On Being The Boss

Courtesy of "Letters of Note", an insight into the workings of Tiger Oil (a now defunct Texas Oil Company), and especially it's Owner and Boss, Edward Mike Davis.  This is a man who has no illusions that he is running a business.  He is harsh, and can be considered to be a jackass, but being the Boss, he considers this his prerogative.  (He does, after all, pay for everything...)

Many of these letters come off as rants, but when people are spilling food and drinks on your carpets, putting feet up on your furniture, making phone calls on your dime (remember when we paid for phone calls?  Thankfully that's mostly behind us...), taking things from your desk ("candy, cigars, medicine and personal items" are mentioned) and not working when being paid to work, I think you'd have a right to be irate!  Above all, It's a "my way or the highway" attitude.  'Here are my rules.  Don't like them?  Leave.  Break them?  You're fired.'  There should be nothing wrong with this!

Yes, he seems like a jackass when he says "don't speak to me unless spoken to first", but he later clarifies that he means idle greetings; If you have business to discuss, it cannot be brought up fast enough!  If you have never seen a structured environment where customs and courtesy dictate that you greet a superior like "The Boss" (read: the Military), where every time that you walk by, everybody stops what they're doing and says "Good Morning", this will sound like he's just being an ass.  But I'm not kidding: Every.  Single.  Person.  It's exhausting, let me tell you!  You can get winded on your way to the restroom or running to get something from your car!  Trying to just not reply simply stresses you out, and makes the minion wonder what's wrong, stressing them out!  It's no wonder that the upper echelon want's to isolate themselves!  They don't want to be interrupted every 12 seconds!  (Really, if you have an opportunity to visit a military institution (some academic institutions implement these kinds of strictures as well), especially if it's not an outright ceremonial event, I recommend it.  Take the chance to observe an Officer or Senior Enlisted (You can tell them by the shiny on their collar or large number of stripes on their upper arm...) have a chat with someone.  Watch how many times they're interrupted for a courtesy. 

I disagree with his time off policy.  Not the place for me to work, apparently.


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