The subtext for today’s blog: there are 364 days where you’re pretty sure your boss thinks you’re a worthless idiot that is just barely more trouble to fire than to keep; there is one day when you know it to be true. Today was the one day.
Today, a friend brought me a pancake he’d made. It was a blueberry pancake, fat and almost sweet, with fat fresh blueberries. It was the size of the paper plate he brought it on. It was a really good pancake. I ate it as I strolled around the building on my morning errands. I was happy.
Today was the one day out of the year my boss couldn’t avoid talking to me about what he actually thought of my performance. “Commendable.” This, in bureaucrat-eze is the equivalent of “you are just barely worth keeping, and only because it is too much time and trouble out of my day to fire you.” The “commendable” document was delivered in person, much the same way the doctor leaves you in the room by yourself to disrobe and prepare for his exam. In this case it was as if I had cancer, and the doctor left a manila folder with a four-page explanation of “You’ve got cancer!” for me to read. “I’ll come back after you open the door and we can discuss” was what he said. Documents were signed, it was over in a matter of minutes.
The raise was delivered via email. 99-cents more an hour. It is quite something to consider a year of hard work distilled down to 99-cents an hour, especially when such an amount is, when combined with all other raises in the organization, at the level of the idiot programmer that can’t write compilable code to save his life, or the young man with no skills that had to be counseled for drinking during work hours.
I asked “Well, what now? Where do I go from here?”
“There is nowhere to go” the boss said. “Your job was manufactured years ago not out of need but because we had to move someone out of another position. It’s not a real position at all. Would you like to go to Huntsville? or Florida? or Colorado Springs? I can shake the bushes for you.”
Oh, yes, sure, shake those bushes. Thanks so much for the offer.
But today, the “one day of the year,” a friend brought me a great, fat blueberry pancake, big as a plate. And I ate it as I walked the building on my morning errands. And I was happy.