Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dear asshead Republican corporate swine fuckstain:

The only reason that I got through the day at your shithole of an office, even apparently garnering praise from you, I heard second-hand--I'm "terrific," that's lovely-- is that I knew that, unlike the moth-eaten half-damned souls who've been been bleeding whatever once was of their vitality into your gaping black hole of an ego for dog's years, I am never gonna see your withered grey bowtied ass again. And that would have been true even if it wasn't a one-day fill-in assignment. Not for ten times my usual payrate. Not if the only alternatives were starvation or phonesex with plushie Barney fetishists.

For that matter, I'll have you know, after that first outburst this morning? when you swore at me because I didn't take a phone call for you in exactly the way you wanted, five minutes after I arrived, even though I was right in the middle of the "orientation" being given by your frantic, beaten-down underlings? After you stomped back into your corner office with the magnificent 270 degree view of Manhattan, you entitled, bloated toad, and I listened to yet more half-terrified, half-resigned low-pitched wittering about how "difficult" you were, (although, apparently "at least that's as bad as he gets, tee hee!") and how if I did such-and-such a thing wrong you'd "scream"--I said to my supervisor for the day, who's clearly so chronically on edge she's positively vibrating, I said to her, calmly and coldly,

"If he screams at me [again], I'm leaving."

She nods, all round pale eyes. Apparently she'd already called the temp office, she says, and told them...something. presumably some genteel way of saying that you were being an abusive fuckwad, and I might not be able to hack it, poor dear. Whatever. She goes, "Well, I hope he doesn't, for your sake...and mine." "Me, too," I said aloud. But actually, no--on second thought, I actually don't give a fuck; I've made up my mind, and sorry lady, but you're not my table. And with that, a wondrous calm came over me.

So the poor slobs finally leave me the hell alone, after a last barrage of hasty instructions (don't do this! make sure you do that!! come get us if you have ANY question about ANYTHING, o please please please DON'T LET HIM EXPLODE AGAIN, WE'LL DIE), and I'm able to figure out what the fuck it is you want. Mostly it consists of printing out every single email you receive, which task takes pretty much the whole day because there are very many emails, attachments and all; all because you are apparently too Important to learn how to use a fucking computer. Whole forests have probably been decimated in the service of your narcissistic assiness. So, fine, whatever; it passes the time. And I do it, and a few other things. (I cannot fucking believe that it's your assistant's task to "remind you" every day to tell her whether she needs to call your housekeeper in your other house on Lake Ratspooge, on account of you're gonna go there while you do whatever the fuck it is you actually do).

Whatever it is you actually do--oh, yes, that. I'm sure it's terrifically important. Apparently it has something to do with "hedge funds." During a moment of relative quiet, when one of the wheyfaced little dormice came over to do something for you, which was urgent (as it turns out, it's printing out photos of your wretched little grandchildren winning some sports trophy or something), I asked her,

"So, what exactly is a hedge fund, anyway?"

She goes, "It's, well, it's...there's a fund, and we...invest it. --I don't really know; I don't have a financial background either."

Nod. "How long have you been working here?"

"Five years."

But you know the most pathetic part? Not even that these people, like oh so many others, spend the bulk of their lives shuffling papers in the name of they don't even know what for. The really pathetic part is, so clearly, most of these peoples' whole jobs had nothing to do with even the necessary office-grunt work. No; their job was to nurse you, essentially. Because you are Very Very Fucking Important, and nothing says Very Important better than a grown man who can't figure out how to use his own computer, needs constant attention, and throws tantrums whenever things go even slightly not his way. You worthless gob of swine smegma.

And you know something else? I will bet a smallish amount of money that well over half of everything that's wrong with the world, including the creation of the system that supports these soulkilling "businesses" that grease so many wheels and misery (oh yeah: among the charts and reports I printed out was one asking the question we all want to know the answer to: "Who can expect to profit in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?")--I will bet, you cockroach, that something like 70.8% of the world's pointless, stupid and evil activities are done primarily in the service of not bringing down the wrath of bullying assholes like you.

