far the hardest, most complicated, and with the absolute worst pay.

My job demands that I start work really early, even if I had to work late into the night before. Usually I don’t even have time to shower or eat before the job begins. My job is partly in the service industry and my boss requires that I serve others before I take care of my own needs (can’t a girl just have a shower and a coffee before the day begins?).

The Boss can be really moody and even though I’ve been trained to assert myself and my authority, I still find myself bending to his demands and going back on my own decisions. A lot. I am constantly walking on egg shells so as not to upset him because to be frank, that’s not a road I want to go down if I don’t have to. Trying to talk him down from an “upset” can take ages and by the end, I’m sometimes more than a bit upset, too.

Oh! And this happens all the time: I’ll be working away at something (usually job-related and sometimes something FOR HIM) and The Boss demands that I stop instantly to help him do one of his jobs even if he is fully capable of doing it himself. Oftentimes, I’ll do what he asked me, and the moment I sit back down or keep doing other important work, he has me up again! And even though his hearing is perfect and English is his first language, I have to repeat myself a LOT and practically narrate and explain every single thing I do and every choice I make. Very, very often, The Boss will ask a question and even though I answer it assertively and succinctly, he will ask it again. And again. Trying to manipulate me into giving a different answer. Or he will argue with me that I’m wrong even though I’m not. It’s exhausting! And heaven forbid I show my exasperation or raise my voice or swear (because I *never* do that…especially not under my breath…or sometimes out loud…). That’s really frowned upon. Not just by The Boss but by everyone.

 

Some days I wonder if I should report The  Boss to someone, but I don’t think that would do anything and I don’t even think such an organization exists. How would that even go?

I’ve never had a job that caused me so much self-doubt. It seems that everyone, even those who have never had this job or haven’t worked in the field directly for years, know how to do it better than I do (or at least, that’s the impression they give). It takes a lot of effort on my part to feel confident in my position, and there are certainly days when, despite over 7 years experience, I truly feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I am always talking to other people with related jobs. We can’t offer each other very many tangible tips but the commiseration is nice. It seems like none of them really know what they’re doing either.

I do get some breaks, although I don’t ever know when they’re going to happen or how long they will last and I’m always still on call. The Boss likes to keep me within eye sight so I can’t leave the premises or day drink or do anything else fun. (Usually). Sometimes I get an uninterrupted coffee or computer time, but only if I prepare him with something really entertaining and some food. My co-worker works evenings and weekends so I do get some time-off then, which is always much needed (and well-earned if I do say so myself). We also do a lot of the work together to share the load. He’s pretty great and we get along really well but we don’t always see eye to eye on the best way to get the work done or how to handle The Boss. Since I’m full time and he’s part time (he has another job during the week and I think his boss there is likely easier to work for), I like to think I know the job better, but if I’m honest with myself, that probably isn’t very fair of me. But at the end of the day we always work together to get all the work done and it sure is awesome having a partner who is willing to get in the trenches with me. And don’t tell anyone, but we’ve been having a workplace affair for many years now 😉

We have another boss, too. He’s a bit more mature and typically a lot easier to deal with. He doesn’t come to work as often and while he does have his moments, he has more experience and has learned how to do a lot of the work himself so he doesn’t demand as much from us.

If I’ve worked a full day (and I usually have), by the time I go to bed at night I’m tired, over-touched, and over-talked. All I want to do is sleep but sometimes I have to get up in the night to do a little more work. It never ends. It’s exhausting and hard and physically and mentally draining.

I know some people would love to have this job. Many have even applied for it numerous times, and have never been hired. I know some people who have made it past the first interview and even started the probation period but tragically, weren’t hired for the permanent position. I know that I am blessed to have this job, I do, although it wouldn’t be fair to tell myself that I can never feel frustration in light of that blessing. I am human, after all.

And the thing is, despite all this, despite the exhaustion and uncertainty and frustrating, I love my job more than anything in the world. And that boss? Even though he is literally the moodiest, most demanding and frustrating boss I have ever had…I also happen to think he’s pretty friggen’ awesome. In fact, it would be fair to say I love him. And I wouldn’t change him or trade him for anything in the world.

 

The Boss.

 

Take care of yourself,
Mel

 

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