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.