The Funny Farm

I’m drowning, having failed to outrun the avalanche of my boss’ manic insanity.

The latest incarnation of her lunacy is that there are evidently more than two buildings on a campus that is mysteriously comprised of only two buildings according to the site map, site administrator, Google Earth, the 8 staff members that I verified with who WORK on that campus and the three colleagues that I double-checked with who are intimately familiar with that location. 

Why did I check with so many different authorities, wasting many man hours on such a trivial detail that really should’ve been satisfied with verification from one source?

To avoid soul-sucking conversations like these:

Crazy Boss- Which building am I going to in the morning?

Me-  Your driver has been pre-instructed to take you to the North Building (insert address and room number) as per your detailed agenda that you have on your blackberry as well as in your trip folder.

Crazy Boss-(pause in order to allow time for my heart to sink with dread for whatever she’s about to say, and then:) Jen. There are hundreds of buildings, I need you to be more specific.

Me- There are two buildings on that campus, the “North” building and the “New” building. Your meeting is in the North Building at such and such address at this time and in this meeting room with these people.

Crazy Boss – Jen, I need more detail. I need you to be more thorough on these matters because this doesn’t give me the information that I need. You need to pay more attention to this kind of thing.

Me – Please help me understand the nature of the detail that you’re looking for concerning these two buildings?

Crazy Boss – Just give me the cell phone numbers for everyone I’m meeting tomorrow.

So I did. While pulling up the cell phone numbers she explained that she would solve the problem herself. What was the problem?


There are two buildings on that campus, her delusions will not magically alter that fact.

One of the many symptoms of my deteriorating morale (in addition to not blogging because I’m busy banging my head against the wall and screaming with clenched fists into the dead of the night) is that my filter comes crashing down. I mean, f*ck it. If you want to be a dick, I’ll be sure to leave you in no doubt as to how that makes me feel. Communication is key (insert Shirley Temple grin)!

Earlier last week, she and I abandoned a very detailed and organized excel spreadsheet and instead created a cumbersome and enormous 42 page powerpoint within which to track a large and complicated project. After an intense struggle to achieve the same level of detail, if not the same level of organization, I handed the document over to her for her final tweaks and edits. She then emailed it back to me and asked me to move slide 24 to position 38 because she couldn’t figure out how to do it.

She has specifically told me, on numerous occasions, to not keep drafts of this ppt as she doesn’t want the versions to get mixed up. Not being a moron, I am capable of version control, so in a wanton display of flagrant disrespect for her authority, I’ve been keeping drafts.

Me- Unable to comply with request as attachment only contains 22 slides, please resend complete document.

Crazy Boss – WHAT DID YOU DO?!?!?!

Me- Opened a frighteningly short attachment, please re-send

She then phoned to yell at me offline prior to realizing that she couldn’t shove off responsibility for deleting half of the ppt on me.

Crazy Boss – What are we going to doooooo?

Me – You’re going to press “undo” billions of times to recapture your lost edits and then immediately re-save.

Crazy Boss – oh thank god. That did it, OK, it’s headed your way.

Me – I see that the attendee slides are still missing, do you have those?

Crazy boss – Oh noooooo, what are we going to dooooooo?

Me – No worries, I was a naughty girl and have the previous draft with those two slides. I’ll pop them back in really quick.

Crazy boss – (longer than normal pregnant pause during which I audibly sighed and probably also audibly rolled my eyes) Jen. I specifically told you not to keep versions, why did you disobey me?

Me – Because I like to get yelled at.

She then proceeded to yell at me while I saved her butt and probably about an hour or two of re-work by popping those slides in. She asked me how I felt after she’d finished dumping her deranged sunshine on me.

“Like I missed a connection and ended up in the twilight zone somehow.”

I didn’t say crazytown. I almost did, part of a “c” might have escaped my lips, but I sucked it back in. This comment of course spurred an exhausting 45 minute discussion about how much simpler things would be if I’d just follow instructions and, she’s right. We spent as much time reviewing my naughtiness as we would have re-creating those two lost slides. Maybe more.

I had a disappointing third interview yesterday for a job that is clearly not going to be a step up in any way shape or form. If I’m going to escape this hellish purgatory, it’s going to either be for the grill of a speeding semi or for a job working for people who don’t have massive personal insecurities and schizophrenia.

‘She needs to retire” said the HR authority who took me out to lunch today to try to talk me into staying. Retention in this role is understandably low and, while they appreciate that I’ve stuck with it for so long (I’ve been here since October lol. Which makes me a veteran in this particular position. Ehm…red flag? Anyone? Anyone?). Will a raise do it? No. I mean, go for it, but no.

They’re going to talk to her & I can’t wait to deal with the ramifications from that little chat. She’s the head of HR. I appreciate the irony and love that there’s nowhere to go for help, it’s freakin’ hilarious.

Pre-warning – I already quasi-regret writing most of this and will likely delete this post. But, gosh, it feels good to get it all out.


4 thoughts on “The Funny Farm

  1. Zeldon says:

    I feel it my responsibility, as your admin and personal assistant, to let you know that I archive almost all of your writings and blogs. That way you won’t have to start from scratch when writing screenplay dialogue for the blockbuster movies that will pay for my English cottage, VIP tickets to Queen concerts fronted by Adam Lambert, and trip to the Oscars.

  2. Kate! says:

    Oh mah lawd. How’s about a technical writing gig in NoVa? 🙂 PLEASE?
    You definitely take the cake on this one. My charge is nuts, but not crazy. At least you know everyone else sees the crazy! Actually, that’s not much consolation, is it. I look forward to your memoir: You Are Crazy and Other Things I Should Have Said.

  3. Grammapat says:

    Start your own business Jen. Then YOU can do the yelling.

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