Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Covert Boss Game

The best evidence to prove that I am indeed slow came to me just recently.

It suddenly dawned on me that my current (male) Boss really knows how to get what he wants without er...paying for it.
And yet, women are the ones who are often accused (at least by The Manosphere) of 'fiddling the system' to their advantage.

I realise now that men are even better at playing this game.
And the women they play it on are often none the wiser :-)

Until now, anyway.

There is a rule at my place of work.

Before anyone gets sucked into the 'innocence' of it all, like I did, let me alert you to the fact that this rule did not exist until sufficient 'intel' was gathered as to which of the women at my workplace could cook and bake.
Just keep that in mind as you read on. It's a crucial bit of 'evidence'.

This rule has no official name, but that's already half its charm.
With no name, one could almost rationalise that it does not exist.

But I see now what's going on here.
Oh yes. ST has woken up, so to speak.

I have nicknamed it 'The Saint and Sinner' Rule.
I don't think I have ever come across a similar 'rule' in my life.
It has never existed anywhere else I have worked before.

But then again, this may be to do with the fact that I live in a country which is used to 'making its own rules' under the guise of 'we are neutral'.

Wish I'd thought of it myself.

Before I continue, I think it is worth stating that the atmosphere at work is a fairly pleasant one. We all get along great.
Sure, there are the usual little personality clashes and power struggles between certain factions of the institution, but in general, we all like each other and work well as a team.
That's important to note, because I don't think the following would work without this caveat.

This rule states that whoever does something deemed 'bad' or 'stupid' or not up to par with the standards of the workplace gets 'punished' in a manner of the Boss' choosing.
That 'manner' happens to be of a culinary nature.
And the 'sin' could be absolutely anything.

Yeah, you can already see where this is going...
But it took me considerably longer to figure it out.
So, to summarise, if you are late by more than 5 minutes, if you commit whatever 'howler' as determined by The Boss, you get to bring in a culinary delight of your choosing.
Yes, you get to choose.
See? Even when you are being chastised, you do retain some privileges :-)

And what's more, and get this, the same applies when you have done something deemed 'impressive' or 'heroic' by said Boss.

When you do something bad, you get punished.
And when you do something exceptionally good, you get punished too.

Except, the latter is framed as 'you get to celebrate your success with the rest of the team' with accompanying gastronomic distractions of your own choosing.


I kid you not.

All of the above is outrageous enough, no?

Not quite.
The injustice doesn't end there.
If only...

See? The 'rule', as I have discovered, tends to be unleashed upon the members of the team who are of, let's just say, the fairer sex.

No joke.

Not just that it's the women, but those of whom are known to cook and bake routinely.
So basically all the married ones, and some of the single ones.

After a series of team outings including this one, it became common knowledge which of us ladies liked to cook and bake in our spare time.
Epic fail for the loose-lipped.

Because all of a sudden, this rule appeared from nowhere and suddenly, we ladies found ourselves consistently falling short of the new 'standard' or inexplicably doing über well all of a sudden.

In one week, I was both a saint and a sinner :-)
That cost me two cakes :-)

One other female colleague was caught out three times in four days and fed us all at work on all three occasions.

I notice that none of the unattached men fell fowl of this rule.
One time, a married male colleague got caught.
That threw me. I thought - well, the rule is fair afterall.
His wife is a great cook.
And the Boss knew that :-)

I was thinking about this the other day.

I realised I was being a 'wife' at work, and yet no-one had 'put a ring on it'.

Falling prey to covert tactics, my female colleagues and I were giving away wifely duties at work!

I can just imagine my Boss sitting at his desk and cracking those knuckles thinking to himself:
'Nice. Got the ladies at work to give me free food. Success!
Now, all I got to do is to game the wife at home as well....'

Now, I happen to know my Boss' wife.
She is an incredibly beautiful woman (the kind of woman that makes you wonder - how come she is with him?)
And she ain't no pushover.
However alpha my Boss is at work, I have no illusions as to his status at home.
Maybe that's why we get to be pushed around so much :-)

So, now that I have cracked the Boss Game code, will it stop?

We like our Boss.

He's a good guy and we continue to work for him in the manner Danny describes here.
He is fair, he is pleasant (most of the time) and he is great at his job.
When we all go out to celebrate something or just chill out as a group, he will usually pay for everybody.
He will fix stuff for you, like your computer, even if it has nothing to do with work.
And he will tell you on a friday that the weather will be nice on the weekend and you should really go visit that exhibition at such and such a museum if you are so inclined.

He is however unreasonably meticulous and an obsessive compulsive, but that's just him.
And it's OK :-)
He will do everything he can to make your work enjoyable. He will even do your work for you if you charm him well enough :-)

And when you cross the line, you will know about it.
And in that case, it will cost you more than a cake.
But he has a short memory. So your sins are easily erased if you show some goodwill.

I have worked in certain places where the above would definitely not work.
Because the Boss is unpleasant and no-one would tolerate any such nonsense from him/her.

It really is true what they say.
Treat others well, and they will literally go to the ends of the world for you.


dannyfrom504 said...

Thanks for the linkage Love.

One of the sources of pride for me is that the guys WANT to be in my work crew. I must be doing something right.

Lost said...

Who can blame him? he has played his hand pretty well from what i know.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Danny,

That 'something right' you refer to is quite simple, isn't it? You treat 'em right, they'll treat you right back.

The mean bosses I had, I just wanted out of their team.

Simple as that.

@ Lost,

Absolutely right! Can't blame the guy :-)
It's got to the point where people in the team are now starting to 'volunteer' to bring food in for the rest of the team by jokingly inventing misdeeds.
Can't make this stuff up :-)

dannyfrom504 said...

I guess. I treated them right so they have more incentive to work thier asses off for me.

Taking care of your people is a lost art nowadays.

BeijaFlor said...

Hmmm ... an interesting application of rewards-and-punishment, your boss has there.

Just as well that I'm nowhere near joining your organization. I don't think much of my day-to-day cooking, but I do make a killer quiche - ask any cardiologist.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Danny,

"Taking care of your people is a lost art nowadays."


I can't help but agree with you. My current boss is perhaps an anomaly.

But...I wonder if it is to do with 'national mentality'?
There are plenty more of him in the (smaller) country and city in which I reside now, than there were in the UK...
I dunno.
Interestingly, I also find men here generally more 'masculine' (according to my own criteria!) and women more 'feminine' than back home.
Not to say that there are no SMP problems here, of course...

Perhaps I should do a post on different countries' SMP status quo as I see them in the manner of 'Hillbilly vs Cityboy' type thing...

@ BeijaFlor,


Your comment makes me think of the burger bar aptly named 'Heart Attack Grill'.
Unfortunately, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy for many of its customers :-(

I do know some cardiologists - and don't for one second think that cardiologists eat healthily.
Go into any hospital canteen and you will see doctors and nurses gorging their faces with high-fat/high-cholesterol foods.

It's a case of 'do as I say and not as I do', I'm afraid :-)

So in fact you and your killer quiche would be welcome at my workplace.
Just add a cake and you will soon find yourself promoted :-)

dannyfrom504 said...

I'm talking military work environment. I haven't dealt with civilian work centers in a loooooong time. But I DO know how to manage militarily.

The post provides proof Love.

Stay up.