When you find what you were never searching for...

Outside Myself

Outside Myself
West Coast Body, East Coast Heart, California,
January 19
Don't even have to knock...come on in.
I am now 47 and perfectly OK with that. I've been a mom for over 14 years now. I live a rather simple yet difficult life of trying to make sure my daughters are polite, well-educated and know they are loved beyond question. I do my best to give my family whatever they need. And I'm trying to take care of myself. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I am infinitely trying to make people happy, make people laugh, make people feel good about themselves. I compliment often, but only with sincerity. I spend way too much time thinking about what might be the "right" thing to do in any given situation. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx This is a personal journey for me. I have grown in ways I didn't know were possible. AND AN UPDATE: Don't forget your worth. This speaks to everyone, not just me. xoxoxo ~~~~ And thx, B. My heart was beginning to thaw but your beautiful friendship has melted it. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx FURTHER UPDATE: - B, darling, you have brought me love and peace. You sent the words, "Be gentle with yourself." I am able to do so only because you have been gentle with my heart. I love you, soul mate.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And now, it's been 18 months... So incredible to recall where I was and where your love has taken me...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And now, two years have passed since those first simple PMs...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now, three...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now FIVE!!! :-)


FEBRUARY 23, 2012 1:38PM


Rate: 9 Flag

I know, I know - - get in line!

Is it really too much to ask for, though?

I have worked in a start-up biomedical devices company as the third person hired and took care of everything from office equipment to HR to supporting the CEO.  I really liked my boss, and the company grew but eventually floundered and the Board of Directors fired him.  I became what I called "The Executive Assistant to the Empty Office on Your Right."

I worked for the CEO of a $6 billion company who was a heavily-politically-connected guy, and he gave me the assignment of drafting a letter to go out to all of his contacts, indicating why they should vote for a certain presidential canidate whom I despised.  That boss walked by my desk every single morning and never said hello to me.  I also once received an inter-office envelope for him marked "Confidential" but as an EA, I had always opened any piece of mail for all of my previous bosses.  I learned my lesson there, though.....there were pictures of a nude woman in the envelope!  Ack!  He also had me send flowers to his girlfriend constantly......and telling me to never let his wife see his bank statements. 

Seriously, I left after three months.


That was a looong time ago, though.

My last job (at a pharmaceutical company), I loved.  I was brought on as a temp in a newly-created position, but considering the fact that I was supporting an entire floor of people - 63, to be exact! - I could tell that if I did a great job, they would keep that position and hopefully hire me permanently.  (This was when I was soooooo MIA a year ago.  I was crazy-busy supporting all of those people!!)  Well, after four months they did tell me that they would be offering me the job and the VP of HR gave me a salary range with a $10,000/year swing, saying they'd be giving me an offer letter the next week.  A $10k swing was huge and I'd never had that kind of scenario going into a new job - I always knew what the salary would be.  But - that was the way they were doing it, so I played along.

You know you shoot for the high end, but expect to land in the middle, right?  Well, the very next week, I met with the VP of HR who handed me the letter.  He didn't offer me the high end.  And he didn't offer me the middle.  Guesss what?  He didn't even offer me the LOW end!  He offered me $5,000 below the low!!  A $15,000/year swing!!  And it was literally less than I had been making as a contractor there!

I was SO disappointed, but since I had no health insurance, I had to accept the position for the benefits, but called my recruiter the very same day to begin a job search.

I am the sole provider for my daughters.  You've heard me say this before - no child support, no alimony.  I pay the mortgage, property taxes, every single bill and half of their catholic school tuition. Not one dime comes to me from my ex-husband.  I've been making it on my own for two years now.

Therefore, I couldn't live off of what the company was offering - it was a miserable existence that I didn't share the full details about with anyone.  It was too humiliating. I still get teary when I recall what life was like...

My recruiter landed me a job at a company paying me a good salary and benefits, and although pretty much zero vacation time, nice co-workers. 

I love everyone here.......except my boss.

How hard is it to be nice? 

Honestly.  A serious question to be posed.

Is it that difficult??

I am a very hard worker.  I am great at what I do. My resume is wonderful and I have many recommendations on LinkedIn. I'm honest.  I'm kind.  I'm a team player.  I'm always in a good mood - a very consistent character.

I'm also a perfectionist.  Are you a perfectionist?  If you are, then you know that if you goof up something, you kick yourself and it bugs you, right?  Well, if you are a perfectionist and someone comes to you constantly telling you you've done something wrong and you *haven't* - well, that's just crazy-making!  And the moodiness and rudeness...  It's just so unnecessary.  Total Jekyl and Hyde.

I have taken to sending myself emails every time my boss says or does something bizarre or unkind or unprofessional, like blowing up at me for asking a simple question...and after I aked it, he could see that it was a legitimate question.  But no apologies for his outburst (pounding his fist on the desk, asking if I needed to take notes...even though I wasn't going to ask him to repeat anything...just a simple clarification question).  I'm constantly walking on eggshells around him.

An EA is someone's right-hand person...yet I avoid being near him at all costs.  I'm just not used to that.

Anyway, I'm venting. Ranting.  I don't usually do that here, but I am so frustrated!

How hard is it to find a nice boss??

Am I asking too much? 

Where are the nice guys or gals?

And believe me, working in Venture Capital, I see lots of seemingly nice CEOs coming in to present their business plan.  They are friendly and humble. 

