INTERVIEW: A passive-aggressive worker on three past bosses that might out-slime Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Anistonand her revenge schemes for all six

Expert Opinion: Horrible Bosses vs. Angry Employee

on July 19, 2011 by Marta Kostyra*

horriblebossesfeature.png*name changed to protect the innocent and the guilty

I've had a lot of bosses. My first job out of college was at an entertainment law firm that had two partners. They weren't so much Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They were Tweedle-secret-serial-killer and Tweedle-disgusting-pig-who-ate-raw-buffalo-wings. They didn't like each other. They were both 35that was the only thing they had in common-and they had no money. The conference table was Tweedle-disgusting-pig's grandmother's dining room table from Buffalo, New York.

Tweedle-secret-serial-killer was very good looking. The second you met him, you were like, "Oh! Attractive young lawyer!" But he couldn't speak to people. He made us all communicate with him through AOL Instant Messenger so he wouldn't have to talk to us face-to-face. And then he went on this three week trip to Asia to, as he claimed, "break into the Asian film market." But he wouldn't give us his itinerary, the numbers where he could be reached, none of that. He sent out this message that said, "I will be unreachable for three weeks." And he wouldn't get a cab to the airporthe made one of the junior associate lawyers drive him and the associate said that all he was carrying was a bag of edamame and snacks and a mysterious trunk. And there was a shirt in the edamame bag. His personal laptop, which he had left open in his office, had a picture of a semi-nude Asian woman, so we thought maybe he was going He also had a client once who could only pay in prints by George Hurrell and he had Anna May Wong on his wall.

He also recorded a country and western album where every song was based on legal issues in the old West. I still have the album. In my first week there, he gave me a copy. I think it was called, In Contempt. He came from money and he independently produced it. There were songs about sheriffs, about the trial of an outlaw. But this man is very stiff. He didn't have the relaxed cowboy swagger.

The other one, Tweedle-pig, he was the opposite. So loud, so obnoxious. His specialty was comedians and comedic actors. But his other specialty was adult film stars because he really just wanted to have sex with him. He would just take on female clients even if they didn't have much of a case just for the one hour consultation. And he would bathe himself in really nasty cologne-we'd all be gaggingand he'd be like, "Hold my calls for an hour," and he'd take them into the conference room. And because they didn't have enough money for an office with a kitchenette, we just had a coffee maker. He would make me wash his coffee cup in the bathroom in the hallway. But it was maybe only every five months that he wanted his coffee cup rinsed.

But I didn't think about killing them. I did a lot of silent screams in the mirror. I'm very passive-aggressive, so I come up with things other then violent actions. But I envisioned this short story about a woman who's been working for these awful bosses and finally snaps and decides to put birth control pills into their coffee so they suddenly have an overload of estrogen and grow moobs and start crying all the time. Sometimes men drink too much soy milk and have too much estrogen, so you couldn't really trace that. I mean, the guy who was into leering already had boobs, so maybe he wouldn't notice.

Another job was working at this national non-profit for real estate. I was an assistant who handled the eventswe'd have two events a month and then a couple special red carpet, black tie events around Christmas and an awards show for building managers and owners. Like for "Excellence in Building Management," and vendors like landscaping, window-washing, security, custodial.

They ended up hiring an events planner to take some of the pressure off the volunteers and me. When she got her business card printed, it had these letters of accreditation, "C.S.M." after her name like it was PhD or D.D.S. or Esq. I was like, that's a new one? So I looked it up and it meant "Certified Special Events Manager." Like it was something she had to get a doctorate in. She had this crazy handwriting that was these giant looped letters. It looked like if a small child was gripping a crayon and trying to learn how to write. She seemed to think she was writing calligraphy. If she scribbled a note, it would be normal handwriting. But instead she insisted on slowly writing in these weird giant loops that you could barely read because she thought it looked very elegant. There was the agent she was trying to avoid, but one day she took his call in front of me and the receptionist and was really flirty with him. When she hung up the phone, the reception said something about how weirdly nice she was, and she said, "I was being fa-tecious." Not "facetious," and honestly I don't think she even knew what facetious meant.

At one of the events, one where we were supposed to get dressed up, the company told us that drinks were taken care of by the company. Usually we were told not to drink and that we were on the clock. She proceeded to get so drunk that she was screaming, rolling around, the valet wouldn't let her get her car, they gave her coffee on the house, she picked a fight with the restaurant manager over the bill and wouldn't give up until finally he said, "I'm not talking to you anymore. I'll call on Monday." This created quite a scandal and she decided that in order to make peace, the receptionist and I would have to pay for our drinks. Because we were clearly the abuse of the free drinks. I had to bring in $30 for drinks and so did the receptionist. That was the job that I willed myself to get fired from to get unemployment. I was appointed the fire drill safety officer and I would wear this hardhat all the time. My sister came in and we did this photo shoot on my desk wearing the hardhat.

