Whos The Boss?
by Mad Dog
Its hard to find someone who likes
their boss. Sure, people say they do because theyre afraid their phone calls are
being monitored, their email is being read, and the guy watching them on the surveillance
camera can lip read, but if you really pin them downlike by plying them with a free
doughnut and a cup of lukewarm coffeeyoull find out that like everyone else in
the world, the only good thing they have to say about their boss is that he or she
doesnt suck up all the oxygen in the room. Just most of it.
It used to be that bosses periodically
reviewed their employees, filling out four-page forms which fulfilled the requirements of
both their management and sadistic duties. But lately these roles have become reversed.
And in very public ways, no less.
Thats right, employees are now openly
critiquing their bosses. Janet Reno spends most of her waking hours reviewing President
Clintons on-the-job performance. The rest of them she spends defending her good
review to Congress, the media, and her evil twin, Louis Freeh. Thats right, Janet
Reno has thoroughly investigated her boss and cleared him. Contrast this with Latrell
Sprewell, who reviewed his boss performance and decked him.
Sprewell, for those of you who never change
your TV from the Home Shopping Network for fear youll miss a sale on the Big-Eyed
Dogs Playing Play Station reproduction shower curtain, is the basketball player for the
Golden State Warriors who lost a $24 million contract when he mistook his coachs
instructions to "punch out for the night" to mean "punch out my
lights." Hey, its an easy mistake to make. Sprewell choked the coach, left the
building, then returned and slugged him. So much for a cooling off period.
Since this occurred there have been private
apologies, public press conferences, and the 90s answer to everything, hiring O.J.
Simpsons attorney, Johnny Cochran. Even San Francisco mayor Willie Brown got into
the fray when he said Sprewells coach, P.J. Carlesimo, "may have needed
choking." If that becomes a viable defense, companies are going to have a hard time
getting anyone to accept a promotion into management.
Boss bashing is nothing new. Back in Merry
Olde England it was common to use an advanced placement program to ascend the throne
faster than nature would have allowed by, uh, eliminating upper management. Defending your
decision was easier too. Back then you just beheaded anyone who didnt approve of
your means of career enhancement, today you hire the Dream Team.
Before you think this high-profile
management review doesnt affect you, remember, were all bosses in one way or
another. The CEO of your company bosses the president around. The president bosses the
vice-presidents around. They, in turn, boss the middle managers, who boss you, and you, of
course, take this to mean that its okay for you to boss your employees around.
Its the Trickle Down Theory of Management: Intimidate those who work below you until
you see something trickle down their leg.
"But Im the low person on the
totem pole," you may be whining, like thats going to shoot a hole in this
theory. Face it, thats why you got married. And why you have children. And your
children have pets. True, pets offer companionship, providing your idea of companionship
is watching slobber drool out of a dogs mouth onto your lap or hoping the cat will
finally decide to pay attention to you other than when its hungry. Or wants to go
out. Or decides its litterbox needs cleaning.
No, the truth is pets are on the low end of
the boss-food chain, their very existence based on the fact that you need to vent your
frustrations by ordering someone around. Why do you think you tell them to sit when they
want to stand, heel when they want to run, fetch when they want to sleep, and play dead
when theyd rather chew up your brand new $200 shoes?
Hopefully it wont be long before
people get over the need to broadcast these public displays of alienation. Face it,
its just not pretty to air your dirty laundry where everyone can see it. If
youre going to criticize your high profile boss, the least you can do is do it in
the privacy of your own tell-all book. After all, its much less violent, much less
airtime consuming, and much more civil. Oh yeah. And much more profitable too.
©1997 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
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