He's 12 years younger than I am, and his knowledge of me was all heard second hand from others before arriving here. He had never supervised anyone older than him and it was a problem for him for some reason. I, on other other hand, had plenty of supervisory experience in the steel industry working with a crew of 40 to 50 people of all ages.
His two biggest misconceptions of me involved his position and my independent streak.
He knew I was qualified to fill the position he was coming into and he couldn't understand why I didn't want the position myself. He harbored some weird thought that I was there to undermine him basically. It took months for him to figure out I didn't want his job.
The other issue/misconception he had was that I was hard to supervise. His new boss, who I had known 5 years previously under my boss who was retiring, had told him he should simply leave me alone. He didn't take that the way it was intended though. Instead of hearing I was proficient at my job, he interpreted it as I was a pain in the ass.
When he arrived here he went out of his way to assert he was the boss. It was a mild irritant at times, but for the most part, amusing to me. It's really hard to get me wound up over petty crap. I knew that over time he'd eventually see that he should leave me alone. He did finally, but it was interesting the first few months he was here.
Now that I've worked for him almost four years things are peachy and keen. He's a pretty decent guy.
(There's always a "but", it's an unspoken and unwritten rule somewhere that a "but" is always involved.)
He has a wife, who pops into the store quite often. The fact that she pops in often isn't the problem though. She's very nice as well.
Too nice, actually.
She fancies herself as a matchmaker. I've been single for a long time. This fact bothers her for some reason. She's got this bubbly personality and, well, I'm not a bubbly type of person, but I'm a relatively happy person, content with my life as it is. So while she's very nice, and well meaning, she's a pain in the ass to me.
(To my boss' credit he knows me pretty well and always tries to divert her away from me as much as possible when her matchmaking persona invades the store. She's hard to thwart though and he ends up apologizing profusely when she leaves the store.)
Both of them are little social butterflies though. They like to throw dinner parties, barbecues, holiday type parties, etc. Invariably they want me to attend many of these. Which is fine because I consider the boss a friend as well. When our schedules permit we've golfed together, he's gone out on the river fishing with me, although I think he just likes getting out on the boat, rather than the actual fishing part.
But these "social events" drive me crazy. It's a no win proposition for me. If I show up without a date, she always has someone there that's "just perfect" for me. Ah, not so much.
If I show up with a date it's a nightmare for the person I cajoled into going with me. They get cornered by her with her grilling them about how long we've been together, how happy we are, how serous is the relationship, blah, blah, blah. She can't accept it's simply a date, with no other strings attached other than a night out. I have a friend we'll call Jackie (primarily because it's her name) who fills in admirably as a date, and I for her when she has the need of one as well. We're simply good friends.
The problem here is that the boss' wife really likes Jackie. Unfortunately that feeling isn't reciprocal though. I haven't asked Jackie in over a year to attend one of these "social events" because of the torture she goes through when she's accompanied me in the past.
Yesterday I was off, and Jackie saw a need to have me around for the day. She had just bought a house and needed to look at appliances, she wanted a snow blower, and some other things she felt a guy's input would be useful on. So we were running around town with me giving her expert advice, as only a guy can pretend to possess, on things a woman wants to hear about, but doesn't normally don't want to think about.
One of our stops was at Best Buy and who do we run into? You guessed it. The dreaded wife of the boss. Had we seen her first we'd have slunk away, but she
So a conversation took place that Jackie thoroughly enjoyed, the boss' wife completely bought into, and left me brain damaged, caught off guard, and stammering throughout the ordeal.
Boss' wife: Hey guys!
Us: (almost in unison) Uh, hi.
Boss' wife: (to Jackie) I haven't seen you in a long time. Did (Just Plain Tired) tell you about the dinner we're having Sunday night?
Jackie: No he didn't.
Boss' wife: (to me) Why didn't you tell her about this?
Jackie: Yeah, why didn't you tell me about this?
Me: It must have slipped my mind.
Boss' wife: So you're both coming right?
Me: Um, uh....
Jackie: We certainly are! We'll be all primed for it. You know honey (to me) we'll get an extra hour of sleep and we'll both feel great that night.
Boss' wife: Are you two together finally?
Me: Uh, no, not exactly, we're.....
Jackie: Oh hush up. (to me) It's not a secret any more. We might as well just come out and let the world know.
(At this point I became a zoned out, brain dead, drooling spectator to this verbal massacre.)
Boss' wife: I just knew it! You two are perfect for each other. He never tells me or (the boss) anything.
Jackie: I'm trying to get him to open up more myself. He's such a private person, you know.
Boss' wife: I know! So how long have you two been serious?
Jackie: I've been fucking his brains out every single day for over six months now.
Boss' wife: Oh my gawd! I am so happy for you two. Now I know why he never wants to meet anyone I try to introduce him to. Why didn't you just tell me you two are together? (to me)
Jackie: Oh hell, you know how he is. He's still a bit hung up on our age difference you know.
Boss' wife: That's a stupid thing. (to me) You're not that much older than her. You guys make a great couple.
Jackie: I tell him that all the time.
Boss' wife: Does (the boss) know?
Jackie: I doubt it. Wouldn't he tell you if he did?
Boss' wife: He would. (to me) You haven't told (the boss) about this?
Me: Um, no, I guess not. It's still all pretty new to me I guess.
Boss' wife: I can't wait to tell him!
Jackie: So what time is dinner on Sunday?
Boss' wife: We're planning on eating about 7:00 pm, but you two should come earlier so we can visit some more. I've got to run and pick up (her son). I'm running so late today.
Jackie: That's great! We'll see you then.
And off she scampers.
Jackie: Now that was funny!
Me: Jackie..... no.....
Jackie: Just shut up. I did you a tremendous favor here.
Me: No, you....
Jackie: You've been single so long you have no clue how a woman thinks. She's so happy with the thought that you're getting laid... plus.... now you're off the market in her eyes. She's not going to be trying to hook you up with any of her unattached friends.
Me: This.... well.... shit....
Jackie: Trust me on this.
Me: Yeah, but....
Jackie: Just. Shut. Up. This will be fun for awhile. Jesus, get with it! We can pull this off with her for a long time.
Me: Well, you're now on the hook for dinner though.
Jackie: So that means you owe me now.
Me: I. Owe. You?
Jackie: You really have no idea how a woman thinks.
Me: Tell me about it.
So I've had some time to digest all of this. Dismay, quite frankly came first to mind. Utter dismay actually. But I've warmed up to this since the initial shock has worn off, because we can pull this off, and for quite some time. I've processed all the future reactions and have come to this conclusion. The boss' wife is very naive, and very nice. When this little charade unravels she'll be slightly embarrassed, but not actually mad. The boss will be cool about it as well. And for me, no more little miss matchmaker to contend with for the foreseeable future.
Yeah, I'm delusional, aren't I?