Bosses From Hell
There isn't much difference between a CEO and a King
Yesterday I saw this video from The Daily Show about how
Prince Charles King Charles III is kind of a demanding boss. I mean being an asshole sort of goes with the job title, right? These are the same guys who used to burn heretics at the stake, cut off their wives’ heads, and murder their own cousins to keep their power.
Now some of the palace staffers are miffed that Chuck asks them to iron his shoelaces, squeeze his toothpaste, and pick up a paper that has fallen in the wastepaper basket?
Charles snarled when he sat down to sign papers and there was something in his way. He threw a hissy fit when his fancy pen leaked all over him.
Dude, you’re the King! There should be rules about this kind of stuff. Next time ask for smaller paper or a bigger desk. And I’m sure Bic would love to become the Official Pen of Buckingham Palace. (Sharpie is already the Official Pen of Mar-a-Lago.)
Sign here to subscribe! No leakage!
Clearly, these staffers have never worked for the CEO of just about any major company. Back in the day, I had a notebook with the dos, do-nots, and quirks of every top-level executive I worked with. I knew that some liked the labels on their water bottles facing a certain direction. I knew that another had several children from a few different wives and I needed a literal family tree to keep everyone straight because even the kids didn’t know how they were related sometimes. And if you’ve read Working with People I Want to Punch in the Throat, you know I’ve never been asked to draw a tepid bath, but I was asked to pick up dirty underwear from behind the bathroom door.
Why don’t these butlers have a notebook?? Like Charles, they’ve had decades to prepare for this moment!
Carson would be appalled by this lack of preparation!
I’ll admit, though, sometimes it’s hard to know what these pampered people will ask for. There’s a story in the video about Charles asking a butler to pick up a paper that fell into the trash can right beside his desk. That triggered a long-lost memory in me.
One previous boss scribbled notes on everything. Post-Its, receipts, notebook paper, envelopes, the mail he received, and more. But he also liked a tidy desk and every night before he’d leave, he’d throw everything into the trash. How helpful, right?
Because the next morning or—even worse—two weeks later, he’d say, “Where’s that paper I was writing on the other day about [insert very important business matter]? I need it.”
Luckily, others had learned the hard way before me that every night someone had to go into his wastepaper basket and dig through all the leaky Coke cans, food wrappers, and used tissues to find all the scraps of paper. That person was always the “new girl.”
Guess who was the new girl?
I’d dig out all the literal words of wisdom and gather them together. Some were crumpled up in a ball. Some had coffee spilled on them. Some were torn into pieces. I would tape them into a notebook with the date on each page so when he asked on Friday about the Post-It he threw out on Monday, I could easily find it.
He never hissed at me over a leaky pen, but he did threaten several times (on speaker phone for the whole office to hear) to fire me over silly things like when I accidentally dropped a call with a former leader of a European country.
Okay, maybe that one was a fireable offense. My bad.