Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Selfish, Careless Bosses

Ten years ago, I was a stay-at-home mother that was being forced back into the workplace due to divorce. It was a terrible struggle at that time (I've written about this time in my life before). My first job was as a lowly secretary working for two partners.

Both partners made obscene money, lived in beautiful homes, drove expensive cars, and took incredible vacations. I had to struggle to make it (sometimes going without eating) on a salary of $23,000. That $23,000 was hard-won and a result of my being convincing enough to persuade them that I was worth more than the $17,000 they initially wanted to pay me.

But to add insult to injury, one of the partners was erratic and mercurial due to a cocaine habit. He went on a ski trip to Colorado one year, brought back pictures, and made me sit down and go over them while he bragged about everything he'd done.

The other partner went to Ireland yearly, and regularly whined about how he would "have" to buy his wife some more of that famous Irish lace, which she collected each year when they went. At the time, the only thing that I "had" to buy was food and the bare necessities, scrimping and saving so that my child would be cared for.

I lived in a low-rent apartment with a hooker down the hall and a heroin addict above me. My only vacation was usually paid for by a kind friend, and it was a yearly trip to Bush Gardens (in the next town over) with my son.

I tried to never resent these men, but many employees did, and with good reason.

The years went by, and with hard work and diligence, I made a success of myself. But I saw the pattern repeated!

A boss who would wrangle with an employee over a 25 cent raise would turn around and spend thousands of dollars on a sculpture for his front lobby. Another boss would regularly leave his secretary with the secret that he was spending the day on the golf course, while she was left with his paperwork. He never even considered taking her along as a caddy, while he spent money on yearly memberships, greens fees, and golphing paraphanalia.

I would like to think that there's a special place in hell for these bosses.

I try very hard to never flaunt what I have, even though I've earned it through hard work. I consider myself to be "well-off" now. However, I realize that I have very little in comparison to many others. I recently met a man who believes my income is chump-change (of course he's made and lost millions!) But no matter how much I make, I hope that I can avoid flaunting it the way that these men have. If not, I hope that someone calls me on it.


Senor Caiman said...


I’m glad that you are well-off. I firmly believe that if you have your health and peace-of-mind you might-as-well be well-off.

Don’t be too hard on the guys. Every thing we do is related to getting sex and some women like the wealthy bragging type.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Carrie said...

Don't envy people. People that flaunt their wealth usually do so to hide the ugly stuff in their life. Have pity for these people. For they are not happy.
They probably have an incurable venereal disease too.

Of course, if you see me driving a convertible Jag, just know that I would probably be very happy and that I don't have herpes.

The Lazy Iguana said...

With great wealth comes a big, fat, bloated, greedy head.

Not always, just most of the time. If it makes you feel any better, both of the former bosses are probably on wife number two or three by now, with the first wife sitting on 1/2 of the pile of money. Unless they went all OJ and got away with it. But this never happens. We all know that the guilty never go free, and nobody is ever wrongly convicted.

green said...

There's nothing wrong with having money. Look at Abraham, David and Solomon, three of the wealthiest men in the Bible. What they also had was a right relationship with God, who blessed them with earthly riches.

If your heart is in the right place with God and you maintain a level of humility then you've stored up true riches "that men cannot steal, where moth and rust do not destroy," in heaven. (paraphrased from Matthew)

Saur♥Kraut said...

Green, there is definately nothing wrong with having money! But there is something wrong with people when they're wasting or flaunting it. It's careless at best, cruel at worst.

Lazy Iguana, as they say, "absolute power corrupts absolutely". The Bible says "The love of money is the root of all evil." I suppose it's possible to have lots of money and not love it, but the more you have, the more it usually seems to corrupt (sadly).

Carrie, I'll remember that you don't have herpes! Thank you for sharing! ;o) Where have you been, girl???

Senor, you are so right. Nothing beats health and happiness! Of course, money can contribute greatly to that... ;o) I know the braggart type too well. I am never impressed by how much money someone has, but by what they do with it. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

The Lazy Iguana said...

Funny thing about the Bible on the topic of Money. Yea, the old Testament contains stories about wise and good kings who had tons of money. And how God told them to wage wars and such. Or at least God told someone to wage wars. Was it Moses? I forget.

But in the New Testament, Jesus totally rejects money and power. One of his temptations was money and power. He turned it down. Jesus did not seem to value diamonds, gold, or large palaces very much at all. I seem to recall a story about how he went ape and overturned tables of little trinkets being sold in the temple.

So, in light of this disparity in lessons I guess one could claim living either way is OK with God. But for those who include the New Testament in their belief system those red words sure do carry a lot of weight! After all, someone went through all the trouble of printing them in red and stuff.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Saur kraut,
not wanting to be political
but those people you mention are the very kind of people who become republican candidates -
we are alright jack, sod the rest, begrudge an employee 25c

and bundle anyone not as fortunate and gifted with the down and outs, the junkies, the hookers - and dismiss them as scroungers ...

Instead of helping everyone even the bums, the down and outs, the junkie hookers to become useful and fulfilled members of society.

No, not trying to turn coat you. Just reflecting back to you my agreement with your observations.
Here's looking at ya, smiling at ya

Oh - and wishing you more success, but may your (fortunate) success (no matter how hard earned, and deserved) - ever go to your head

Miss Cellania said...

The rich can hang on their own rope. If you want to look at the glass half-full, there are an awful lot of folks worse off. Just living in this country makes us luckier than most of the world. I have no income at all, yet I have a home, food, family, and all my body parts. So many people don't have all that!

R2K said...

What a nightmare that sounds like, but again I just find it hard to see why some people never learn how to be nice and act human. I would never treat people like that, no matter how many I had working under me.

Badoozie said...

hmmmm. lots of people out there like cursor is going crazy in response to this avatar above's freaking me out.

so everyone has choices, and some people chose to spend money on frivolous things, and scrimp on important things like decent employee' sucks...welcome to capitalism.

just thinking about fast food jobs, and how hard waiters have to work etc, and how little they get paid in comparison to sports theres something that really makes me weird.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it would seem that so few people have the character to be able to handle money correctly. I'm not against people having money, but when money has them instead, priorities get out of alignment quickly.

R2K said...

That last post is about me.

Anonymous said...

I'm my own boss, does that make me an asshat?

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

These kinds of people sicken me too. There are so many out there who lavishly waste thousands on the most insignificant things for themselves and then flaunt it around. I also was a stay at home Mum years ago and had a hard time finding a decent paying job.
Though we aren`t what the world would consider rich, I think that compared to many in this lopsided world, that we truly are.
You never really know who you`re dealing with on E-Bay. They`re such a mixed bag there. Luckily I was only ripped off once for a very small amount. Glad you caught on to that guy! I left my answer to your card question in the comments there. It`s a short version but I hope it makes some sense.


Ellen said...

I was always taught that "rich" is a state of mind. You can be a rich person without all the wealth by the way people love and admire you.
You, my friend, are rich. Comfortably well-off is just a nice by-product.

Anonymous said...

Well, I can definitely relate to your post. Finding myself single again after a bad 12 year marriage, I have to really think about career issues once again for the sake of self-preservation in the long run. I've had the WORST bosses in the past and I am not looking forward to going down that road with the corporate politics. I agree with others here that being wealthy does not make one happy. I would still like to have more of it, but I would definitely be doing something good for others with it.