Fear. Your whole building reeked of it. Fear and implosion and dull despair masquerading as insipid perkiness.

So, I'm glad that you were pleased with my work, fuckstick, but I'm glad precisely because I understand what it means about me, and how far I've come: I genuinely didn't care if I pleased your sorry ass or not. I did what I did because I wanted the paycheck; as such, I was able to be pleasant and efficient for the rest of the day. Years ago, it would have been a completely different story. I would have taken your nastiness on board; I would have taken it personally; I would have been devastated.

So, three cheers for actual growth. I may not have climbed too far up the career ladder these past few years. But if all I took from my path was the ability to understand that in the final analysis, assholes like you don't mean shit, no matter how "powerful" you are--goddamit, I'm gonna be just fine.

As for you, m'dear: enjoy your lunches at La Grenouille and your minging little rages. You're gonna die one day, just like the rest of us; if not from a coronary, then something else equally banal, no doubt. Like you and your serfs, I, too, am gonna shuffle off this mortal coil one day. Unlike y'all, I'm alive now.


Howard said...

Oh, man. Thank you for that. Outstandingly brilliant. I have so many acquaintances that put up with this kind of crap and stay there. I'm trying to help one right now get the hell out of one of the homophobic work places I've ever heard tell of.

It's wonderful to hear when people grow. I went through the same thing you did many years ago and felt that same exact calm and realization. I'm lucky to be the assistant to a very liberal, intelligent man (who is not quick on the computer, but at least he asks me to run it); however, quite frankly, I don't think it's all luck. I think if you actually accept the lessons you learn through life and use them to seek out what you need, you will find it.

belledame222 said...

I am starting to think that's right, actually. And (although?) that that's also true on the collective level.

Yeah, I have absolutely no problem with doing administrative gruntwork, at least as a dayjob--shit, that's what the whole industry's based on, and sure, some peoples' jobs may *actually* be important enough that they don't need to learn all the ins and outs of every single Microsoft Offal program--totally fine. As long as they're human about it. Or, at minimum, leave you the fuck alone to get on with it.

But I mean. This guy literally got something like 60 emails a day, many of them having upwards of twenty page-attachments. You do the math. Print it out, bring it to him, he goes through the pile. Because he *can't or won't learn how to use a fucking email program.* Not exactly rocket science, you know? God only knows the convolutions the assistant goes through when he needs to write someone back.

And they're all completely insane there, clearly. i was filling in for the "regular" temp, who in turn was filling in for the longterm assistant, who was in scenic Hawaii (probably her first vacation in like twenty years, I'm just guessing). Of course she has to call to check in. Three times. And the first time, even though, or perhaps because, she knows I'm only there for the day, she has to tell me, and tell me, and *tell* me all the little quirks and tics "he" has, what he likes, what he doesn't like.

There's an enormous blue three-ring-binder book, we're talking like encyclopedia-sized, open on the desk (the whole place was a mess; papers and boxes everywhere). I had been assuming that this was some sort of Group Canon or something. Then thingie's asking me to page through it for some phone number or something, and as it turns out, that *whole entire thing* was something she put together for her stand-in. It probably took her as long as her actual vacation just to collect all that crap. And All The Instructions!! Have!! Big Bold Caps And Exclamation Marks And Underlining!!

I mean, apparently, you know, it's a REALLY important job, like, the whole fucking planet would spin off its axis if a single detail was missed, you know. Jesus wept.

Bitch | Lab said...


I hope those people are paid well for putting up with that dickhead

belledame222 said...

I am thinking that their combined yearly salaries probably might just about pay for a month's worth of mortgage on the "other" house. If that.

KC said...

Why does he need so many copies of information about pen1s 3nlargm3nt?

Lady Aster said...

Beautiful! This made my day. Thank you so much for a refreshing burst of "what we're all thinking while being careful never to tell the bastards". 'Twould be an excellent world if we'd all stand up and tell this to their face all at once.

