She’s at it again.

Yes, her, who else?

(In case you don’t know, the chain of command in the department store where I work is that I’m the lowly administrative assistant, my manager is the office/business manager, and her manager, the boss, is the store manager. My manager, for some inexplicable reason, is best friends with the boss. However, she is not like her at all, i.e., she’s a decent human being.)

(Someday I’m going to ask my manager why in the HELL she’s friends with her.)

So, at work there’s a bit of a foul language problem. One day, my manager vented to the boss that she’s tired of hearing the bad language all day long. There are a lot of F-bombs thrown around and the taking of the Lord’s name in vain. My manager is a born-again Christian and doesn’t take kindly to it. I don’t either.

Now, all of us are on very casual, borderline unprofessional terms. That’s why people feel so comfortable cursing. I certainly say my fair share of bad words. My manager is the only one who tries to stay above it. Therefore, instead of doing the normal thing and telling my manager that she should just tell the offending parties that she doesn’t like it, my boss turns it into a federal case and says she should serve them official notice about her offense blah blah blah. But she promised she wouldn’t say anything.

Right after that, at a meeting she brings up the language issue and looks right at my manager. Then right after that, at another meeting, she lets out her own curse word (when confronted with the reality that managing the store is actually her job) and says to my manager, “Oh, I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t offend you.”

My manager kicked herself because she knows she can’t tell the boss anything without her opening her mouth and making things awkward for everyone. She worries the others probably think she was complaining about them deliberately.

But she shouldn’t worry so much–the boss has her covered.

Today, another manager–one who has a life-long love affair with the F-word–whom I am particularly close with, inquired if she could ask me a question and if I would be completely honest. I said yes, as long as the question wasn’t embarrassing.

She begins by saying that she trusts me, that she hopes I trust her, and that she hopes I feel I could say something to her if I felt I needed to. So I said yes, of course.

Did I complain to the boss about her language?

I couldn’t do anything but laugh. I wouldn’t sell out my worst enemy to the boss, let alone a friend. But that just goes to show how sick she is–she made up a total blatant lie, just to hurt this person by making her believe I would complain about her behind her back and get her in trouble, especially when she’s already always in trouble. To her credit, she called the boss a liar before we even spoke.

The lie was also useless because even if she had wanted to cover for her friend, my manager, it was a little late because she had already outed her. Not to mention the fact my manager would never have me thrown under the bus–I know she has defended me on many an occasion.

If you really need to lie–you really, really need to, it’s your lifeblood–why not just tell a white lie–“Hey guys, I’ve been hearing a lot of bad words lately, could you please tone it down because you don’t know who’s listening?” But that would take the fun of pitting people against each other out of it.

It’s not about the language issue–I really don’t care about curse words, except for using JC, as long as we’re not anywhere near customers or new employees. It’s the lying about someone in order to drive a wedge and destroy trust between people. And it’s even worse with the second manager in question because she is very sensitive and emotional, and places a very high premium on trust.

Incidentally, the boss must have blamed me to another manager as well, as he apologized to me for all his uses of JC, although that didn’t stop him from saying it five minutes later. Because I’m clearly religious, it’s plausible I complained about him too. But I certainly wouldn’t complain about someone unless I first asked them kindly not to do it around me and they harassed me on purpose. Which is not at all the case in our situation–none of us behaves like that. There’s only one deliberately cruel person in the equation here.

71 thoughts on “She’s at it again.

  1. Ruh roooh! I honestly believe there is no room for foul language and pettiness among the leadership/managers. They should be setting a good example. Okay, I’m a dinosaur. Our job as managers is to make sure our employees are well taken care of and in return we hope their wonderful mood makes for a productive business. In reality, most often any group of people left improperly supervised will resort to illicit sex, drugs, alcohol, games of Vice, graft, and corruption. This should not be feared but accepted as normal bipedal hominid behaviors, which are counter productive. So, we must rise above mediocrity and joust with the windmills of professionalism and ethical behavior. Definitely not fun, but when earnings are high, employees should get raises and bonuses or some other benefit from their hard work. I wonder if this makes me an idealist instead of pragmatic πŸ€”

