OT: Most Bizarre Boss ever - Long

OK folks, just wanted to stop in from the steamy 'burbs of DC. Hope all are
having some happy stitching and a good summer.
So, here's my whine - the most bizarre boss. I took a job about 10 days ago
after being phone interviewed, and then in person. Ad was for PT office
management, at interview was asked if I'd do full-time as the Exec Assist to
owner of this fancy dressage barn/training facility (and a bunch of other
businesses), and that they would then hire a pt person to cover some other
hours, more clerical stuff. OK. I explain that I can do 40 hrs - their
full time is 36 - but that over the next month I do have some appts already
scheduled that we'll have to be flexible with. No problem. Gorgeous
Next day - to have "working interview" with the owner - who the woman that
spoke with me says "has some particular habits." WARNING, WARNING WILL
ROBINSON says the robot. Said position has been empty for 8 months (since
last person left for medical - which was replacement for her daughter who
left the year before). Go to working interview - which involves hi, here is
a task for you - set them up to participate in a show at an expo for home
schoolers . OK. I start going thru the folder, and it's a bit unclear
what's done. And the owner talks with me about her difficulty relating to
people - she seems to insult them a lot but thinks she's just being
straight. But, she needs someone "quick" - and is way too busy because her
mind is going all the time. OK. Meet new "working student" who will be
running education programs (he's going to grad school in the fall - lovely
guy from Texas - with long, braids gathered back - trust me this is
relevant). This is Thursday - he was hired on Monday. We talk about the
expo, get stuff laid out - after 90 min the owner comes in, asks if I'd like
to work there, we shake hands on it, and agree to discuss formal details
next day. OK. I agree to come in for a few hours to take care of some of
the arrangements with the host comp. for the expo. Next day - as I take
care, she then tells me that I should work "10-7 Mon-Fri, lunch at 1, and
9-4 on Sat, and some Sundays." Oh, there is no break room (cause she's
renting it out as a bedroom to one of the farm laborers - illegally of
course) and well, make sure the desk is always clean - and the prior person
used to eat in her car. Not likely in 100 degree weather. Hmmmmm. We
discuss that things will have to be flexible with the schedule a bit.
Next week - my car loses brakes on Tuesday - what fun. So, no work. I call
in 30 min early and let her know. The next day when I come to work I get
yelled at for having called in an hour after I really did - which I correct.
Oh, did I mention - when I called on Wed to say I was en-route (after
getting car back and going to doctor) the lovely guy tells me that he was
fired that morning. OK. Plus, on Friday - she had yelled at me - calmly -
to say that the staff shouldn't actually "talk" to each other during the day
- that is for breaks and personal time off. Always must be "efficient" and
working - that is what clients who are "very well set-up' expect. So, it's
been a wondrously bizarre week. Culminating with on Friday her telling me
(after I toured some potential clients around the space) that she "didn't
trust them - he looks like a liar" - yes, she can read faces - because the
shape of the jaw tells her these things. Uh, huh. Oh - that morning's
highlight - going upstairs to make sure I know how to...shut..the..windows -
to be sure they "click" into place. Then on the way down telling me that
"she thinks she just doesn't understand why the staff seem not to do things
exactly the way she would...maybe it's culture."
Hmmmmm - so after actually seeing her trying to ingratiate herself while
clearly ignoring what paying customer was saying (while signing kid up for
riding camp), and evidently bothering said customer (trying to get her to
adopt a puppy even though customer is scared of dogs - there is a pack
roaming - quite nice rescued dogs, but....) I was thinking - don't know how
long this will last. The lovely nice guy tells me (everyone sneaks short
conversations in whispers when owner is elsewhere) that the boss told the
staff that she thought I was a cancer because I was so friendly and they
would want to waste time and talk with me in the office. Yup, every time
someone was in there for a 5 min talk - of which at least 4 was business -
she would then "talk with" all parties involved saying we had wasted an
So yesterday as I'm getting ready to leave I get a call from her that I
needn't come in 'cause the camp was all confused (they'd over-enrolled) and
she wouldn't be able to oversee me in the office. OK. I send her a note
reminding her of my couple of apptmts over the next 2 weeks. At 11 last
night I got an e-mail that I shouldn't feel obligated to come to work - and
thanks for trying out.
