Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bosses From The Eighth Circle Of Hell: The Plane, The Plane

Throughout my career I've prided myself on working hard, performing what's asked of me to the best of my ability, and being an all-around good employee. I've also done my best to get along with my various bosses.

Alas, sometimes that's just not possible. Sometimes you end up with a Boss From The Eighth Circle of Hell.

When I worked for the newspaper I had a very, very, VERY Michael Scott-like boss. In fact I couldn't even bring myself to watch the first two seasons of The Office because I was living it every day. Why would I want to relive it at home as well?

This boss wasn't the least bit concerned about anything that went on in his department. We got absolutely zero input from him, forcing us to pretty much run things ourselves. His top priority each day was where he was going to eat lunch, which he would begin planning around 9:30 am.

One particularly chaotic day there was an airshow in town and the pilots were practicing flying low over the city. The roar of their planes was incredibly loud and distracting inside our office. 

Suddenly I received a frantic phone call from the prepress room upstairs. They said that the machine that made the printing plates was down. As you might well imagine, that was a bad thing. Without that machine, there would be no ads in the next day's newspaper, and that was most definitely a very bad thing. 

I looked up and saw my boss running by. I called to him and told him the bad news about the plate machine and asked what he wanted us to do about it. His response? He kept right on running past me and said, "I don't have time for that right now." He said he was going up on the roof so he could watch the planes fly over the building and not to bother him with boring newspaper stuff. 

Eventually a veteran pressman with decades of experience (who's since been laid off, no doubt) figured out how to fix the plate machine and the paper came out after all while the boss stood on the roof, jumping up and down and clapping his hands at the sight of airplanes zooming overhead.


  1. Great story! Any idea what became of that boss?

  2. Eventually karma caught up with him. A year or two later he called a meeting with everyone and announced he was "leaving to pursue other opportunities," which of course is face-saving BusinessSpeak™ for "I just got canned."

  3. It's nice to know the karma boomerang is still working!


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