This site is positively addictive...worse than Oreo Cookies or popcorn.... Anyway, this is the story of a boss from h*ll. To this day, though, my colleagues and I will never know if Sheri was a b*tch or just so incredibly gauche and oblivious that she only seemed evil.
Where to start? The crimson lipstick that covered her teeth at 9:30 a.m.? The (self-designed) micro-mini dresses that hiked up even higher to show male co-workers or patrons a flash of undies? No, that was just bad taste and we could all have lived with it...if she hadn't been so...I don't think there really is a word to describe this lady. All I can do is give examples:
1) My mother had had major surgery at the beginning of the year. Sheri had almost no contact with me that year save for an interview I had with her and her assistant. Another co-worker and I were both up for the same job. My co-worker got the promotion and I was neither surprised nor upset: she had been there longer and had more experience. However, Sheri insisted that I come into her office where she "explained" why I did not get the job. To do this she sat down with two sheets of paper, one of them my answers to her questions, one of them my co-worker's answers and she proceeded to read the two of them and make comparisons.
The questionable ethics of this practice were bad enough, but she seemed to be oblivious to the fact that my co-worker and I had given exactly the same answers. We had phrased them differently, perhaps, but had said exactly the same thing. And where does my mother's surgery figure into all this? Well, at the end of this excruciating interview, Sheri asks me how my Mother is doing since her surgery. I allowed that Mom was doing great and that she and my Father were out touring the countryside and visiting several cities they wanted to see. Sheri stared at me blankly, smiled and said "Yes, it's very hard when they're that sick and you can't do anything for them anymore." I said "But, she isn't sick. She's FINE.
She's just on vacation." Sheri continued to nod sympathetically "And they only get sicker and sicker and then they die. There's nothing you can do but hold their hand and hope they won't have any more pain." I tried, in vain, to tell her my mother wasn't dying any time soon, and she kept trying to comfort me over her imminent demise. I learned later that Sheri's own parents were quite ill. Perhaps if I had known I wouldn't have been quite so angry, but even so--why was she trying to bury my Mother? And why couldn't she have mentioned her own parents' problems so I would know? Asharah's comment: Girl needs to deal with her own issues without annoying everyone else.
2) Our annual Christmas Party featured a gift grab bag. Anyone who wished to participate purchased a small gift under $10.00 and wrapped it. When the time came for the grab bag, participants stood in a circle. Someone read aloud "The Night Before Christmas" and every time they reached the word "the" we passed the gift we had to our right.
With luck, when the reading was finished, you would end up with your new gift. (One year we didn't have quite enough people and we all ended up with our own gifts back.) Now, Sheri arrived wearing a bright green chiffon number that ended just below the top of her thighs. She hadn't bothered to buy a gift of any kind, which was fine, not everyone does and those who don't just don't participate. Not Sheri. She wanted to participate. So she reached across the table and took the gift someone else had brought, leaving that person high and dry. Then she got in the circle with their gift and proceeded to play the game. Asharah's comment: And why exactly was she allowed to do this?
Half way thru, as she was passing (rather vigorously) the gifts, she grabbed what turned out to be a large glass bottle of bath salts. We learned it was bath salts in this way: Sheri snatched it from the person handing it to her and tossed it. Needless to say, the bath salts ended up in a pile of glass on the floor. So now TWO
people were out of gifts they had brought and Sheri kept the one she ended up with rather than giving it to the person she stole the original gift from. Charming lady. She thought it was all so funny.
3) Sheri and another Colleague (we'll call her Jill) pulled into the parking lot. Although Sheri had her own parking space, she insisted on taking up any space she found, and since parking in HER
space was not allowed, a lot of people had to park in the middle of lot. Now this morning, Jill pulls in to a parking space, gathers her stuff and gets ready to get out of the car. BAM!
Sheri has pulled in next to her--real close. She crunched up Jill's left fender and light. Jill leaps from the car to point this out. Sheri laughs. "Oh, that does look bad." "Yes," Jill said "and it didn't look that way a minute ago." Sheri laughs and waves her hand at Jill "Well, I'm sure you can find someone who can fix it cheaply for you. Have a meeting! Bye!" Asharah's comment: I would have asked if she would like to repeat that to my sister the lawyer. (My sister is a lawyer, but she doesn't deal with traffic lawsuits. But Sheri wouldn't know that.)
4) Sheri was about as supportive as a wet paper towel (definitely not a Bounty paper towel, either). Ours was a public service institution in a large city. Patrons always expect literal miracles. My particular favorite was a man who came in and demanded that I present him with a book he wanted. I couldn't do it because the book he wanted was (as indicated in the computer catalog) no longer with us--it had been stolen. I could get him one from another institution, but it would take a few days. He screamed at me that he wanted it now and he wanted it from our university, not another one. I tried to explain that the book was gone, that it had been stolen and I could not produce it. He demanded that I go to the thief's home and get it.
I told him I couldn't get the book because I had no idea WHO
stole it. He stormed off and, as it turns out, went to Sheri's office. She returned with him a few minutes later, all smiles and wanting to know why I didn't get the dear man his book. I explained to her (and showed her the entry) which clearly stated the book had been stolen. She turned to him and explained this as if he hadn't heard it from me three times. He replied again that it was unacceptable, that he wanted the book NOW
and he wanted OUR COPY
. And Sheri, ever helpful, turned to me, all smiles and said "Please get him the book." And left me there. Asharah's comment: Does she expect you to pull it out of thin air?
5) Because Sheri refused to cooperate with a local government official (this wasn't a company I worked for, but a city) on budgets, and because she made disparaging comments about the official in question, the Mayor cut our particular budget almost in half, necessitating that she fire over half of us. Somehow I just barely made the cut and got to stay...not that this was of great comfort. When the day came for the lay offs, Sheri visited each person and gave them a photo she had taken of them and said how sorry she was that the axe had fallen. When she got done, she turned to me and some other workers that were staying and said "But I wouldn't get too comfortable, if I were you, because I will probably be cutting all of you, too." We never did get cut because Sheri resigned soon after. Which brought up memorable moment number:
6) Before she left, Sheri gathered us all together to give her farewell address. We are a small university and really didn't need this kind of thing as we needed to be staffing public desks, but there we all were. She went on (and on) about how she had TRIED
to cooperate with us, but she had known from day one that it would be impossible and the reason she knew we would be impossible was this: we hadn't thrown her a "welcome" party when she first arrived. Now, for starters, it isn't a custom out here to do such a thing. (She told us how the last place she worked at had a big welcome party for her complete with roses and barbecue. I also heard from someone who worked at that place that when she left, they had a BIGGER
party to celebrate) Second of all, the people upon whom she was heaping her wrath for not throwing her a welcome party had not even been working for the university when she was hired. I hadn't even come on the scene until three years after she had been hired. And all the people who HAD
been there and hadn't thrown the party for her had already been fired or resigned. (We lost twenty people one summer and when the Board of Trustees asked her about it, she replied "Oh, you always have to expect a turnover when a new and creative person takes the reins." Yeah, and that creative person would be who???)
When last heard from, I am happy to say that Sheri got herself in a whole lotta trouble at her new job...the governor of the state wouldn't put up with her games where budgets are concerned and told Sheri to make cuts or give up her job. Sheri balked, saying she wouldn't hurt her employees (wish she had felt that way about us! We still haven't recovered five years later.). The governor then fired her from the job. Sheri continued to go to work--and was finally removed by the police. It kind of gives us all a warm glow to think about that now. I just pray I never have to meet up with that ditz ever again. BadBosses0316-04