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How to Lose Your Job in 10 Days

The new interim Director of Application Development started today although nobody has seen him yet.  The reason nobody has seen him is because he does not exist. I know this because I made him up.

Response to the Swear Jar was mixed, but there was definite concern that my solution to the issue was a career limiting move. Even if your boss is an idiot, overt retaliation is not the answer. But dealing with an idiot on a daily basis is quite a challenge, so I realized what I need is a buffer. And since there is already an open position for Director of Application Development to whom I would report, and who would in turn report to Mulhausen, I decided to fill the position myself with a pretend interim Director.

Fessler, the CIO, is on a business trip to Paris for the next 10 days so he won't interfere at least for that time frame. Since this position has been open for such a long time, it stands to reason that Fessler would assign an interim executive to handle the job until the search concludes. And since Fessler hates Mulhausen, it also stands to reason that he would not consult or even inform him of this assignment. And as I mentioned, Mulhausen is an idiot, so he'll believe anything.

I started with the former Director's office. Looks like the new guy has a hot blond wife and two lovely toe head children, courtesy of the picture frames I just bought. I found a Monet print in one of the conference rooms that nobody uses, so I guess he likes post-impressionism. I debated whether or not he should have plants in his office because it might make him seem tender when he needs to be crass. But I stole a palm from another conference room which should give him a gregarious flavor. And I named the new interim Director Alan Smithee.

Next I had Kessler set him up with an email account with a "NC" extension, which means he's "Non-Company" which means he's an outside consultant, which means he cannot be found in any employee database. 

Then I had Gladstone set him up with a PC and printer. At this point, only Kessler and Gladstone know Alan Smithee does not exist. Even Teri doesn't know, and she'll be his new assistant.

Once I informed Teri he was starting today, word traveled fast. Mulhausen showed up at my office by 3:00 p.m.

"Who's this new guy Smithee?" He asked.

"He's my new boss. Didn't Fessler tell you?" I said.

"No, Fessler doesn't tell me anything. But If he's reporting to me, don't you think I should have a say in who gets hired?"

"He's just interim. A consultant."

"Where is he? I stopped by his office."

"I guess he's in a meeting."

Mulhausen was very distraught by all of this. One more person to be insecure about; one more person who would try to usurp his authority. This is exactly why he hasn't been able to hire anyone for the role. If the person is smarter than he is, he or she will hijack his power and take over his job. If the person is dumber than he is, he'll be castigated for hiring an idiot.

Regardless, the most important element of this project is to create a buffer so that I no longer have to deal with Mulhausen so that I will not limit my career potential.

"Come to my office," Mulhausen said. "I want to discuss the budget."

"Well actually..." I began. "Smithee told me that I was not to deal directly with you anymore. That I should go through him and he would go to you. Or if you need something from me, you should go through him. It's the new protocol."

This really set Mulhausen off. In fact, I thought he was going to have to contribute to his own swear jar. But it's the perfect situation for me. Mulhausen doesn't want to piss off the new interim Director since Fessler hired him, but he also doesn't want the new interim Director dictating policy. So until he can straighten this out with the new interim Director, he'll abide by the protocol. And since there is no real new interim Director, he will always never be able to talk to him in order to straighten this out, so he will always have to go through the new interim Director to get to me. Which means he will never be able to get to me, since the new interim Director doesn't exist.

This is going to be great. At least for 10 days. 

Reader Comments (1)

Dude you're crazy. I'd be shitting bricks if I were you. This whole Smithee situation might seriously make you suicidal...for real.

December 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBlake

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