May 23, 2002
5% richer than I was an hour ago.
also 5% more job-secure and 5% more intolerably full of myself, thanks to my brand-new 5% pay raise.
JoAnne took me behind closed doors an hour ago to give me the happy
news. "Based on your performance review last month," she said, "I
recommended you be given a five percent salary increase." The raise has
already been approved through Corporate -- it was effective three weeks
ago, according to the paperwork -- and the first new-and-improved
paycheck should be landing in my poor malnourished checking account at
12:00:01 a.m. PDT tonight. (I figure if I drink lots and lots of coffee
this afternoon, I might even be awake to see it
JoAnne," I said to her gratefully. "Thank you so much."
Thank you for the raise. Thank you for the nice performance review.
Thank you for the job. Thank you for being a such a great boss, and for
proving that there is life after Franz, and for validating my theory
that it's possible to have a healthy employer/employee relationship.
Thank you for never leaving used dental floss in my *In* basket. Thank
you for never calling me 'imbecile' or 'nincompoop' or 'Tammy.' Thank
you for never addressing your comments to the middle button on my
you for not having a goddamn dwarf schleffera plant in your office.
quite welcome," she smiled, handing me the acknowledgement form for my
signature ... and then she burst into tears.
the phone. What's going on here?? My stoic and unflappable boss,
weeping like a nine-year-old shut out of the tetherball game? Aren't
*I* the one who is supposed to get all weepy and emotional during the
Kodak Moments of life?
I handed her the Kleenex box, utterly baffled by
her reaction, and sat quietly waiting for her to compose herself.
you do," she sniffled finally, "don't let them talk you into taking my
know how sometimes you can hear bad news approaching before the bus has
even rounded the corner and run over you? "Are you going somewhere?" I
asked carefully, trying not to betray any sense of alarm.
looked at me in genuine surprise. "I thought you knew," she said. "I've
been asked to 'find employment elsewhere.'"
No. I didn't know. In fact, I couldn't have been more surprised if
she'd just announced that she and Franz were opening a Taco Time
franchise in Oakland, and that they wanted *me* as Head Burrito
"No, I wasn't aware of that," I said.
I knew that she and
Armand have been butting heads more frequently than usual, as of late.
I knew that there was a horrific blow-up between the two of them last
month: something to do with Armand's "If It Ain't Broke, Let's Break
It Anyway (And Then We'll HAVE To Fix It)" approach
to management. I knew that JoAnne was unhappy. But no one told me she'd
actually been asked to resign.
no one told me I was being considered for *her* job.
is going to be approaching you about it sometime in the next few
weeks," she said, blotting the runny Maybelline from the end of her
nose. "I would strongly suggest that you think twice before you say
'yes.' " JoAnne knows my history. More importantly -- JoAnne knows Franz
personally. She knows what I've been through, just to reach this nice
healthy place of personal and professional equilibrium.
she understands how important it is to me that I stay there.
told her that I wouldn't make any decisions about anything
without thinking it over very carefully, and without talking to her
about it first. "I don't want your job," I said. "I want my
job, with you as my boss." This seemed to cheer her up a little, and a
few minutes later I left her office and went back to the front desk and
got back to work on my soil density reports.
have to admit: I may be 5% more flummoxed and confused than I was an
life just got about 5% more interesting.