August 10, 2012

Once upon a time, I was victim to a corporate downsizing. It was a long time ago, but I’ve ended up in a much better place than I could have ever imagined with a great job and better pay. Because of that, I’d like to thank the person who was responsible for my aforementioned employment termination.

Everyone has stories of the boss from Hell. There are tales of sexual harassment, alcoholism, inter-office affairs, and I even once overheard a story of a boss who, because of some sort of OCD complex, always scooped their poop out of the toilet after a bowel movement and placed on top of the water tank behind the bowl. I can’t say that I can top those stories, but I do have something to say about Menstrua (that’s not her real name) an influential person who, I think, was the person solely responsible for me not working there anymore.

The reason why I call Menstrua Menstrua was because, like a woman on her period (and I can say this because I lived with Homo Honey for almost five years), you could never tell what kind of mood she was going to be in when you talked to her. I’ll never forget a series of meetings I was forced to attend that were scheduled by Menstrua. She would squeeze her fat ass through the conference room door, waddle over to her seat in her Payless sneakers, high water, color-faded black slacks and whatever potato sack top she pulled out of the hamper that morning, melt into the seat, slam her liter Mountain Dew bottle on the table and belt out something like “I’m in a really bad mood today,” or “I don’t feel like being in a meeting today,” or “I had a really crappy weekend.” I don’t know if it was an intimidation tactic or if she simply felt the need to announce her mood to everyone, but whatever the reason, she never started a meeting off on a positive note.

And it didn’t stop there. At least five times during every meeting she would turn to whoever had the misfortune of saying something she didn’t like and say to them, with both hands tangled up her bird’s nest mess of hair and say “What the fuck did you just say?” Not the best way to ask for clarification from someone.

And heaven forbid if you tried to take initiative on something that she deemed unimportant. For example, I took it upon myself to redesign the company’s outdated recruitment materials. When I say they were outdated, I mean that they weren’t even hip when Menstrua was a child which, according to her gay hair, gnarly feet and overall hagardness, had to have been decades. One day I was working away on the materials when Menstrua appeared in front of my cube. I tried to greet her, but was interrupted with “What the hell are you doing?” I explained what the hell I was doing and, not to my surprise, Menstrua reacted more like Baby Jane than the SVP of a global design firm. She threw her keys on the ground and shouted “God Damn it!” With my eyes wide open and my mouth agape with horror she tried to compose herself and said “I’m going to go because I don’t think you want me around feeling how I’m feeling.” Damn straight I didn’t want her around. She stomped off and I received an e-mail from her admin the next week instructing me that any extra initiatives beyond my prescribed duties needed to be expressly approved by Menstrua before any work began. Classy move, Menstrua.

And the piece de resistance of Menstrua’s absolute bat-shit-craziness: she was in the group of cubes adjacent to mine. Normally when I saw her moving down the hallway into my general direction, I would don my headphones and listen to something soothing, but I had forgotten them that day. I was prepared to hear her curse and scold, but for the first time, I actually heard her laugh. Although it sounded more like my cat right before she throws up on the bathroom mat, I could tell by the smile on her face that she was pleased by something. Since I had never seen this side of Menstrua before, I abandoned my work, leaned over my cube and eavesdropped on what I could ascertain was a discussion about project budgets or something to do with money. I was about to turn back to my work when I saw it: Menstrua lifted her shirt in glee, exposing the employee she was addressing to her saggy boobs harnessed into a granny bra and me to her muffin top that seemed to almost eat away at the top of her pants. She shouted “Fuckin’ A” and, thankfully, pulled her shirt back down. I threw up in my mouth a little, shot back down into my chair and tried to perform a Silkwood shower on my brain.

The day of my termination came and I was called into a conference room with the 29 other employees that were part of the downsizing. When I walked in there was Menstrua looking all smug and stupid, happy in the fact that she had finally found a legitimate reason to get rid of me: poor performance numbers. Knowing full well what was going to happen and not wanting her to get away with the possibility of feeling good about what she was doing to me, I sat myself down in the front row of chairs, right in front of her.

She started talking, some b.s. about budgets, blah, blah, blah when I started thinking of her pulling her shirt up and the horror that her husband must feel every time he sees her naked and, God forbid, when he has to have sexual relations with her. I started thinking of him trying to pull up her fat rolls to find her labia when, because of the hilarity of the visuals in my head, I cracked a shit-eating smile from ear to ear. For the rest of her diatribe, I sat there with that smile on my face knowing that, even though I didn’t have a job at that moment, I also didn’t have a double chin, abysmal fashion sense, the mouth of a drunken sailor or a husband who needs a map and the Jaws of Life to fulfill me sexually.

Since then, I have found several jobs making more money and reporting to people whom I don’t consider an embarrassment to the human race. So, I want to thank Menstrua for laying me off and for being such a cluster fuck of a boss. She’s famous amongst my friends and I always have something colorful to add when the subject of crappy bosses comes up in conversation.

My advice for Menstrua: Keep up the bad work. I still have friends that work for you and, if you keep it up, I’ll have enough material for a screen play.

My advice for everyone else: Just like ying and yang, for every Menstrua there’s a terrific boss out there for you. You just need to find him/her.