Some Take It More Seriously Than Others

| Working | October 17, 2013

(A routine call has turned into a nightmare. It requires new wiring, new equipment, and a bunch of software changes. After 12 hours at the job-site, and 16 hours on the clock, I go back to the office to find the boss still waiting for me.)

Boss: “I just got a call from the customer. He was really impressed that you were able to get everything back up before the night shift started, and he wants to throw a pile of business our way.”

Me: “Sounds great. Listen, can we talk about this tomorrow? The only reason I’m still standing is two gallons of bad coffee.”

Boss: “We’ll talk about it on Monday. Give me your company phone so I can cover any emergencies. You have a nice and quiet three-day weekend.”

(I go home and pass out, only to be woken by my personal cell phone at 3 am.)

Coworker: “Hey, I just got an alert. Is your company cell dead? The UPS at—”

(I explain that the boss should be handling it, turn my cell-phone to silent, and go back to sleep. At 5 am, my house phone starts ringing.)

Coworker: “I can’t get a hold of the boss. I’ve tried the office, his cell, your company cell, the on-call cell, his house, and, well, I’m still getting alerts. Would you mind letting me in to the office so I can fix it?”

(Pretty annoyed, I get dressed and drive to the office. When I arrive, the front door to the office is unlocked, all the lights are on, and I can hear ‘The Doors’ blaring from the PA. The conference room contains my boss, his wife—who is also the company lawyer—and four people I don’t recognize. They are all drinking and laughing.)

Boss: *to me* “Hey! The hero of the hour has returned. I’d like you to meet [Company Owner] and his night management.” *to everyone else* “Everyone, this is the fellow that spent all day yesterday saving your bacon.”

(My boss then gestures to the drinks they have been having.)

Boss: “Sit down, and have a drink. We were just discussing some more work that needs to be done, and I’d like to get your input.”

Me: “[Boss], can I talk to you a moment in your office? We’ve got a minor issue with one of the UPS systems, and [Coworker] couldn’t reach you. He’s meeting me here, but—”

(My boss starts laughing, and turns to the company owner.)

Boss: “I told you we take everything seriously, [Company Owner]. Remember the cell phone alerts I showed you a little while ago? When I didn’t shut them off, two of my best guys took it upon themselves to come out and investigate!” *to me* “What are you drinking?”

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