The Denial Chronicles...

Once upon a time, I had a great job, but the pay was less than stellar, so I decided to make a move back into corporate Canada (not quite as exciting sounding as corporate America huh?). I guess you could say I “sold out to the man”. It just so happened; the man looked exactly like George Lucas. During my interview process with “George”, he was charming, witty and intelligent. He knew the right things to say and obviously knew how to bullshit with a skill that blinded me. I took the job and with it, gained a great salary.

It's true - if something seems too good to be true – it is!

The George Lucas look-a-like with “denial” disease challenged my willingness to live on a daily basis. This man might have had it together at one time in his life, but he certainly forgot where he put it. I realize that any form of dementia is not a joking matter and should not be taken lightly; however if not for laughing about it, I would of went insane.

At first, I suspected this gentleman was simply indecisive or perhaps he just lost his competitive edge and did not want to admit it was time for him to be put out to pasture. Over time however; it became apparent that there was something else going on – the man was a coward.

In our daily team meetings, I would be tasked with a client and file and instructed on how to proceed from Mr. Lucas. By the time or team meeting the next day, he would completely deny his instructions the day before and proceed to berate me on how I wasn’t “getting it”. The conversation would begin by me stating, “Excuse me sir, but we had this discussion yesterday and that is exactly what you told me to do.” I would even read him back the notes I jotted down. “No, that’s not what I said, you are obviously confused.” I would take a deep breath, count to ten and think to myself, “Excuse me, you dumb-shit, there are two freaking people in this room that heard exactly the same thing, but they are too gutless to come to my rescue and back me up!”

My witnesses were two co-workers on my “team”; however my team members were not team players. Never once did they throw themselves in front of the oncoming bus, but instead chose to be spineless. Apparently, they were well versed in the meaning of self-preservation. I, on the other hand, firmly believe that if I work hard and do the right thing, there is no need to sell others down the river. Well, I didn’t last long at that law firm - six months to be exact.

My self-destructive demise began on a sunny autumn morning, immediately after our daily team meeting and another session of being told “Sharman, you must be confused. I would never tell you to proceed in that fashion. It just doesn’t make sense.” On this particular day, I didn’t see the point in counting to ten. Counting to 100 wouldn’t help either. I was determined that his behavior would be confronted once and for all – regardless of the consequences. Once my team members slithered from his office, I calmly closed his door and asked whether he was off his medication and why he assumed I was an idiot (true story). This was met by a look of disbelief, but I didn’t bother to stop there. “Why exactly was I hired? Why do I bother getting out of bed in the morning? Why are you paying me an overly generous salary, when all I do sit on my ass all day and do nothing, except put up with your dementia?”

With the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders, I didn’t bother to wait for his response. I turned on my heels, marched out of his office and slammed his door behind me. I returned to my office, grabbed my purse and left for the day. That was the best I had felt in a long time. I would address the fallout tomorrow, provided he remembered what just happened. Today, I didn’t care.

That man couldn’t remember where he parked his car in the morning, or what instructions he provided to his employees, but he was able to remember to instruct human resources to dismiss me; however I’m sure that feat was accomplished as a result of his office being directly beside the Manager of HR’s and within “short term memory” distance. I suspect that within hours after my removal, Mr. Lucas was wandering the halls, wondering where I went.

Although the initial shock of being unemployed for the first time in my life knocked the wind from my lungs, I gained a sense of fulfillment. With my breaking point determined and the worst job of my life (to date) behind me, I realized that I did not belong in a world where I was expected to be seen and not heard, or where it was o.k. for someone else to take credit for your work and where shallowness and self-absorption is completely acceptable, as long as you look damn fine doing it. “Screw them. I refused to sell out. The unemployment line would be by next stop.” It turned out that I would have three months to figure out my next move.

I've learned - that no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.


Brian Miller said…
you know, that last line sums it up nicely...and so true. senseless...some people...
Was this the idiot from Dallas? That's hilarious though :)
K13 said…
I admire you. I have had one, if not, two situations in which I wish I had walked out on my employer. Major work vent on my blog today too!!
@Brian - Thanks. I believe in it.

@SA - Not the idiot from Dallas. It's hard to believe I've worked for so many douches.

@K13 - I couldn't believe I walked out either. It was very liberating. I knew I would be fired regardless and eventually, so it didn't really matter at that point.
Barry said…
Crazy making bosses are enormously destructive.

Your good to be free of him, although the financial cost was high.
@Barry - Thanks for visiting my blog. I totally agree - he was enormously destructive to my sanity and self-esteem.
Gavin said…
All I can say is thank goodness I never had a boss like him. XD

"I've learned - that no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves get farther in life."

That line is so true. It's a pity that a lot of people never realize that sooner.
Hooray!!! Life is too short. When handed the key to your "jail cell", it's good to liberate yourself. Corporate Canada and Corporate America both translate the same (bullsh** surrounded by red tape and acronyms). But... I'm a prisioner to the medical benifits-- grrrrrr.
Wow, very brave move. I am so curious, when did you find out they were dismissing you? Did they let you return to the office or call you at home. Those great lines you gave him must have been brewing for some time.
Mama Zen said…
Perfect! And, bravo!

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