DH decided that her brain works on a dog's clock - 2 minutes = 1/2 hour.
5-10 min = 1 hour. In 6 days of work I have more bizarre incidents - from
the leaning over my desk to make sure I'm hitting the right keys to send
e-mail, to a stream of "I told you -----" when in fact it was precisely the
So - now for the cultural issue - older woman (late 60s) who left her home
country in 82 (after we think burning some bridges with the governing body
the sport there as in never going to make the Olympics) and went to Canada.
I cannot imagine how you lovely, friendly, more casual even than us
Americans, dealt with this woman. That lasted 5 years - when she came to
the US - rather than wait to see if she made the 88 Olympic team (has anyone
ever heard of being long-listed) to "share her knowledge" with America.
Yup, then came to the horsey area here from Michigan just about 10 years
So....one of the training staff says to me she applied for a job at Dover
Saddlery (a fabulous horsey store that has a big branch here) - and the
manager said "oh, you're the 4th one we've had from there. Big turnover."
I'm thinking my ex-boss and family never left the 3rd Reich - yup. Best
part - DH asks - did you mention that you speak German. I did mention that
my German was getting refreshed (as she spoke in German to the caretaker for
her quite elderly mother) and certain phone calls, and to the Arts teacher
(also German). Easy to listen to her insulting all the staff in German.
Not unhappy to be "laid off" - just hope I get the $$. Very bizarre
experience, but I'll know that you can tell how honest people are by the
shape of their jaw and face. Hmmmmm, what do we think she's been reading.
Not to mention the little notes made of people's race on the phone log.
Whew - this is not my summer for work! So, the application continue while
we wait to see if I can go back to the big girl job.
Reply to
Ellice K.
I've always said that horse people are the craziest, most irrationally opinionated sub-set of humans around. How whacko being directly proportional to how high a level of showing the barn participates in (read: $$$$ spent per horse) Don't hold your breath for your wages. MM
Reply to
On 7/13/10 3:12 PM, in article
*big snip*
LOL - I think that my life seems to be surrounded by weird of late. I told DH that I must've been very, very, bad in a prior life, but OTOH, I got him this life, and he's so deserving of better that I wonder.
Do take your tack on the horse people - but having grown up in a variety of barns, so to speak - little surprises me. Including having been an underage hot-walker, who got to do a little exercise riding, at a big race track when I was in high school. Pretty fun - I'd bike to the track at 5 am, and hope to be home in time to change before getting on the bus to school at about 10. My classmates not always appreciating the eau d'horse that came with me if I ran late.
The older gent who looked after our trail horses in NC (from the summer camp I worked at) during the winter was a typical country fellow. I can still remember him giving us lectures about "facing the mare north so you can have ye'sef a boy colt" - when breeding. He had a pre-civil war side-saddle in the tack room, that one of my pals and I had a fine time learning to ride with.
Evidently the whacko has decided she will pay me "of course" - and I'm picking them up tomorrow. This woman, seriously, is the most extreme and offensive that I've encountered - and I had an interesting time reading commentary about her on the Chronicle of the Horse forum. But, seriously, gorgeously, well-cared for animals in the barn.
Thanks for making me feel not so bad..... ellice
Reply to
Ellice K.
