I have an 8AM meeting with my boss today so we can talk about “our goals.” I don’t normally show up until 9AM so the first goal I’m going to mention— and then cross off the list— is being capable of showing up to work at 8AM. I’m hoping he’ll forget and/or be too busy trying to get his latest female conquest out of the house to actually show up to the meeting.
This is how I picture it going:
Boss: “Aussa, I have nine thousand ideas of things you should do to make the business successful and I want you to add them to the other nine thousand things I already told you to do and I need you to do them fast because I haven’t been able to pay myself since I started the business and I’ve decided this is your fault.”
Me: “Roger that. So, should we prioritize what I should focus on first…?”
Boss: “You always do this. No matter what I say you’re going to come back and say it’s what I wanted or what I didn’t want.”
Me: “Wait. Are we talking about the same thing? It’s me, Aussa, your employee. Not the girl who dumped you when you were a freshman in college.”
Boss: “I know how women work. You’re all like this and you don’t even know. I’m very good at reading people, you would think it was funny if you could see how similar you all are.”
Me: *decides to just look at iPhone so he will stop talking*
When I accepted this position I was almost positive my future boss was gay. Maybe I was buying into stereotypes but I’d never met a straight man with such fancy sunglasses and I could’ve sworn he mentioned an ex with a masculine name. Either way, I was super relieved by the idea of working for someone who probably wouldn’t fantasize about me showing him my lady bits (like at my last job).
My relief didn’t last long. We negotiated the salary and met at a restaurant so he could give me an official offer letter. I signed it and shook his hand. It all seemed very professional and official after my last train wreck of a job. Then he immediately started telling me about his dating life.
“So I was texting this girl last night and then she stopped responding at 8PM so I’m pretty sure she went and slept with some other dude. Isn’t that disgusting? Who does that?”
Wait. Did he just say girl? All my hopes and dreams were ruined.
I responded by folding a slice of pizza in half and shoving it into my mouth. He took this as an invitation to keep talking.
“Watch how the waitress doesn’t even look up when the door opens. But all the men in here pay attention. It’s so funny to me how oblivious women can be. I guess it’s all evolutionary though— men are the ones who had to protect everyone. Women just needed to be a pretty thing to take back to your cave.”
I looked down at the offer letter, trying to decide if that number— larger than anything I’ve ever been paid— was worth having to listen to this kind of stuff. We’d just moved to Denver and I was really eager to get a job to support my Cheezit habit.
Unsurprisingly, I think I made a bad decision.
For the last six months (of him not being able to give himself a paycheque) we’ve had long debates over all sorts of gender-based questions. I used to get drawn in to the point that I’d drive home in a rage, fuming over the way he would tilt his head in an “aren’t you cute” way when I’d get frustrated by his comments. I’d spend my entire evening recounting everything to Alex, getting so frustrated I’d start to cry.
I always thought it would be satisfying to be able to tell a boss “you’re such an asshole” or “seriously you’re being a dick right now” to his face but it doesn’t feel as good as you might think. Now I’m completely disengaged. It’s obvious he isn’t looking to gain a new perspective so I’m going to keep letting him put money in my bank account every two weeks while I make non-committal noises in response to his constant goading. Every day is a new topic:
Who’s To Blame For Divorce:
My Boss: “Look, all I know is all my guy friends make $600k and their wives are secretaries that only make $30k while spending $40k a year on nannies. So these women are actually costing their husbands a lot of money. They shouldn’t be complaining about anything.”
Me: *looks at iPhone so he will stop talking*
How To Choose a Mate:
My Boss: “Well it’s a lot harder for us guys. Women just want to be provided for. I’ve read a lot of books about it. Women need security. But for us, we need someone who is fun to be around but then she has to be attractive or else we can’t help it if our eyes wander. Sometimes a girl is really cool but you just know that you’re going to end up sleeping with someone who’s better looking. But it’s in our biology.”
Me: *looks at iPhone so he will stop talking*
My Boss: “I know you don’t like to hear this, but I’m just being rational. You women always take things personally because you’re emotional, but I’ve read a lot of books about this topic.”
I can’t wait to find out what this 8AM meeting “about goals” will really cover. My #1 Goal is to make it through without punching him in the face.
Have you ever encountered someone with a chauvinist attitude? How would you respond to comments like this?
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