I think a really creative way of knocking her off her princess pedestal would be like exploiting her insecurities about being from this small town in the Midwest. It's like those movies where the big city girl has to move back to Arkansas after a death in the family and falls for the rodeo clown and realizes that her jet-setting lifestyle wasn't quite what she needed. There really hasn't been a movie where they show that that country lifestyle is terrible. Doc Hollywood and Cars say that you learn moral values, but really you learn racism and sexism and xenophobia. I grew up in that. So I would banish her from Los Angeles and exile her to some watermelon farm where she has to milk cows for the rest of her life. No one exiles anyone anymore, except Roman Polanski. Except not even him because he can pick where he goes, sort of. But maybe we should bring back exile to the Yukon.

The worst was when I was a temp and I was sent to a radical right wing hate group that had a very nondescript name that they were able to use with the temp agency. It was like, "Something something Pop Culture Studies." I thought, "Oh, it's some sort of film society!" But really it was a radical right wing hate group. They were in the process of changing their name to "Freedom Center of Freedom, America!" or something. I was hired to answer the phones. Everyone seemed nice. And then I noticed this book that was basically, Michael Moore is a Satan who Needs to Die by John Johnson. I thought it belonged to whoever I was filling in for and they were just a radical right wing hatemonger who left their book at their desk. But then I started to notice that there were boxes of these books in the office. They would sell them. They had "Michael Moore" is Satan t-shirts available. It was run by someone pretty prominent. I will say that I kept calling him "David Berkowitz" if that gives you a clue. And he' s crazy.

Then they switched me to sending out these mailings to the Hollywood community about an event out the leftist agenda in filmmaking. I was wanting to get out of there, so I figured I would work as fast as possible to get out of there in a couple of days. Once I finished with the mailing, I was free to go so I got out of there in four days. But I had worked so quickly that they loved methey personally requested me back the next time they had a big project. I was financially desperate and asking people if I should go back. They said I should for just for couple more days. What they had me doing was compiling a list of terrorist-linked groups in America. Some of them were like Hassidic Groups Against Zionism. Islamic Students for More Involvement in Politics. Just college groups to get people of different cultures more involved in America. One of the possible terrorist groups was Feed the Children, because they gave food to starving Palestinian children. And then David would come in and make some joke about towelheads and then go back to Brentwood. They were organizing a trip to the European countries that weren't against American opinion. They called it "New Europe." Poland was one of them and I was really offended because we survived World War II and we don't like hatemongers. I finally called the temp agency and told them the actual name of the organization, not the one they had given the company, and she was like, "Whoa, I am the biggest pinko Commie and I will get you out of there." But then she kind of wanted me to stay for two more days, so I mentioned that doing all of these mailings were hurting my wrists and protocol kicked in. I was pulled out of there immediately and had to go to this clinic downtown where they gave me a jelly stress ball.

I think my revenge can still be had. I maybe left with some personal contact information. And it's Los Angeles so maybe I'll happen to meet someone who might know Michael Moore's agentor know Michael Mooreso I could just get him that personal contact information. If you're gong to single out Michael Moore as this even monster demon, then you probably deserve having Michael Moore coming after you to interview you. There's a post-it note at the bottom of the box where I keep my tax information and my car receipts that may contain the personal information of this head of this hate group.

I love satire, but the movie was still a little ridiculous. Someone like Jennifer Aniston, she's a sex offender and you could just call the police. The other two were a little more believable. But none of them deserved death. Jason Bateman could have just gotten another job. I don't think bosses in reality, no matter how terrible they are, blackmail you. Jason Sudeikis in the chemical company could have easily gotten another jobhe was just staying out of loyalty to his old boss. He should have gotten another job with another dad figure. And to use the fear of never finding another job because of the economy, it's still better than killing your bosses. I didn't see why they couldn't just quit.

But if I was going to get revenge on them, Kevin Spacey would be the easiest to get passive-aggressive revenge on. Colin Farrell was just coked up and not smart, so he'd be less easily humiliated. Any sort of subtle passive aggressive revenge, he'd get mad for a minute and then two minutes later forget about it. But Kevin Spacey could get so irritated with anything, just something misplaced in the house would drive him crazy. The peanut allergy was a good idea, but the thing I hate about movies is they portray the LAPD as stupid. LA detectives would easily wonder why there were peanuts in the shampoo bottle. Put it on food, at least. I want to see a comedy where the cops aren't bumbling idiots or abusing people in the interrogation room because the LAPD has been through so much with Rodney King and the Rampart scandal. They've worked really hard to portray the new face of the LAPD which really represents the entire people of Los Angeles. Instead of murdering every else's boss, they should have connected them all and made them murder each other. That would have been the most calculated revenge.


Tags: Horrible Bosses, Expert Opinion

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