Where are the nice start-up guys looking for a talented Executive Asistant, and willing to pay them well??  And why in the heck can't I find them??? 



Nice CEOs!!!!!! 

Nice EA for HIRE!!!!!!









~oh, boo-hoo, poor me.  I know, I know... ~

(sorry for the rant...thanks for listening)

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Oh, OM, I'm so sorry to hear this! A good boss can make all the difference. I will put up with a lot of other nonsense if I like my boss and consequently my job. Keep looking! Have you thought about non-profit? I bet you would be great! Pay is on the low end, but benefits are usually fantastic enough that it works out. Good luck!!
Sadly, most of today's CEO's didn't get where they are by being a nice guy. For the most part these people ascribe to the management tenet of getting the most production from your people while spending as little as possible.
MM - I agree! I loved my bosses at the pharma co, and that's why I tried so hard to make it work... But I wasn't getting food on the table and had to leave. I loved getting up and going to work every day there. I have looked into non-profit, but as far as I've found here, they pay anywhere from half of what I currently earn, to what I was making at the pharma company. I just can't cut enough coupons to make that work. But - I will keep looking, no doubt!!

David - Well, I must say that I agree. Success comes with a price. My recruiter asked me if I thought my boss was happily married (hence perhaps the moodiness?) and I told her that I didn't know of any workaholic who was truly in a happy marriage. Maybe a sweeping generality, but I'm guessing largely true. I know business has to be about the bottom line...but these are people we're dealing with. *sigh* Hugs, David.
You deserve a good boss and not one like the psycho you work for now. I absolutely know you'll get where you want to be...your talent and skill, not to mention your perseverance, assures that you will find what you're looking for. Hang in there, sweetheart.
Smithery ~ Thank you, sweetheart. You've heard plenty of Boss stories, huh? He is kinda psycho. :-) I'm just glad it's known in his circles...but still makes the day-to-day rough. You've been so supportive! I'll keep looking...there has to be one out there somewhere. Hey - you need an EA? ;-)
There is a similar situation going on in my family and boy do I feel your pain,
I wish I knew what to tell you . . . my experience so far has been that when the pay is higher, it's a little easier to deal with crazy-making bosses. Not a lot easier, but at least one can tell oneself that it's paying the bills . . . on the other hand, here are my keys to coping with the crazy-making boss figure:
I wish I knew what to tell you . . . my experience so far has been that when the pay is higher, it's a little easier to deal with crazy-making bosses. Not a lot easier, but at least one can tell oneself that it's paying the bills . . . on the other hand, here are my keys to coping with the crazy-making boss figure:
Chief Excrement Orifice.

The boss's bonus doesn't depend on being nice to you or to anyone at a lower level than s/he. Especially in an economy in which workers outnumber jobs.
1. Drink a little wine when you get home. Take a long walk whenever possible.

2. Keep reminding yourself that it's not you, it's him.

3. Come up with an image of him in your head that makes you see him in a different light . . . . angry baby, clown, cowboy, bobble head . . . feel free to use this image to keep yourself amused/calm when things are going badly.

4. Chocolate as self-medication. Can be used in combination with #1.

5. Write a murder mystery where the killer doesn't get caught. Listen to Macy Gray's "I've Committed Murder." Memorize the words and hum the song when you need encouragement. Just sayin' that a little fantasy can go a long way . . . ask Sue Grafton.
Linda - Hi! I wish I could accept a lower pay - I am sure nice guys exist on the lower end of things, but I just can't do it. Wishing for brighter days for your family member!

Owl - I have SO tried to make this work, specifically because of the pay... But I am not combative and everything about this man comes from a negative, combative place - with everyone. I just can't keep fighting back. I do like the list, though, and may infact put into action immediately several if not all of these...A long walk though, would take time away from the office...which I don't usually get. ;-) Wine and chocolate....there IS a store right down the street...

Stim - True dat. Drat.
"...in fact..." not "infact." Perfectionist. Hate typos. :-)
No Nice bosses are not to be found in any capacity. I work low end social service and have NEVER had a nice boss. They are all crazy.

Great Rant!!!! Geez. It is just that if I was the boss what would I be like? I am very easy on myself when I do artwork at home. A break every hour and two hour lunches that include a nap. Now we all know that isn't going to make MONEY. MONEY. Geez The world is upsidedown.
Zanelle - RATS! I am not artistic. You would have been the perfect boss!
Nice boss? No such animal. Good luck to you. xo
Trudie - Welcome! Funny - "boss" and "animal" in the same comment....quite a good combination.
It's hard to hear this; I have a daughter-in-law who is in essentially the same position. There's a peculiar phrase for it: "it sucks!"
I once worked at an employee-owned company where you'd often run into the president at the copy machine if his secretary was busy. (It was a looong time ago - when execs had secretaries rather than "executive assistants.") You'd find yourself competing for a parking space in the too-small ramp with the ancient founders of the company - the only reserved spaces were for a handicapped woman and the facilities manager who often had to run to other buildings during the day. The CEO was a sweetie but I don't remember much more about him. They didn't fire people easily and sadly, I worked for one guy who should have been - he was known throughout the company as the worst person to work for and he was horrible.

The company is very successful, dominant in its field, but it's on the east coast.
John - Gosh, it sure does. :-(

nerd - Thanks for relaying that story. There's always one who manages to squeak by, ins't there? I always wonder how that happens in an otherwise sane company. Poor you!