Linus story #1 -
Linus has a complicated job situation. The past year has seen flux, corporate takeover drama, RIF's, political wrangling complicated by cross cultural misunderstandings and being told by the company didn't need his services followed by "oops - we realized we can't run this technology you built without you". It is so hard for Linus because he's put his heart into this company. He believes in the product so much that he took a huge (30k!!) pay cut in order to work 60 hour weeks to help launch the company. (Do not ask me how we managed to eat that first year, I still can't believe we pulled it off.) He has tried to focus on his responsibilities in an ever-changing landscape of expectations and job titles. Linus is good at staying away from the emotions and politics of the situation as much as possible. Me? Not so much. Particularly the emotional part. I am bewildered and frustrated with his boss' waffling and ill considered policies that keep undermining Linus' work. I don't know how he can keep working in an environment with a boss who is actively trying to foul him up to protect her turf. He tells me not to get so riled up, it's business, and he'll just keep doing the best he can as long as he can.
Then he gets an email yesterday from his boss about the business trip they are taking together today. She said she had already booked herself a hotel room with a king size bed and a couch "settee" and (presumably in an effort to economize?) that they should stay in the same room. WHAT? and NO! (And even "Hell no!") What brand of crack do you think this woman is smoking? I wigged out. I know it can't be the come on it sounds like it could be. As in that's just not even a possibility. In some ways, it would make more sense and be easier to deal with if it were. I'm not some naive thing in denial about her man's wandering ways. It's just that this is so bizarre. I promise you that if he wanted to, Linus could stray and I wouldn't find out. He certainly wouldn't be dumb enough to be freaking out loudly in the other room to the point that I rush in and demand to know what's wrong. The second point being that if he were to stray, surely (heaven help us) he would have waaay better taste than to choose her. The third point being, if it is a come on, on her part, how stupid does she have to be to commit it to writing? And why hit on a guy she knows can barely tolerate her when she's 8,000 miles away? Which brings us right back to what on earth can she be thinking?
My mind ran around in circles. Is she trying to set him up for some crazy sexual harassment suit? He said that was incredibly unlikely. I am out of explanations. I realize that dealing with a non-US mindset makes some things hard to translate - but this woman is English. Not only that, but can anyone begin to believe that this is normal business practice anywhere? The words inappropriate, unprofessional, strange, and uncomfortable race through my brain. How did a woman with such horrible boundaries and an inability to follow rock bottom, basic business protocols get put in charge of anything? I mean, who needs to be told male employees should not being pressured by their female bosses to overnight in one room together to save the company money?! Linus is going to tell her that he most definitely requires separate hotel rooms. He said he will be polite but firmer this time and hope the issue ends there. This time?! I found out that - horrifyingly - it is not the first time she has made this suggestion. Linus thought he'd made it clear before - because, holy crap - who but a complete moron would have to be told not only once but TWICE how wrong this suggestion is?! When asked why he didn't tell me about the other time, he said it was only one of many stunningly odd suggestions/policies/ideas this woman brought up and not even the worst in his book. Mostly because he didn't have to go along with it they way he had to swallow his criticisms and go along with some of her other decisions. He said he'd be CRYSTAL clear in his response and consider obtaining legal advice if it happened again. I (intolerant of corporate games to begin with and waaaay past my ability to be polite/professional to a creepoid like her) would probably have written an email response back that would have gotten me fired. I guess it's a good thing Linus works for her and not me. (Although - hey, put some mojo out there for fantastic job offers to come flying in the door for him. I admire his commitment to the shareholders and to a product that saves lives, but enough is enough, don't you think?! It would not hurt my feelings for him to change jobs.)
Linus Story #2 -
Linus let his hair get a little long over the Thanksgiving holiday, when he wasn't traveling and meeting with clients. He went and got it cut yesterday, very short - very professional. (Side benefit being, he'd look great at those job interviews you're sending his way!) The kids were not so appreciative of his efforts. When he came home The Ninja Princessa yelped, "But you look so old now!" and Havoc asked (sincerely), "Why did you have them shave a circle on the back of your head?" Eeep. Poor Linus. He stuck his bottom lip out looking for sympathy. I wish I could have shown the sympathy I feel, but I was laughing too hard.
This man needs a break. He's promised to try to relax with a good book in his hotel room (alone!) tonight. I'm thinking we might bake him some chocolatey yumminess for when he gets home. Shhhh. Don't tell him.