I've met the best and the worst of people in the horse ( & show) world. Some of the old-timers came across as such cranks when I was a kid, but now as an adult, a lotof their opinions/ideas kind of make sense. But for the most part, it was all about safety- the horse AND the rider's. "Mimsie- No riding until you have the stalls done and the aisle swept!" Thanks to Frank, I now have OCD about sweeping the barn floor! Makes my BO laugh her ass off when she sees me with the broom. Don't you find more horse people with just plain weird ideas about things today, as opposed to when you were growing up? But seriously- the weirdest ones are the ones in the big expensive show barns. I'm so jealous about your exercise riding- I SO wanted to be a jockey (thank you Walter Farley!) when I grew up, and then I grew up. No horse racing for me. %^( Isn't COTH a hoot!!?? Have you seen horseshowspy? Now THAT'S where all the gossip is! I think you have to establish an account to read. I hope your job situation improves! OH- and better cash the check quick!
Reply to
On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 14:11:57 -0400, "Ellice K." wrote:
I'm not surprised you're getting paid. From your description of your (former) boss, she probably believes "Alles muss in Auftrag sein!" (All must be in order!) Super controller, micro manager, obsessively orderly and detailed. LOL. You're well out, I think.
Alex, who suspects it *is* a cultural thing.
Reply to
On 7/14/10 3:03 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,
Alex, I totally agree that it is a cultural thing. I just have the suspicion that this woman is living in her own bizarro-world of post-war Germany culture, and never quite made the switch. What was interesting to me - is that when I used to have the "big girl" job, I worked for years with colleagues in Germany - very happily and successfully. But, I think this person sort of missed the move to join the rest of the world, etc. And, you know, there is no accounting for peoples' personal prejudice.
Happily agree to be well out of it. Honestly, the facility looks fab, and if not so nutty would be a great opportunity, but OTOH....I actually know someone else who has a terrific dressage barn, and had encouraged me to start riding with her (former patient from my medic side). So, hopefully another bunch of # off, and I might be able to fit into some riding gear and do that. The other woman will laugh hysterically I'm sure when I tell her that I had the wondrous 10 days of crazy.
Reply to
Ellice K.
On 7/14/10 2:39 PM, in article
Very true. When I was about 12 I moved to a barn that specialized in Arabians and some gaited horses. The Arabian side - fabulous. Covered all the differences, and I learned quite a bit at that barn (including my first experience with breeding - as in here - you hold the tail). Gaited horses, hmmmmm - a different thing - not at our barn. But, often at shows the Arabians were in close to the gaited horses and that's one crazy world going back then. Some awful training things done - which have supposedly been removed from the discipline now. Was around barns with gaited horses thru part of college - and actually had a saddlebred for trail riding, and a SB/Tbred cross that the camp owner bought for me that I used for teaching. Lovely, big fellow. Switched to hunters/eventing later - in my early 20s - and love to see that the barn I was at is still going strong. But, grad school has a way of interfering and the gear got sold, etc.
All good and understandable things. Having had some bad care of stalls at the summer camp, and dealing with one of my favorite Qqrtrhorses being foundered due to improper stall cleaning, I could be OCD. Once you've seen the damage of laminitis, and spent a lot of time trying to treat the animals it makes that OCD seem a bit more reasonable.
Are you riding now?
True. Although, for my years with the summer camp program the oddest - not just the country good ole'boy - who was a really nice man - but we'd go to livestock auctions outside of Greenville SC - and that was truly an event. All the wheeling and dealing - and if you saw an interesting animal then trying to get a good look - or maybe jump on and do some quick ride around the back of the auction barn. Really interesting stories - and making sense of them.
I appreciate that jealousy - it was only for one school year. And just a rare combination that worked out - the BFF of my own senior counselor at summer camp (when I was a Counselor-in-Training - but due to staff shortage actually teaching riding) was a college student who exercised at a racing barn. She met me in the late summer (just before school started) and we talked, I visited her, and she pretty much stuck her neck out with the trainer to get me in as an almost 15 yr old to hot walk. Which turned into me being able to do a little bit of exercising - not on the million dollar animals - but still a fabulous experience. It was a lot of serendipity in that we lived close enough to Gulfstream that I could ride a bike (no mom driving me at 5 a.m.) and being as this was in the way early 70s, you could do this - it was before laws changed about minors at the track, etc. Plus, I wasn't very big then - still about 5'4" and under 125#, and exercise riders don't make jockey weight. It is a thrill, and for years I couldn't go to a track 'cause I feel weird not being able to be on the backside.
