This MM, I reflect on an uncomfortable encounter with my boss at my most recent position.
It was some time around the inauguration of President Obama, and I was eating my lunch alone in the break room. It was only my boss and I in the office that day, and he was on the phone when I announced my intent to eat "lunch now" both in the common area and via email. I didn't want to eat lunch with him; he wasn't really my favorite person, and to boot, my fake smile was in the shop. So, I sat down with my toasted turkey and swiss cheese sandwich on sufficiently hot-sauced Fiber One bread (no, it's really good!) and breathed a sigh of relief.
The break room was so pleasant when it was just my turkey sandwich and me. The mini fridge circa 1992 gave off a pleasant hum, the sink a disfunctional trickle. The K-cup machine, for once, was silent. With a warm bite of sandwich in my mouth, I closed my eyes, thankful that this moment of solitude was not lost somewhere in the ubsurdity of the Place Games. A small sigh escaped my lips.
Ruining everything, my boss entered. The melody and harmony of the fridge and sink, like small forrest animals, sensed his presence and scampered away, out of earshot. He turned on the K-cup machine and started to brew his ninth cup of terrible coffee. My sandwich and I flinched at the incessant "BWOONNNNNNN" of the K-cup hulk as it heated the water. Solitude over. I donned the fakest of fake smiles as he sat down with a cold piece of pizza.
As a side note, maybe this makes me a communist or something, but I can't do cold pizza. I will gladly wait the minute and a half for the toaster oven to return it to its former glory, because cold, pizza tastes mushy and stupid. There, I said it.
My boss added to the chorus of ugly sounds by chewing his cold piece of nasty rather loudly. I felt like I would throw up. But then it got even worse: He decided to start a conversation.
Boss, holding up the newspaper, a droopy looking onion dripping off his chin: Oh look the Obamas are on the front page. That was a great innauguration. (or something to that effect -- I don't remember; I was distracted by the onion as it tried to escape his face)
Me: Oh yeah, it really was.
And then it hit me in the face like...like...like a cold, droopy onion...Boss: Isn't Michelle Obama HOT?
I don't remember what I said; I think I might have blacked out.
He didn't say anything about the good stuff she's done already, what she stands for, nothing. I hadn't expected him to, and I don't know if that conversation would have been appropriate in the workplace either. But the road he went down was definitely not a road I wanted to travel with my boss!
I probably said something like "You have onion on your chin" to change the subject, followed by "oh, gotta go; I have a call in a few minutes." I'll let you in on a secret: I never had a call.
Lessons I learned that day:
- When it was only Mr. Droopy Onion Chin and myself, I would henceforth eat my lunch in my own office.
- The topic of Michelle Obama's hotness is a good one to bring up at parties. I find there are equal numbers in the hot and not-hot camps. If there is a dull moment at a party or someone has just asked you "What do you do?" and you're unemployed, try bringing this up.