All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Friday, February 05, 2010

My boss, geek extraordinaire

Things have been strange at work lately. Besides the economic issues (budget, layoffs, etc.), one of my coworkers died unexpectedly of a heart attack. K. was fairly young (in his 40s), wasn't overweight, and didn't smoke. It was a total shock. He left three young daughters.

My desk is across from his, and it's weird to look across and know he'll never be sitting there again. The worst is the phone calls. The first couple of days, my boss told us not to tell anyone that K. had died. I ended up saying, "Leave a message, and he'll call you back later" - which was of course a blatant lie. It wasn't much better when we were allowed to tell the truth. "I'm sorry to inform you he has passed away" sure is a quick way to kill a conversation.

Anyway, yesterday, the boss decided he needed to do something about morale. So he called a meeting. He couldn't quite bring himself to mention K.'s death. He kind of tapdanced around it, talking about the "rough start to the new year," the "loss of personnel," etc. Then he said he had something for us, to help us through this difficult time. And he passed out sheets of paper to each of us.

I was expecting maybe a list of counseling resources, or one of those corporate team-building exercises. No. It was a copy of the company policy on sexual harassment, complete with threats of discipline for non-compliance. It was so off-the-wall we were speechless. Near as I can tell, the boss searched the company documents for "workplace morale," and the sexual harassment policy came up. Because it says "sexual harassment is bad for workplace morale." And that's what he gave us.

The sad thing is he probably meant well. He is a good engineer, but like many engineers, hasn't made the transition to manager very well.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:36 PM


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