True. We're right on the edge of the horsey area, and there are a lot of locals there. It's interesting for a browse. I just lurk. Have a friend managing a Hunter/Jumper/Eventing barn very near the house, and he's asked me to drop by and hang-out - so I think I'm going to do that.
I remember years ago, I had some full-ride offers to a couple of colleges for equine studies, and my dad said to me "seriously - do you think you can spend the rest of your life talking about horse-sh*t - 'cause that's what it will be?" So, instead, I'm an n-gin-eer and can't spell it (joke). But, his concern being that there wasn't family money to pay for pricey horses, etc and he thought I'd be intellectually frustrated. Who can say.
Thanks! I think things will work out - evidently I'll be back at my PT 'coffee shop job (after meeting with District Mngr & new store mngr) with some potential. And that lets me work on my other stuff. Plus the big girl job may actually happen in the fall.
I'm heading down to Manassas tomorrow to pick up the check, and right to the bank....It's been a dangerously tight $$ month - with me not having been paid in a couple of months - so, that's the grocery, extra $$ for the immediate future. Kind of the when it rains it pours month here.
We'll now have a horse OT line to counter the Hockey OT! And hopefully not bother the uninterested.
Ellice *snipped the prior big chat*
Reply to
Ellice K.
On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 15:32:34 -0400, "Ellice K." wrote:
For better/worse. I had a close friend who raised half-Arabs. Small operation. I raised Dalmatians. Match made in heaven. I provided her with my best Dal bitch, Surry's Crystal Cobweb, for show times. One of her half Arabs spooked and caved in her skull. Shortly thereafter she found her true calling and rode off with an obese outlaw biker.
Go figure!
Have fun, and enjoy your equine buddies. SWMBO and I have been to Hungary and she has ridden some of those *dedicated* (one trainer for life) horses. I could not, bad back. We were personally permitted into the closed foaling barns, a privilege we truly enjoyed. Going back next year.
Meanwhile, so drop those few pounds and get back in trim. The sense of union is amazing and many will never understand it.
Alex, envious.
Reply to
On 7/14/10 10:30 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,
There is no figuring. It's just the vascillations of life. I had a Lhasa Apso (which I'd taken from my DA 'cause her young son was making the dog crazy) when I lived in NC. The dog thought he was huge, and roamed the woods around my place quite a bit. However, he didn't seem to get it that the horses in the barn were much bigger and would annoy the heck out of some of them. Until one day a friend's sizable event horse just took that big hoof and lifted the dog right out of his stall...and down the aisle a bit. Not terrible - the dog (Scoobie) was fine, and after that head shaking got the idea of how to live in peace with the hounds and horses. You just never know. The barn one of my friends boarded at had a sheep for companion to someone's 17.3 hand saddlebred. The horse (a stud of course) was a freakin' disaster without the sheep - like a work of fiction. But, as long as the baa-baa was around he'd trailer, do whatever.
Sounds awesome. One of my former colleagues (from engineer life) in England, has family in Ireland, and brought back a stunning chestnut hunter. I always loved it, and felt really privileged, when I was over there and I could go to her barn - as the trainer/owner had some amazing animals there. A couple of times he was nice enough, and trusting, to let me ride out with them on the estuary shore - what fun.
Too true. I use this as my goal while sweating thru exercise workouts - and keeping track of what's going in my mouth (albeit not necessarily the babbling coming out).
Ah, don't be. You get to go to Hungary - while I'm steaming away in VA!
Reply to
Ellice K.
On 7/15/10 1:10 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@mid.individual.net, "Karen C -
LOL - so it's inspiration to try and be very, very, good in this one. Not that it works, but the thought is there.
Reply to
Ellice K.

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