I was in a shopping mall recently, picking over Hickory Farms cheeseballs, which are a terrible weakness of mine. I call it terrible, because one mound of that soft, cheesy goodness on a cracker invariably turns into many more mounds on many more crackers until the goo in my stomach threatens mutiny.
Most cheeseballs aside, though, there was what seemed to be a regional manager talking to his new store manager out in middle of the mall only a couple of feet from me, and the regional manager was giving the store manager what I am sure he might have thought was a motivational talk, but it kind of made me want to kick his knees out from under him. The store manager, a young woman who could not have been more than twenty-one, listened quietly and, I can only assume, wanted to do the same thing to him that I did.
I was so inspired by my witness of such exquisite retail hell that I wrote down what I heard on a piece of scrap paper on top of a Hickory Farms gift box while I eavesdropped. My training in the ancient art of shorthand comes in handy now and again:
Mr. Regional-Manager-Guy-With-the-Pencil-Moustache-and-Douchy-Ed-Hardy-Shirt's Motivational Speech
There will be times when I'll hold your hand, but there will also be times when I'll hold your head under water, stand on your neck [mimics standing on a person's neck with his right foot], and you'll be sputtering for air, but I'll still hold you under until you know how to ask for help, even if you're grabbing at my leg for me to save you, because that's why Julie failed, because she tried to fix things herself.
You will have days when you think that you don't have what it takes to do this job, and you might not, most people don't, and you'll have days when you think I'm a bastard, and I can be a bastard, but it's for your own good, because you have to learn that I am right.
If you want help, though, you'll have to ask for that help before January, because come January, I won't be risking my life driving on black ice on the highway in Saskatchewan. I might fly, but I won't risk wrecking my BMW to solve problems you've created.
You got that? It's up to you.
I betcha Mr. Regional-Manager-Guy-With-the-Pencil-Moustache-and-Douchy-Ed-Hardy-Shirt is popular with all the ladies.
I had a manager once way back when I worked in fast food who sidled up to me while I made salads one afternoon and told me that his body was completely hairless from the neck down and did not sweat. He also informed me that this meant he was "hairless and soft like a newborn baby all over", and all he ever had to do deodorant-wise was pat himself down with baby powder. Although that body-wrackingly shudder-worthy moment was on a completely different level altogether than Mr. Regional-Manager-Guy-With-the-Pencil-Moustache-and-Douchy-Ed-Hardy-Shirt's totalitarian dictatorship management style, I can assure you that it was likely no more enjoyable.
Hit me with your favourite manager stories in the comments and entertain me while I power through my last 15,000 words for NaNoWriMo. Please and thank you.