BY MALIK CRUMPLER
Most underpaid employees who are not bosses despise their bosses. Most bosses aren’t interested in their disposable employees. For hundreds of years this toxic relationship has thrived in the workplaces of New York City. How is it that in a world of exponential technological increases, can such an ancient relationship failure still plague our work lives? Simple answer is because we let it. Whereas, an employee or boss that refuses to indulge in the petty illusions of corporate titles not only improves their relationships with coworkers, but the entire culture of the corporation.
For nine years, I was a so-called boss to my so-called staff. By boss, I mean: I hired, fired, trained, counseled, and reviewed employees. I aged in those monotonous weekly meetings with my fellow so-called bosses complaining to our so-called higher boss about our so-called staff’s inability to meet the “bottom-lines” of the board. After the general manager exhausted us with the quarterlies and new agenda for maximum profits, all of us bottom bosses would meet up and complain about the board and the market. Such is the nature of the beast, but how to live in the beast without becoming a beast?
When I was a so-called boss, I trained my so-called staff to be the antithesis of the typical employee/boss relationship. I enforced one rule: I am not your boss, you are not my staff. We are individuals gathered here, in this place of work to make money together and have a good time doing it. How do we have a good time? First we acknowledge and accept the fact that from the moment we clock in, until we clock out, we are being paid to be on stage. None of this is real. The workplace is a stage. We are actors playing our parts in this ancient drama called, Getting Through The Shift With As Little Bullshit As Possible From One Another. No one in here is your boss and you are no one’s staff; before you scream and wild out, do your best to deflate your stress with laughs, otherwise I’ll be forced to fire your ass.