Under New Management

Think of your best boss and then consider your worst. You likely have a mental picture of both right away. One makes you smile and the other grimace. Management is hard.

I started my professional career with a very good manager who took me under his wing and trained me for about six months before he fell victim to the dreaded, “personal problems”. When you’re twenty-two, you don’t understand what’s happening when your boss starts coming in late and looking like he slept on the sticky beer-floor of a frat house. I had no idea what was going on until the rumor mill swirled with talk of infidelity, divorce, and scandal. Finally one day, my formerly conservative boss came in to collect his last paycheck on his motorcycle wearing an earring and a leather jacket.

The next boss was only about three years older than me. He had no management experience and no discernable people skills. He had somehow caught the eye of the CEO and was completely out of his element. If we weren’t half my size he would have attempted management by fear. Since he was a little fella, he ruled through paranoia – often sneaking up on us to see what we were doing. Like all paragons of business, rather than coach us during the year, he decided to surprise us with our insufficiencies during our performance reviews. One of my coworkers actually walked out of her review never to return and the rest of us found new jobs within a month. I wonder what that bonehead is doing now.

I’ve had bad managers since those days, but I’ve mostly been blessed to work under some very good ones. Being a manager is difficult because it relies on people working hard toward a common goal. A good manager knows what motivates his or her employees. But in the end, people are people. We are terminally flawed and often self-seeking.

I hope this new guy is good.

We have new management.

IMG_1277They say dress for the job you want and not the job you have. While we were shopping for a new collar for Stanley we found this number with a bow tie. The minute we put it on him, he assumed the reigns. It wasn’t so much that he took over; he just looked so qualified that we gave him the promotion. But now, he’s turned into a little tyrant.

I used to think it was cute that he followed me around, standing behind me when I made coffee or got him food. Now I feel like he’s just watching me to make sure I’m doing it right. Before his rise to power, I loved to hear him squawk. Since he got promoted all I hear is him bellowing orders.

And we can’t call him Stanley anymore. With his new air of formality, we have taken to calling him Mr. Stanley.

He seems to like this new role and as long as we keep feeding him, following orders, and giving him salty chips to lick, he usually stays out of our affairs. No one else seems too concerned, but I’m your basic slacker here at home. So I feel like since he is always watching, my performance review has the potential to be negative. But that’s okay. I assume he will put me on some kind of notice before he terminates me.

I will say, I used to love how he purred and wrapped his little tail around my leg as he passed. But now, having the boss constantly rub your leg is quite disconcerting… like I’ve stepped into a 1950’s secretarial pool.

Sorry, Mr. Stanley, I was blogging… I’ll get back to work now.



The Curious Incident of the Cat at Night

This diary starts on a rainy, autumn night in the bedroom of a typical southern home where only the cat is awake… Always watching.


12:34 am – The large one is stirring. He has been getting up every night. There is a potential that he is becoming nocturnal. After following him to observe his movements, I have observed that he goes to the human litter box. But every night? Why can’t he hold it – even the offspring do that? Does the adult male regress to infantile state?

12:48 am – After stirring, he finally rises. I’ve decided to investigate by following him into the small water closet.

12:55 am – It has been several minutes. He may or may not be asleep again in a seated position. I have taken up a surveillance position behind him.

12:58 am – Surprisingly, he got up very quickly and pushed the splash lever. I must have been cat-napping and now the door is closed. I do not like doors. I have committed a tactical error – I am stuck in the small water closet.

1:14 am – I still do not like being stuck in the small water closet.

1:22 am – I have swept my paw under the door 87 times and still cannot fit my head underneath. The fat canine changed positions but no one with thumbs has noticed. This is discouraging.

1:46 am – I have previously noted that both the male and female stand on the small metal platform daily – an action that makes them visibly sad. I am going to attempt this and monitor myself for mood change. The gray rectangle on the platform changed to 7.2. I do not know what this means but I feel no sadness.

2:11 am – I have run laps in the room and knocked over the trash receptacle. It was mocking me.

3:15 am – I scratched at the door until I saw the belt of the female’s robe dangle. I couldn’t resist playing with it. Then it fell on me. At least now I have a comfortable place to lay.

3:28 am – I repeatedly meowed loud enough that they should have heard me. They are definitely not becoming nocturnal.

3:38 am – I feel dehydrated. There is water, but it is inside the human litter box. I’m dubious.

4:23 am – I must drink. The surface is very slippery. I am wet now. And still thirsty.

5:04 am – I stood on the metal platform again. The gray rectangle says 7.1. I seem to be melting. I now understand why this thing makes the humans sad.

5:35 am – I think I hear stirring outside, but the snorting against the door tells me it must be the fat canine. He has no thumbs to work the knob and couldn’t figure it out if he did. Idiot.

7:10 am – The door opens. It is the male. I feel so happy to be free that I want to rub his leg, but I must shun him for at least two hours for his treachery. I run.

7:13 am – He put down food for me. Unshun…. Leg… Purrrrr…


(I’m sorry, Liza.)