A few days ago, my wife Jenny and I had a conversation. It went like this:
“Why are you taking so many Advil?”
“Because my neck hurts. I’m stressed because I have a lot of work to do.”
“Then you have a horrible boss. And it’s you.”
Ugh. She was right. I’ve learned something surprising recently.
The worst boss I’ve ever had is me.
That guy is a huge jerk.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked for demanding people before, but never like this guy. It’s never enough with him. I tweet, I blog, I facebook. Come April 7, 2015, I will have published 5 books in 5 years. I’m speaking across the country and working harder than I ever have before.
And he still thinks I should be doing more.
There’s always one more opportunity to chase, one more tweet to send or one more moment to capitalize on. It’s exhausting and the worst part is, unlike every other boss I’ve ever had, he lives with me!
When I lay my head down on the pillow, it is him who chases me into fitful sleep.
When I rise, it is him telling me I slept in too late.
When I shower, he’s even there, shouting ideas over the sound of the water, a cacophony of tasks that I must see to that day.
His favorite word is “more.” More hours spent behind a laptop, more blog posts written, more emails answered. More. More. More.
The confusing part is that this relationship started off so well. We used to be friends. Years ago, when I was frustrated at my job, it was he who told me I could be more, that I could do more. On the mornings I didn’t want to write a blog before going to my corporate job, he was the one cheering me on.
But the cheers have turned to jeers, the encouragement to discouragement. The advil from occasional medicine to regular candy.
What’s the solution? That’s what blog posts need right? Somewhere along the way I started to believe a blog post was like a sitcom. People are busy. String a couple of jokes together, transition to a problem people relate to, wrap it up with a solution in under 400 words. Cue golden retriever to run through as the credits roll. You take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there you have, the Facts of Life.
But life isn’t like sitcoms and blogs shouldn’t be either. (Unless it’s The Wonder Years. That was my jam growing up. Winnie Cooper!)
I don’t have a solution to this miserable boss haunting me. Just a confession. I have a horrible boss right now. As I type this, he’s swearing I should be focusing on something else. As I close my laptop I know he will say, “You should have written two posts, not just one.”
If you have a horrible boss too, let’s be honest about that. Let’s drag these dragons into the light. Nothing ruins a dream like a nightmare of a boss. And he’s coming for your dream too. She’s coming to tighten her hands around the joy you initially start a dream with under the guise of “improvement” or “hustle.”
The days of my horrible boss are numbered. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, but I know he doesn’t have long left. I’m on to him. I’m done playing a role and acting like I’ve got it all together. I don’t. I don’t care if he tells me I’m a published author and have an image to maintain. That’s stupid. Horrible bosses are the worst.
If you’ve got one too, let’s hear about it.
It’s going to get messy. And loud. And at the end fun. Why fun? Because we’re about to get better bosses.