Even her mandatory “social” events were less popular than a trip to a dentist with a dull drill. She arranged “mixers” in which she paired “partiers” with specific “buddies” (identified by required nametags) they’d never met. She even provided topics for “lively” conversation in case discussions between the two strangers faltered. Her socials ran with the obsessive precision of a bullet train and were just about as fun as standing in front of one.
She often complained to me about fonts my technical writers used in manuals or for writing with the “wrong” pen. She used roller balls in one of three colors depending on the topic of my message. Her list of “requirements” was long and ever growing, like a sort of workplace kudzu.
My office was directly above a bright, white, metal roof with a southern exposure. The sun reflected perfectly through my window so I closed the blinds to keep the temperature below 85 degrees. This was a particularly egregious offense for her. Each time she passed, she stepped in to open my blinds – even when I was in the room. She thought it was extremely selfish of me to, “waste all that good sunshine”.
I, of course, immediately closed the blinds – even when SHE was in the room. One must draw the line somewhere and mine was at burning to ash in a solar oven.
Like any good despot, she demanded complete obedience from her employees and usually got it. But my obedience was always wavering at best. I was the dog tossed from obedience school for biting the instructor – apparently mild-mannered, but with a hidden mean streak. I usually responded to her cockamamie ideas by simply ignoring them.
“You never do what I tell you to do,” she scolded in one weekly meeting.
“That’s not true at all,” I responded. “I carefully consider everything you tell me. Then, I don’t do the stupid things.”
I got a tilted head and all-purpose scowl for my trouble.
“Get out of here,” she said.
And I did…gratefully.