This is (I think) my first post, so please let me introduce myself. My name is Aster; I'm a post-transgendered sex worker living in San Francisco. I've been reading your blog for a few months and much appreciate the writing you've done on sex-positive and trans issues.

Blessed be!

antiprincess said...

belledame - let's ditch our craptastic office jobs and run away and open a good old fashioned dianic lesbian vegetarian bookstore cafe collective...We'll call it the Blessed Beet.

It would be delicious.

you have summed up why I hate my job (like yours, but a little less so) with a savage lyricism. I could cry.

Angel Incognito said...

Gawd --- it's a shame how much I could relate to this post.


gandhi rules said...

Oh my god, I think I love you. I said I wasn't flirting before but now I am dammit. I can't begin to tell you how cathartic this post was.
Maybe not now but later you simply must send this to him. He'll never get it of course but his underlings will and that's good enough.
You're a condensed writer. I've not seen so much thought and feeling mashed into a story with every sentence having and adding value. There are maybe 50 sentences in this post I was exhilarated by.
Enough pumping your ego, you get what I mean.

EL said...

Oh. My. God.

What an ass.

And I've been in your position enough to know how completely necessary it was to write this!

super des said...

excellent. yes.

I know so many people in this situation that have said "I'm SO gonna tell him off when I leave" and of course nobody does.

This is just as good, if not better, because we all get to hear it as well (even if he doesn't).

belledame222 said...

gr, and others, oh, you know what I did do? there was a little pad of stickie Post-Its, and i wrote little pencilled messages at various points, starting about halfway through.


"This Is Your Life"

"When the Revolution comes, baby..."

"Are we having fun yet??"

"And you may ask yourself: Well? How did I get here?"

"letting the days go by..."

"letting the daaaaays go byyyyy..."

"This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife!"

"What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and loseth his only soul?"

...you get the idea.

belledame222 said...

Welcome, Lady Aster, I've been enjoying your blog as well.

bbuckman said...

Wow! That's a lot of venting for a one day gig.

belledame222 said...

It was a lot of assholery for a one-day gig. And it's not as though this was the first instance of assholery (work-related or otherwise) it has been my mispleasure to be on the receiving end of.

D said...

belladame, are you a prophet?

eponymous said...

Wow. Proves the old adage that the scum rise to the top, doesn't it?

I will agree with your assessment, belledame, that more than half (I'd say 80% in terms of totality) of the major problems in the world i.e. poverty, pollution, availability of water, war, anarchy, corruption, etc. are due to fucknuts like this guy spread liberally throughout financial and governmental institutions throughout the world.

It's a shame that the entire system is set up to pamper and nurse these douchebags because they rapaciously make money for other douchebags without this guy's level of asshattery.

He's a product of a system designed by sociopaths who probably enjoy drinking their scotch and smoking their Cuban cigars together. It's no wonder he's successful.

midwesterntransport said...

Girlfriend says:
"I cannot be gracious in the face of assholitry."

Belledame, I would give my left teeth (the whole left side, see) to be able to write the way that you do. And to do it so beautifully about corporate fuckwads.

No one knows what a freakin' hedge fund is.

Oh, and I have absolutely been at the shit end of the stick with a boss, though no one that bad. I worked for eight months at a law firm as the assistant of the director of operations, who Ruled Through Terror. she was dreadful, everybody hated her, she's been through four assistants since i left there two years ago, and it was just fucking miserable.

and the money? not so much. the woman who worked there before me was making 28 grand a year, which as we all know is not so grand in the buroughs. meanwhile, the attorneys were billing something like 400 an hour for their services.

it was fucking ridiculous. and yeah, the people who make a shitload of money generally don't pay the folks who help them diddly-squat.

brava you for setting a boundary and stickin' to it!

p.s.if you want a rec. to my temp agency, you just let me know.

eponymous said...

