When I was working as a business consultant, I thought the days couldn't get any longer, the job couldn't get any harder, and the bosses couldn't get any more demanding.
Then I switched jobs...
...and this is what happened:
I pulled an all-nighter last night, so when my boss got in this morning, he smiled at me and seemed quite pleased. This streak of pleasure wasn't long-lived, though, and he soon started complaining again: I wasn't doing what he wanted, I wasn't getting things done fast enough, I wasn't responding to his requests in time.
I decided to try harder. Proud of myself with a deliverable in hand, I approached and handed him a copy. I thought he would take it, but instead, he threw it across the room and started complaining. I figured he might be tired, and apparently I was right, since he went down for a break not long after.
Great! I thought, now that he's on a break I can work on my expenses and all the other personal to-do's I haven't been able to get to.
Nevermind! On his desk was actually a massive list of what I needed to do before he returned. I completed them all, with seconds to spare, as I heard his shouts signaling his return to the office.
What a relief! He seemed to be in slightly better spirits after his morning break. We managed to work on a few things together before he started getting antsy. Lunchtime was approaching and he didn't function well when hungry. So we went to the cafeteria, which, per the boss's request, was open 24 hours a day.
At lunch, we had to order and share very specific items off the menu because of his dietary restrictions. I was certain he wouldn't think it fair that I enjoy foods he couldn't enjoy, so we ended up with a table full of bland, albeit healthy, food.
Just as I was about to serve myself from one of the plates, he grabbed the morsel out of my hand and tossed it across the room. I served him some food instead, hoping to placate him so that I could also enjoy my meal.
All was well for a whole of five minutes when he started getting excited and his food started going everywhere. Some of it fell on the ground, some rolled across the room, some got squished with his hands as he was gesturing to me about something, and much of it ended up on my clothes.
I had no idea what he was thinking or rambling on about. When I tried calming him down so we could finish our meal, he screamed at the top of his lungs and stared at me with eyes that seemed to say, "how could God create someone so thick she doesn't understand what I want?!"
At least he couldn't accuse me of not trying -- by the book or by the seat of my pants -- I was trying very hard and I hoped that would count for something eventually. For now, I picked up the mess and munched on his crumbs because I hadn't had time to properly eat my own food.
Back at the office, he had a cup of milk coffee and seemed to settle down a bit, but his incessant farting told me his stomach wasn't feeling so great. I brought him a cup of chamomile tea, after which he didn't seem able to control himself -- he pooped in his pants!
My poor boss, I thought, for all his screams and demands and temper he still can't manage to control his most basic needs.
I brought him a change of clothes -- this was a common occurrence, as his bodily functions were not entirely under his control -- yet before his clothes were put back on, he peed all over me and my desk!
I kid you not! He pooped in his pants, then peed on my desk and my clothes! My clothes were more akin to rags from all the washing I did because of my boss's haphazard eating habits and bodily functions.
Anyway, once that was all sorted, we managed to get a couple of hours of work in before he started complaining that he was bored. He clearly didn't care that I still had some financial analysis to finish for our client meeting; he dragged me outside with him for a walk so he could have an afternoon break -- my work would have to wait.
Finally, the senior partner of the firm came to check on us in the evening. My boss, of course, decided to be slightly more civil. He also sucked up to the partner to remain in his good graces. This way, the partner would not believe me when I complained about how difficult my boss was.
It had been a long day for all of us so we tried to unwind over a meal together. The partner and I ignored the mess my boss was making -- everyone was familiar with his habits. We would do whatever it took to avoid a meltdown because we all wanted a break for the night. We figured he would soon be done for the evening and I could clean up his desk and file away his work.
The partner went back to his office and my boss and I wrapped up some loose ends. What a relief -- he seemed to be almost done for the night!
Actually, not quite so done yet...
Just as I was thanking the heavens I would be able to relax for a few hours, he turned around and started laughing. My boss found something funny and wanted me to laugh along as well! I told him I was tired and needed to get some rest, so he insisted on one final cuddle with my boobs before he went out for the night. My breasts provided him indescribable comfort, and since I had still not figured out how to curb this addiction, I gave in, just so I could have some peace and quiet that evening.
Done! He was out and I was finally heading home to my bed!
I knew I would have about three hours -- which now seem like an eternity -- of peace to myself before the sirens went off. My boss needed constant reassurance throughout the night. He wanted reassurance that I was there, that I would provide food, that I would clean up after him, and that even after the hellish all-nighters he's been putting me through for the past nine months on the job, I would still show up to work the following morning with a smile across my face and endless patience for his crazy antics.
I originally wrote this piece for my husband a couple of months ago to help him understand in "his professional language" what a day in my life is currently like!