Strange ReTales: Bosses Behaving Badly

brushing_teethUp to this point I’ve used my Strange ReTales blog posts as a forum to share strange stories of the embarrassing behavior of the people I’ve worked alongside.

One group who so far have been spared have been the people I’ve worked for.

That hardly seems fair, so now seems like a good time to redress that imbalance and share embarassing stories of some of my prior employers.

I’ve been fortunate in my various careers to have had far more good bosses than bad. So when I reminisce the first thing that comes to mind isn’t cruel or wicked behavior, it’s annoying personal habits.

I had one manager when I worked in sporting goods who had the habit of leaving his coffee mug lying around. I’d go to a section to stock or tidy up, hockey, baseball, golf, whatever, and there would be his half-empty coffee mug sitting on a shelf next to the merchandise.

In the grand scheme of things hardly an unpardonable sin, but it happened every single day.

Speaking of daily activities, another manager in the big box store I worked in would eat his lunch in the lunchroom area in the back of the store like everybody else. Then, immediately after eating he would grab his toiletry kit, start brushing his teeth at the sink, and then walk through the entire 20,000 square foot store, making his way to the manager’s office by the front door, still brushing the entire time.

By far the most annoying boss behavior of all was this one: whenever he took a phone call at his desk, he’d open up solitaire on his computer and start playing while talking to the person on the other end. When the phone call ended, he’d close the game.

It didn’t matter whether it was a client, a vendor, or his mom. Every phone call I ever saw him take in his office he did the same thing: play solitaire while talking on the phone.

It always struck me as acutely disrespectful to not give the person he was talking to his full attention.

I suppose that we all have our own bad habits, but I’ve seldom seen any as unique as these.