Wow. Proves the old adage that the scum rise to the top, doesn't it?

I will agree with your assessment, belledame, that more than half (I'd say 80% in terms of totality) of the major problems in the world i.e. poverty, pollution, availability of water, war, anarchy, corruption, etc. are due to fucknuts like this guy spread liberally throughout financial and governmental institutions throughout the world.

It's a shame that the entire system is set up to pamper and nurse these douchebags because they rapaciously make money for other douchebags without this guy's level of asshattery.

He's a product of a system designed by sociopaths who probably enjoy drinking their scotch and smoking their Cuban cigars together. It's no wonder he's successful.

belledame222 said...

mwt: thanks, I would love one. And I still mean to get back to you wrt the drama school business. lemme get my shit together and contact you either lj or Kevin's groupblog (I just joined).

on the whole, this agency's been pretty good (at least they send me out at all, which is more than I can say for the other half-dozen agencies I'm currently signed at). in fact I really enjoyed the last couple of assignments. Just, you know, world's fulla assholes, and especially the corporate world. I got one. I'm sure there'll be others.

belledame222 said...

Well, epon (and others) and you wanna know cause why? Because they have techniques, tried and true, the professional bullies/personality disordered do; and not enough people understand how it works. That's my going theory, at the moment.

I was grimly satisfied but not at all surprised when Chairman Fuckwit ushered "someone from outside" into his office, and I had to interrupt him to see if he could take a phone call. Every other time during the day that I had to do that (I mean, after the original blow-up), he was brusque to the point of rudeness, although as the day wore on he did seem to warm up to me in his creep fuckstick way. But when The Stranger Whom We Must Impress was there? Big, sickly-sweet smile. "Oh *thank* you! Tell (Mr. Gobshite) I'll get right back to him." As they were going out, I hear Miz Important Guest twittering about what a "gentleman" he was; he positively oozed. it was to vomit.

fastlad said...

How exhilarating that was. Brava diva.

La Gringa said...

No more coffee for you!

belledame222 said...

frighteningly enough, I never touch the stuff and I'm STILL like this...

Anthony Kennerson said...

Right on, Belle!!!

It's asshats like that that make me want to burn the place down...but I'd rather have the employees take it over from him and run it more humanely. It's the libertarian socialist in me, you know.



belledame222 said...

i got the impression that the employees in that particular place, or at any rate the assistant (who was the only one who actually seemed to know what the hell he *did*), had thoroughly partaken of the Kool-Aid.

and I *still* don't know what the flying fuck a hedge fund is, but now I'm thinking: it can't be good.

Ancrene Wiseass said...

That was awesome.

Reminds me of working for a "difficult" temp-agency customer for a week some years back. This guy was a class-A jerkwad, and everyone who had to work with him was terrified of him. Like the office you described, the entire floor reeked of the fear this guy's tantrums provoked. The temp agency told me the last person assigned to him had left crying after half a day.

Aaaanyway, about two days in, he yelled at me in front of everyone for not doing something according to the arcane and unspoken guidelines he'd devised for his insanely anal-retentive article-filing system.

I looked at him calmly while he screamed for a few minutes. When he finally stopped for breath, I simply said, "Okay, thank you for telling me that. If you'd given me those directions before, I would have done it correctly the first time. And I will do it correctly from now on."

He looked thunderstruck and wandered off. The employees around me were completely at a loss: apparently, he usually went on like that for a good half-hour.

He mostly ignored me for the rest of my assignment, which was just fine with me. Bullies don't know what to do with themselves when people are unimpressed with their horseshit.

belledame222 said...


r@d@r said...

you wanna know something funny? i worked for the "really nice guy, beloved father figure etc." version of the same boss - no abuse, but essentially the same job - and it was just as soul killing. thanks for reinforcing that quitting after four years was the right decision.

Winter said...

Oh my. I can hardly breathe now and I will stop whingeing about my work forthwith. Those poor sods. I am very lucky.

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