“Mark, it’s Friday afternoon,” I said to my co-worker. “You’re off at 3:00pm and it’s 5:30, dude. GO HOME.”
“I can’t,” Mark replied to me.
“My wife isn’t home.”
While holding back my laughter (and disgust), I replied, “Why the hell does that matter?”
“Well, what am I gonna do without her home at home?”, he quipped back, “Plus, I need her to cut my hair and she’s been resisting doing it lately. I wish she wasn’t so picky about the way it was cut.”
“Well if she’s the one bitching at you about it, she should do it. How long could it possibly take, anyway?”
“It takes about an hour, usually.”
“It’s good to know she spends more time on that head than your OTHER, more important head, man. Just go home.”
Right on cue, my boss walks around the corner.
Admittedly, it wasn’t my most brilliant moment to say that when I knew he was likely in earshot. I’ve often been affectionately referred to as “HR’s worst nightmare,” by my friends at the office for quite some time now.
Up until this point though, I hadn’t had any issues. I say plenty of politically incorrect things at work all the time. This time though, I made the mistake of opening my big mouth in front of someone who mattered.
Nothing more was said that day. Come Monday morning though, I received an email from my boss asking if I had some time to talk to him. Begrudgingly, I trudged to a conference room and sat down, like a guilty man awaiting my inevitable sentencing.
He had three points for me.
1.) We were within earshot of two female employee’s desks who could have heard what I said.
2.) He wants me to have a long, successful career at the company, and don’t want something like this on my record to halt my progression.
3.) I had offended Mark. He thought it was “not cool” for me to bring his wife into it.
Oh, The Horror Of Offending A Female!
This is the perfect example of how females are so coddled in today’s workplace. Note, that neither of the two female employees were actually at their desk. They were both long gone for the day. However, the simple chance that they could have heard my joke was enough to cause alarm. You’re telling me grown, 50 year old women are incapable of brushing off a joke?
Sounds like pre-school where boys weren’t allowed to say bad words like “wiener” in front of the girls.
No doubt, if one of these women were offended by my joke, I could get in a lot of trouble with the Human Resources department. That, in and of itself, is the real joke, not my penis remark. The fact that a woman could single-handily ruin my career because of a joke shows how much power they wield in the workforce.
Long Term Career
Let’s translate this into corporate speak.
“We want you to have a long, successful career, with endless possibilities,” roughly translates to, “We want to abuse you for our own profit as much as humanly possible, because you’re a damn good worker and we don’t pay you nearly what you’re worth. We want to continue to exploit you while stringing you along like a cat chasing a ball of yarn for the next promotion.”
Realize that EVERYONE is ultimately out for themselves. And you should be, too, ROK readers. The days of corporate loyalty, pensions, and respect are gone. You are, at all times, replaceable, especially if you piss the wrong people off. Take a career leap to a rival company that offers you 25% more pay than your previous company – because your current company will offer you 3% next year and claim that they’re as much of a saint as Mother Teresa for doing so.
The phrase “corporate ladder” always fails to mention one thing – the length of the ladder.
Man Up, Mark
Well, needless to say, most of us here are familiar with the type of guy Mark is. His name comes to mind every time I hear or read the word “beta”. He brought his wife to the US from Eastern Europe, and she’s lived here for about 3-4 years with him now. He is paying to put her through college, she has no job, and she already chopped her hair off.
He gets sex, “maybe” once a week, if things are good. Those are his exact words; he’s a dog begging for a bone.
Yet, he was deeply offended by the fact that I made a joke at his expense. He wears his whipped status like a badge of pride, standing next to his wife with his head down and his hands buried in his pocket. He endlessly complains about his nagging wife, but is never willing to stand up and be a man about it.
Can you imagine how much better his life would be if I just sent him a link to Return Of Kings?
F- You, Corporate
What can you take from this? There’s many options if you want
There’s always entrepreneurship. You could start your own business with a product you develop, or do freelance artistic work. There’s plenty of work in a male-dominated fields with manual labor. The possibilities are endless. It took me less than a year of being in the workforce post-college to realize corporate America is not where I want to be. I’ve put a plan in action to get out, because no man should be at the mercy of some office slut who makes more money for doing half the work just because she wears a skirt.
The one thing preventing me from completely severing the lifeline to my job is the possibility of working remotely, away from all of the politics and office drama. Being able to take my American salary to another country and work in the comfort of my own home is a possibility I want to explore.
Learn from stories like mine to blaze your own path. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up just waiting for the HR secretary to set your path, as well as your entire career, ablaze.
A final note about our friend Mark: as I mentioned, he brought his wife here from Eastern Europe, and she was very much lower-class when living there. She received her US citizenship about a month ago. A few of us around the office started taking bets as to how long it would be until she divorced him and took him for all he’s worth.
Let’s hope that betting scheme doesn’t make it back to HR before I walk out the door for good.