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I think your assessment of anti-PC is correct, Robin. I embarrass myself when I forget to filter my attempts at humor. I’m forever warped by my early experiences working minimum wage jobs where the above was rampant. I did notice that the management was usually more discrete in their activities while the peasantry was living loud and proud. I honestly thought that was what life was all about. Then I grew up.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I know Hetty is serious but my remembrances of my late teens and early 20’s come flooding back and now to me it’s funny because it’s long over with. It’s no wonder I’m eccentric and warped. I lived during interesting times.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. OMV your response has me in stiches…particularly the degenerating to sex, drugs alcohol, games of vice, graft and corruption part…you sound like a student of human nature…ROFLMAO!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Phil! Yes indeed. I was sent packing on several occasions for a single mistake not made out of carelessness but not knowing. It made me a get r’ done dude with attention to detail. No regrets, just a lot of memories.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I had a job for a day once. As a grunt in a trophy wife’s frame shop. You know, give her something to do. I think I mentioned that to the other guy who worked there. I showed up on day two and her dry cleaned husband stepped out of his Jag an$ handed me a check. For one day. I think I said WTF and he said Get lost. And get a haircut. Moral – Trust no one with your observations of management.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. That was a interesting experience, Phil. I am certain the lesson learned is one we all should take to heart. All of the Emperors are naked and one should never mention it while in the palace.

            Liked by 2 people

      1. I think this is just normal business culture these day. You can have rock solid character and you don’t have to share if you don’t want to. The cursing is everywhere these days. I hear kids dropping the F-bomb on their mother at the store and she goes along like that’s little Lord Fartanoy’s normal vocabulary. On the bright side, if we have hit rock bottom it won’t get much worse.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree. The stirring up of distrust for no reason is definitely the bigger issue. It points at deeper issues with the Boss’s concepts of loyalty, trust, and self preservation.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. What I got out of this is that your boss set people against each other instead of solving the problem.

    I mean she didn’t even needed to tell anyone that someone is complaining about the cursing, she could have just made some excuse of how customers in the stores see us as unprofessional or some other bullshit. (Sorry.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “But that would take the fun of pitting people against each other out of it.” Ya see, this is the key phrase right here. You trap people in an environment long enough, and this seems to be the “go-to” pastime. Fuckin’ with each other. Hype stated it clearly. You gotta live it to believe it tho. If you’re trapped…ya gotta play…’cause it’s fuck or be fucked. Eat or be eaten. You won’t survive otherwise, and you cannot “educate” the out of this behavior. I hate it…particularly as an “empath”, but it’s never too late to embrace it and beat ’em at their own game so they don’t fuck with you. [Jiminy Crickets! -edit Hetty’s :)]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yours was the first JC πŸ† so I took the liberty of editing. I thought someone else would do it. Anyways, there’s oddly no need for an eat-or-be-eaten attitude. Her plans to cause division never work because everyone knows what she does (and believe me this is only my story of the week, similar scenarios happened to other people in different contexts). Maybe she’s a genius at reverse psychology, because we are unified through shared suffering and gain more trust among each other because we have to talk stuff out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oof. Let’s bring back public execution. If the conservatives have it their way, I’m sure they’d treat it like a picnic. Swearing in public would become a capital offense. And there should be blood, decapitation would be nice. Drawn and quartered even better. Bloodless execution doesn’t have the thrill. Although, being pushed off a really high cliff might be fun for Republicans to watch. Until, of course, they’re watching their own kind fall. “Well, you voted for execution for attempted abortion. And the police found your daughter in an uncompromising state. Plus she cursed like a sailor when she was arrested. And that alone is cause for elimination. Says so right here in the New Republic Manifesto.”

