Monday, July 24, 2006

Employess say the darndest things

In my professional life I am a department manager at a company. Is that vague enough? Good.

In general I kind of like it. I'm very good at delegating, which I define as assigning work to other people that I don’t feel like doing myself. That sounds kind of flip, but I'm told that this is what management is really all about, so I guess its ok.

As a manager, there are some things I have to do that I find silly. For example, I hate following people around to see what time they actually show up to work or what time they take their breaks. It seems very juvenile. When I first started working for the company I took the approach that we are all adults and that I was going to treat people like adults and that meant I wasn't going to chase people around if they were three minutes late. In general it worked fine, except for one employee who took advantage of it, and so - because I have to treat everyone the same - I now have to be a dick about it to everyone. So now, all my employees know the rules and they generally only break them when I'm not looking. That's fine. Ignorance is bliss.

Of course, what this leads to is employees asking if its ok to be a couple of minutes late or if they can leave a few minutes early for this personal thing or the other, and in general I try to be accommodating. If people are late the excuses are usually things like, "I missed my bus" or "My Department of Corrections ankle monitor went off at 4AM and I had to wait for my probation officer to show up", nothing too exotic.

Sometimes though, the requests are really strange. This afternoon one of my guys walks into my office and starts with, "So, I'm really not making this up." which tells me right away that he already knew he was asking for something goofy. He goes on, "So, you remember that we had our cat put to sleep, right?" Yes, I did. "Well, I've been trying to get together with the dude at the cat crematorium to get what's left of the cat back, and every time I get there they either just closed or something. So I haven't gotten the cat back and my wife is getting really pissed at me."

Cat crematorium?! Riiigght.

"So, they're supposed to close at five but I've gone over there for like three nights in a row and they've been closed every time. Can I leave like a half an hour early so I can make sure I get there before they close? My kids are asking about Spike because they want to have the memorial service."


The absurdity aside, I'm tight enough with this guy to know he's not making this up. I've heard all about this cat. So I let him go. I mean, who am I to stand between a man and the crispy remains of his dead cat? Besides, with this guy I'm envisioning the scene from the Big Lobowski: his kids are going to attempt to sprinkle the cat, only to have the ashes get blown back in their faces. It'll be hilarious.

See, I went to college for four years to learn the skills necessary to deal with this exact situation. Its not the cats, its some of the animals I have to deal with.


Blogger Kim said...

Did you know it costs significantly more if they give you the remains of YOUR beast? They call it "private cremation". It seems that for much less they will give you a bag of random remains from whatever was getting crispy that day....

4:07 PM  

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