Did we *really* make the baby Jesus cry?

How I miss the days when Caterwauling used to focus on surviving one’s career, but we can still revisit relevant topics. Just without bitching about the Town Crier who acccosted me in the bathroom stall and tried to accost my pregnant friend and who still works there and we don’t. Go figure!

But this article reminded me of a job long before that wacky-ass place:

Wise Words for Getting Ahead in Your Career by Ben Stein

Don’t Work for Insane People

“Yes, you will have people who yell at you, demean your abilities, or boss you around even though you’re a lot smarter than they are. But that’s totally normal. That’s called “life in the workplace.” Expect it, and roll with the punches.

“But if a boss calls you a racial epithet, casts slurs on your family, touches you inappropriately, or screams at you and calls you at home to yell at you over something you did or didn’t do at work, tell him politely that you don’t want such treatment. And if it persists, then quit. Life is short. It’s far too short to waste working for someone who’s mentally sick enough to think he owns your soul and that you have no dignity just because he gives you a paycheck.

“You’ll find this kind of person extremely frequently here in Hollywood: Little Caesars, little Napoleons, little dictators who will treat you like a slave. There are a great many sick people here with serious rage problems. If one of them is your boss, politely but firmly take your leave. A boss who treats you with respect means fewer sleepless nights and a lot more possibility for making a name for yourself.”

Hoo boy, do I have a story about THAT subject!

I won’t regale you with my first experiences of anxiety and insanity thanks to the she-dictator, but I will tell you a story about the lovely, lovely gal I worked with who also got nailed with the verbal onslaught of brimstone at all hours of the fucking day and night.

We were forced to carry those Nokia walkie-talkie cell phone hated godawful things that tethered us to the office 24/7. Meaning, the Directrix had a direct line to us no matter where we are or what we were doing. (During the rare hours I wasn’t at work, I was at the bar. Usually with colleagues.) Anyway, my dear respected colleague was at church. And I guess she was all pumped up after singing and dancing and being uplifted and stuff, and she certainly felt Jesus in her blood.

But then, she heard Jesus calling her when she was outside.

She was perplexed — she kept hearing her name over and over again. And she went from buoyant to panicked. Was Jesus calling her to come home?

She freaked out and was running around the church grounds, trying to get closer to the voice — anything to decipher the message He surely had for her.

After awhile of this, she decided to reach into her purse to call her husband. And the voice? Was coming from her purse. Directrix from Hades was using the intercom WHILE SHE WAS AT CHURCH to ream her out for some decision she’d made on Tuesday. Tuesday!

So yeah, my friend was facing her judgment day, but from a far less gracious being. Grr.

Anyway, the story’s funny because she thought it was her Lord and Savior and it was really Satan’s Handmaiden paging her. 😉 But that’s the life we lived. We were on constant Red Alert, waiting to be bitched at for some decision we were supposedly empowered to make yet because Satan Incarnate hadn’t made the decision herself, we were fair game for her wrath that, simply, she couldn’t do everything herself.

And our field was a fast-paced one. Lives were at stake. Sometimes you had to dispatch your staff for a 2 a.m. emergency. But those times were actually pretty rare, but when you did have to make decisions, you didn’t have time to call a fucking summit. And you were equally reamed for screwing up something major as you were for choosing a typeface for a memo that she didn’t like. Everyone was fair game.

In any event, just that brief passage from Ben Stein’s article had me in a fit of giggles, thanking God every day that I survived that place. And my colleagues who stayed? Have various incarnations of anxiety conditions and high blood pressure, and every one of them who went on to have a baby ended up with a troublesome pregnancy and/or something not quite right about the child. That’s how insane it was to work there.

I learned a lot, don’t get me wrong. I couldn’t have had a better education on leadership and management and multi-tasking and sampling every alcoholic beverage known to man being mission-driven, but god damn, I learned more about what NEVER to do than anything else. I swear, that woman makes the baby Jesus weep daily, and He wasn’t alone in that!

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