Employee shuddered as Boss rolled into her office. “Hi – what’s up?”
“Oh, I don’t know, EVERYTHING!” Boss said as she dropped a pile of papers on the desk. “This is a mess. Clean it up.”
“It was fine when I sent it in – ”
“Well it’s not now!” Boss practically shrieked. “This is unacceptable! You’re lucky you still have a job! And your desk is absolutely filthy!” Boss swept her arm across Employee’s desk to knock everything excluding the computer and including the phone onto the floor. “I don’t know how you get anything done. Tool!” She left on roller skates.
That night, Employee called Friend.
“I always say I can’t take it anymore, but I can’t quit! Can I call in sick, every day, until I retire?”
“I have a better idea,” Friend said.
THE NEXT DAY
Boss strolled on foot into Employee’s office. “So, I heard rumors that you actually leave your desk for lunch and WHO THE BLAZES ARE YOU?!”
Friend was sitting with her hands folded at Employee’s desk. “I’m Employee today. Whatever you want to say to her, you can say to me.”
“Certainly. Feel free to continue your thought.”
“OK... oh yeah: I can’t be having my workers thinking they can just pick up and leave whenever they feel like it! I don’t know how seriously you take this job, missy, but the quality of your work speaks for itself when you whiningly insist upon such things as ‘bathroom breaks,’ and ‘eating,’ and ‘leaving on time.’ Who do you think you are?! I think you think you’re me. Well, you can’t be me, because I’m the boss! Which you can never be, ever! And while we’re on the subject – ”
“Are you finished?”
“I – clearly not!”
Friend stood. “Sit down.” Boss sat on the floor. “Here is the reality you cannot see: you are inadequate. You do nothing substantial with your life except yell at people because you feel like garbage. I hacked into your computer this morning and found cat and celebrity videos in your browser history, so you obviously are the only one not really working in this office. My guess is that no one likes you, and they’re not so much afraid of you as irritated by you, as one would be by a fly that constantly buzzes around one's ears. Think of this, if you would: people wish you would vanish in a puff of smoke when you enter a room, and feel the sweet relief that is freedom when you depart. You have no friends, and you’ll probably be terminated by upper management next quarter, and then what will you do with your loathsome self? You can go now.”
Boss fell out the door.
THE NEXT DAY
Employee sat apprehensively at her desk as Boss peeked around the corner.
“Oh, it’s just you," Boss said as she came in. "Um, I wanted to say, I think we’ve been getting off on the wrong foot for the past three years. I know you work hard and you do good things here; I’m just under a lot of stress from higher up to meet our goals, you know?”
“OK, thanks, well, glad we got that out of the way!” Boss stood to leave, headed towards the door, and turned back. “Oh, one little thing: when you’re talking to clients, don’t be so courteous and polite to them. I know it’s good customer service, but you’re not being paid to gab here, and you’re too nice to them, and – ”
Friend appeared behind Boss. “Sorry, I missed that last bit, what were you saying just now?”
Boss screamed and ran down the hall to hide in her office.
Employee smiled at Friend. “Thanks for all that, you’re a lifesaver!”
“Sure!” Friend said. “I’m available 24/7 – anyone else here you think needs me?”
“Possibly Boss when her boss calls her in, ironically enough. The cycle never ends.”