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Equal Footing

Posted on 2009.06.03 at 12:00
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Newman - Pleasantville

I try to not be a respecter of persons; treating all people that I meet with equal respect. This has been frowned upon from time to time if, for example, the CEO thinks I'm diminishing him by treating the janitor as respectfully as I do him. Regardless, its something I try to stay on top of. Never before however, has it been so damn funny.

The Operations Manger was escorting a lanky, pony-tailed Californian around the other day, introducing him to people. Most people thought he was a new employee. When they arrived at my desk I stood up and shook his hand, then recognized the name on his badge. He was one of the old-timers, like me. I squeezed my eyes shut and realized he was one of the network guys I'd never met, so we started talking. "What brings you to town?" I asked.

"Outsourcing meeting." He replied. I shook my head violently from side-to-side and leaned closer to him and mock-whispered, "Around these parts they've decided to call it simply, 'Sourcing' because that doesn't have the negative connotation that other word has. See? Don't you feel better already knowing when you're tossed out on your ass you won't have been outsourced?" He didn't have much of a response to my ribbing, so I turned it up a notch. "So what did you do before [our company] came along?" I asked.

"I was working networks (aha! I was right!) 10-years ago. When [our company] came in we just all transitioned. They wanted me to be a physicist for them, but it had been too long that I didn't feel comfortable doing that."

It was then I jabbed him in the ribs with my elbow and said, "Well, if you don't make the cut, its nice to know you have that physicist thing to fall back on," and winked at him.

This type of back-and-forth went on far longer than was comfortable for either of us, as I was growing weary of his lack of personality, inferred just that, and wished him a safe flight back in manner I hoped wasn't overtly dismissive.

It was only later that I found out that 'network guy' was my boss's boss.



dawaioser at 2009-06-03 18:30 (UTC) (Link)
Haha/ouch. It reminds me of the interview/review scene in "Office Space".
ehowton at 2009-06-03 18:36 (UTC) (Link)

I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob.

Upon discovering who he was I told the Operations Manager, "That makes everything I said twice as funny."
codekitten at 2009-06-03 18:51 (UTC) (Link)
oh that's great! i would love more humor around my workplace.
ehowton at 2009-06-03 18:56 (UTC) (Link)
It was funny all right. Maybe not, you know, to him...
quicksilvermad at 2009-06-03 19:00 (UTC) (Link)
HAH! Images of the Bob's and a frustrated Bill Lumberg float through my brain...
ehowton at 2009-06-03 19:21 (UTC) (Link)
It was a "Jump to Conclusions" mat. You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor...and would have different CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO.
quicksilvermad at 2009-06-03 21:38 (UTC) (Link)

Whoo, boy... I think it's time to pop that DVD in the player.
ehowton at 2009-06-03 21:54 (UTC) (Link)
See, I was thinking the exact same thing.
catttitude at 2009-06-04 01:22 (UTC) (Link)
Oh man, you are so going to get "Sourced" just great.
ehowton at 2009-06-04 01:28 (UTC) (Link)
If I get sourced the first thing I'm a gonna do is get sauced!
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-06-04 07:15 (UTC) (Link)
Heehee, this sounds just like the kind of thing I'd do!

(I am amused at the thought of how WTF you must have been when you found out who it was. :) )
ehowton at 2009-06-04 12:07 (UTC) (Link)
Heehee, this sounds just like the kind of thing I'd do!
Yes. Yes it does. And you're not the first to mention that to me!

I am amused at the thought of how WTF you must have been
I was more bemused than anything. The more I replayed the conversation in my head, the funnier it became.
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-06-04 13:40 (UTC) (Link)
Yes. Yes it does. And you're not the first to mention that to me!

Does that mean that we can hope for you to start receiving bad love poetry from random people? ;)
ehowton at 2009-06-04 13:49 (UTC) (Link)
God I hope not. I don't want to be the subject of a Buffalo Bill-type situation. It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told or else it gets the hose again.
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-06-04 13:53 (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. You know, that would work SO much better with random line breaks:

It rubs the lotion
on its skin

It does this
whenever it is told
or else
it gets the hose

ehowton at 2009-06-04 14:15 (UTC) (Link)
It does have a certain lilting prose about it, doesn't it?
trunthepaige at 2009-06-05 01:23 (UTC) (Link)

One never knows

I the world of being architectural sales rep, one of the first things I was told was. You never know who taking to be nice to everyone. The poorly dressed guy taking out the trash can, he might own the company. Most of the time, he just the janitor. But I have been shocked in the past. It was good advice
ehowton at 2009-06-05 01:25 (UTC) (Link)

Re: One never knows

Indeed. Its only those who place value in such things who are threatened.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2009-06-05 23:36 (UTC) (Link)
Dude that's awesome!!!
ehowton at 2009-06-05 23:37 (UTC) (Link)
It happens.
irulan_amy at 2009-06-08 23:36 (UTC) (Link)
Nicely done. :)
ehowton at 2009-06-09 03:01 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you ma'am.
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