I Kind of Cussed Out My Boss
I was feeling all young and hip today when I walked in the office, until Hipster Andie told me this:
“We just received a loan application for a couple born in the ‘90s.”
I don’t feel so young anymore.
Okay folks, I told you there are a lot of shenanigans going on here in the office. Some Band-Aid ripping, if you will. And while I’ll roll out more details in the coming weeks, for now, I have a confession.
I kind of cussed out my boss.
Here’s what happened. Two weeks ago, my Boss James Beaver sent me a text reading “Can you meet me for lunch tomorrow? 11:15? Please don’t mention this to anyone else in the branch.” And when I texted that yes, I could meet him, he suggested an Italian restaurant in a warehouse district near the interstate. Seriously.
I pondered the text and deducted that James had asked me to lunch because either he is a meth dealer looking to score a new buyer (who asks someone to lunch at a warehouse?), or so that he could gently let me go.
I thought I was losing my job, people.
Let me fill you in on something. Ever since I’ve been working for James and Chad, they’ve noticed that I’m not terribly useful when it comes to business, but I am useful when they need a listening ear. With that, prior to receiving this text, I had a good idea that some Band-Aid ripping was about to be happening in the office. I also knew that with this Band-Aid ripping, it might be tricky to keep me around.
All that night I tossed and turned over what life would be like without this gig that I love so much. I thought of all you readers and hoped you’d understand when I wrote my final post. Then I secretly hoped Ellen Degeneres would hear about it and hire me to write for her instead.
Before leaving for the lunch the next day, Benson, my husband, called me, telling me that we’d be fine, that I could use this time to work on my book and that it was going to be okay. He told me he loved me. I teared up and told him I love him too, and hung up, prepared to lose my job.
So at 11:15 two Thursdays ago, I walked into a restaurant in a warehouse with shaky legs and my heart pounding roughly a third faster than usual, ready to face my fate. But then something odd happened. I saw Soon-to-be-Senior Mortgage Banker Britt, Hollywood Insider Gobe, Straight-Shooter Shane and a few other co-workers sitting around a table right in the middle of the restaurant. Huh?
My rapid-fire thoughts:
Oh no, my co-workers decided to eat here and now they’ll know I had a secret meeting planned with James. Should I walk out?
No wait, they look like they’re expecting me. But it’s not my birthday, so this isn’t a surprise party. Employee appreciation surprise lunch? Nah, I don’t do enough to warrant appreciation.
Am I on a reality show? Are they going to fire me on TV?
That’s when I noticed James at the same table. He caught my eye and jovially waved me over. “Just messin’ around with you, Ledbetter. It’s a team lunch!”
And so, dear readers, I lost it.
I had so much emotion building up to that lunch, and it had to go somewhere.
As James pulled me in for a “Isn’t this funny!” side-hug, I said it. Cried it, actually, with real tears right in the middle of a family friendly Italian restaurant filled with lunch diners…
“I THOUGHT I WAS ABOUT TO LOSE MY F@#%ing JOB!”
James’ face quickly transitioned from a smile to complete panic/fear/sorrow/remorse/pity.
V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will dropped his fork. Hollywood Insider Gobe choked on her water.
I continued to sob.
And it was bad, y’all.
“Benson’s praying for me right now!” I wailed, pouring a little more drama onto the already tense situation.
“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry! I’m SO sorry,” James begged.
“Man, I’m so glad I’m not you right now,” V-Shaped Mortgage Banker Will quipped to James after picking his fork back up, clearly feeling no need to ease the situation for our boss.
I picked up my water glass and the ice clinked around due to my shaking hands, feeling only slightly awkward about snottily crying in front of my co-workers.
“I’m so sorry. I’m SO sorry. I’m SO SORRY!” James continued while I cried and sipped my water. “We actually do have some business to discuss, but the text was just a joke. I’m so sorry.”
I considered leaving with a theatrical exit, storming out with an “I QUIT!” but thought against it. I knew I’d regret it, and besides, I like Italian food and didn’t want to give up a free lunch. I also considered sticking it to the man by ordering the lamb since it was the most expensive thing on the menu, but got the marinara pasta instead.
Pastor Christi showed up a few minutes later, instantly putting her hand on my shoulder to comfort me, but I had to shake her off, knowing that any tenderness would only make me cry harder. “I thought that picture you put on Facebook of your dog was so funny,” she offered instead.
That Pastor Christi. She knows just what to say. So we talked about my dog and I agreed it was a really funny picture, and I calmed down a bit.
And so we ate, and James talked to the team and told us of some changes that were to come and apologized for his heinous joke again and told us it was going to be okay.
A few hours after the lunch, James called me to really apologize. By that time I was ready to forgive him, saying, “I haven’t said the f-word in over a decade, James!” He laughed and told me it’d only been ten minutes for him. We hung up with me saying, “We’re good,” and I meant it.
So here’s the thing, dear readers. I still have a job. Things have been kind of nuts here for the past two weeks, and my Boss James made a really bad joke that went terribly wrong.
But here’s the other thing. In the past two weeks James has worked non-stop and done everything he can despite the transition we’re going through (which I’ll talk about in the coming weeks) to make sure we’re all okay. The guy cares so much about all of us.
And we’re standing behind him.
Like I said, people talk to me in this office, and the only thing I consistently heard in the past two weeks (other than “I can’t believe you said the F-word!”) is that everybody is really glad to have James as a boss.
“He’s doing us right,” is what they’ve said.
So stay tuned, dear readers. We’re all excited about what the coming months look like, and from what I’ve heard, I’m about to score a whole slew of new people to
make fun of write about. Good things to come, folks. Good things to come.
Now, off to wash my mouth out with soap.
you are so awesome! and yes that is still one of the highlights of recent times for sure.
Christina, Make sure you use Lifeboy! Rodney
Rodney, I used Olay.
Always here to talk about funny dog pics and lighten the mood. Love you, JTA!
You saved the day, Christi.
I’d say you were within your rights to react the way you did. I’ll go further and say James and Chad are over-due for some soul-searching about how they treat their female employees. It’s hard to imagine a professional scenario in which this sort of “joke” on people under them would be considered funny. It is other people’s anxiety and fear truly funny to them? If someone tried this stunt in an academic setting, they’d be in the president’s office within hours. They’re lucky you’re not the suing type, because I’m pretty sure a lawyer could make a case that this was way out of bounds, possibly sexual harassment. Maybe I’m over-reacting, but not happy with James right now. Ask him how hilarious it would be if a male superior tried this with his daughter/wife/sister, reduced her to tears, and scared the crap out of her.
I’m going to save my sue card for a rainy day.
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Good idea. It’s possible I over-reacted. I was just really mad on your behalf. Most guys have done dumb stuff we thought would be funny but ended up hurting people’s feelings. Tell James I’m considering giving him a pass this time, and I hope he learned from it.
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