Alas, sometimes that's just not possible. Sometimes you end up with a Boss From The Eighth Circle Of Hell.
Back in the 1990s I worked at a marketing agency for a rather colorful Boss.
When I first interviewed for the job, the Boss and the Co-Boss— let's call them Chad and Jeremy— took me to a local restaurant for a lunch interview.
We were shown to our table and sat down. I handed Chad, the Boss, my resume and he and Jeremy, the Co-Boss, looked it over. They mumbled and nodded to one another and apparently liked what they read. So far so good.
But then the mood at the table changed. Suddenly the Boss looked nervously around and said, "Um... we're pretty well known around town and some of our competitors may be here in this restaurant. We don't want them overhearing our secret business and trying to poach you away from us. So don't call us by our real names. Call us Carl and James."
I laughed, but then to my horror realized that he wasn't joking. He was deadly serious. I looked to the Co-Boss for comfort, hoping to see some reason in his eyes, but he was serious about it as well. They really wanted me to use code names when I addressed them. I looked around to see if I might be able to spot a hidden camera filming the incident, but no such luck.
So I was interviewed by two grown men using fake names because they were worried about corporate espionage— in a town with a population of barely 50,000.
That should have been a BIG red flag to me. If I'd have had any sense I'd have excused myself and left the restaurant right then and there, but I didn't, mostly because I needed a job and also because they'd driven me to the restaurant and my car was back at their super secret headquarters. But it made me uneasy.
Turns out I was right. I liked the work that I did at the agency, but the "code name" incident was just the first drop in a big sloshing, leaking bucket of insanity that the Boss carried around with him all day.