A Typical Day Working For a Tyrant

by : Brian Markham

The alarm goes off at 5:30 am. Immediately you feel that old familiar sense of doom which can only mean it is time to go to work. Despite these feelings of fear, dread and anxiety you drag yourself into the office ready to face another day of lunacy. Your heart skips a beat as the elevator stops at the second floor of the parking garage. Please do not let it be him. If there is one thing you cannot stand it is talking to the tyrant first thing in the morning. You are in luck. It is not him.

As you walk to your office you notice his door is open which means he has already arrived. You cringe as you log into your email dreading the 7 messages you know the maniac has already sent you this morning. You decide its best to wait a while before reading them. After all it is better to be at work at least thirty minutes before you read the ranting of a lunatic. Unfortunately, your procrastination proves futile. The impatient tyrant comes by at 8:30 to see if you have the answers to his questions. You can tell by the wild look in his eyes he has probably made the trip by your office at least a dozen times since 7:00 am.

It is a typical exchange. You are bombarded with ridiculous demands, insults, innuendos, veil threats and anything else the tyrant can pull out of his bag of tricks. You try to defend yourself but the sheer volume of the insults overwhelms you. Miraculously, you survive another storm and he walks off muttering his disdain at your incompetence.

You go ahead and review the emails only to find that his question makes absolutely no sense. It is obvious he did not read the request that he forwarded to you because it clearly should go to another department. You have already talked with him twice about this one issue. Apparently he cannot comprehend or remember anything you talk about which corroborates your belief that he has the brain capacity of a field mouse.

It is 2:00 and the secretary interrupts the monthly close meeting you are having in your office because the tyrant wants to see all the managers and directors for an important discussion. You apologize to your colleagues for the interruption as you reluctantly walk to the corner office. You arrive to find the door closed so you stand around with the other participants wondering what kind of treat you are in for today. By now fifteen minutes have gone by and you are becoming extremely agitated because the host of this fiasco is in another meeting. Disgusted, everyone returns to their respective office waiting to be summoned once again.

Finally, after 30 minutes the secretary comes by to tell everyone that he is ready for them now. Once again, you walk back down and take a seat. To everyones surprise the tyrant is not in his office. Apparently he needed some time to collect his thoughts before the big meeting. Finally, he returns ready to discuss what can only be a very important topic. I mean it has to be important because he has wasted four peoples time for the past hour. You can hardly wait. You are overflowing with anxiety and can hardly contain yourself. Here it comes. It is going to be ground breaking. And then he speaks. Do you think we need a sign-out board so that we can keep track of where everyone is? You can only hope that your face does not look anywhere near as red as it feels. You look around at the other participants who seem to be hiding their nausea better than you. You start explaining why you do not think it is a good idea. Everyone else sees that his mind is made up and that arguing is pointless. Unfortunately, you cannot stop yourself. You keep arguing and arguing hoping you can talk some sense into this buffoon. You fail to realize this is his way of informing you of the new requirement and he really does not want anything but your agreement.

Monday morning you arrive early to get a jump start on your work load. As you round the corner something new catches your eye. There it is sitting right on the wall for all to see. It has the name of everyone in the department along with a little magnetic dot to move from IN to OUT. It even has a pen attached with Velcro so you can write an explanation of why you cannot be found.

You feel distraught because now there is one more mindless administrative task the tyrant can hound you about. I noticed you failed to move your dot to OUT when you left yesterday. I noticed you were in a meeting but nothing was written on the board. You learn to appreciate this almost as much as when he tells you that your time sheet does not reflect the day you left an hour early. After all, it is not like you worked 350 overtime hours last year or anything.

As you are being lectured about a $2 phone call on your expense report you cannot help but wonder why someone who makes $200,000 a year does not have something more important to be doing. You smile as you are calculating a $10 million tax adjustment knowing the tyrant is busy recalculating the secretarys expense report mileage because he thinks she is 4 miles off. Despite your outrage you return to work the next day and start the insanity all over again.