    Like

      1. “a” word? As in Anonymole, you’re an asshole. Or, Anonymole this is not another one of your stories regarding the apocalypse. Or Anonymole, your asinine assumptions apply absolutely anywhere but here.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I often wonder if the complainers aren’t reveling in their misery and wallowing in their roles as innocent victims. For a while I ran 19 music stores. With musicians, not the church lady. It’s simple, really. Enter into the interaction beige, find out who you’re talking to. If they’re shittin an fuckin and goddammit motherfuckerin, join in or abstain, it’s your personal call. But if you’re in the game, judge not…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not quite sure I follow. There weren’t multiple complainers, only one, and she didn’t “officially” complain, only vented off-the-record and a federal case was created. Only one person revels in misery, and that’s in the misery of others.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. No no. I figured it was the boss. But I think β€œwe” give these people more credit than they’re due. That is their behaviors are second nature and subconsciously applied rather than planned. It’s how their psychology works.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Because it’s painfully obvious how few do. β€œPack” behavior is an observable, as you know, and predictable. Put a dozen disparate people in a room and you end up with leaders, connivers, followers, sycophants, slackers, rebels, independents, arguers and average go along to get alongs. I’ve seen it from focus groups, church committees to real and mock juries. The question of nature or nurture is the one that needs to be answered.

                Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t judge because I have a victim mentality. But I’d rather be the victim than be the one-upper. As irritating as victims are, the one-uppers are worse. You know the type. In every single story they bore you with, they got one over on somebody else.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Bore you with is key. You work in retail, and not to sound snobbyu….but you’re surrounded by a particular demographic that may not be worth having a conversation with…I’ll just leave this hanging here.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You know, I wasn’t thinking primarily of the retail demographic, although I don’t always have a lot in common with them in my personal life. I usually meet the one-uppers outside of work. They are just as common, perhaps more so, in the upper echelons I think.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. No no. It’s an epidemic. Like my brother in law, the internet equivalent of the guy laughing too loud and too often at the party. If a short line of air or weak simile gets ROTFLMAO, what happens when something is really funny? Like awesome. If humdrum jimmy’s not really a bicycle trick is awesome, what’s really awesome?

            Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m pretty neutral on workplace cursing culture. Like I’ve worked at places where everyone, higher ups included, cursed like sailors, and others where we were more like Victorian ladies and where my direct report looked at me strangely when I accidentally said crap. I’m fine pretty much either way, it takes a lot to offend me, and I’m not convinced that either full-on cursing, moderate cursing, or little-to-no cursing is the thing that makes a massive difference in workplace culture. But I’m with you that your boss went about this in the worst possible way. How hard is it to say “in order to make our workplace culture more inclusive, comfortable, and professional for employees and customers, I’ve decided that we should make an effort to reduce the frequency of cursing around here. We’re all human and no one will be written up, but a conscious effort would be appreciated” – like, how hard is it to say this?

    Out of curiosity, how’s your boss’s blog going? Wasn’t she going to start a blog? I’m so curious

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t care too much about bad words, only the name-in-vain stuff. I don’t like vulgar or dirty things though but luckily people stay far away from that for the most part unless it’s a whispered joke they can’t resist. As far the boss’s blog–who knows? She’s very lazy so I’m sure she’s done nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Cursing generally has no content of its own. I think most of the time, any “bad” word can be replaced with a milder version and no intent or meaning is lost, and as that’s true, the actual bad word is really not bad. Yeah I just read that and I’m not sure it makes sense. Anyway, I think it’s ridiculous when “fucking” is replaced with “flipping” or “effing” or anything similar. It just proves that the original word is not that bad. The title of the movie, The Spy Who Shagged Me proves my point, as it was “obscene” in Great Britain, I understand, but somehow OK here in the U.S. I mean, what’s going on here?
    I can’t tell if I’ve had too much coffee, or not enough coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha that’s a good point about using corny euphemisms for the curse words. Better just to find a different adjective altogether. I once heard it said that “Cursing is the attempt of the feeble mind to express itself.”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Also, I want to add, your descriptions of your manager make it sound like she is not well suited for any job where she has subordinates. That she is there is the fault of the big boss. None of these people are thinking about the quality of the work life, which is a shame, even though I understand the primary purpose here is to make money. The company I worked for for thirty years was exactly the same way–if you got a good manager who was actually good at managing people, it was just a fluke. Most of them were nothing more than warm bodies who facilitated good index numbers for their department. I doubt I would have made a good manager using either of these criteria, but at least when I began my lowly work for the day, I knew what I was doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately her boss is even worse than she is. In the grand scheme of things, she’s very small potatoes. We have some good sales managers but they usually go on medical leave and then quit because they can’t take it anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

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