Breakdown Of A Bad Compliment From My Boss

Breakdown Of A Bad Compliment From My Boss

By no means am I a stellar employee. I spend most of my days at work trying to hover right between levels of consciousness. There’s this way that I position myself where I put my ass towards the front of my chair so I’m slouched backwards, and I put one hand on the mouse and the other on my keyboard so it looks like I’m working. Then I zone out and keep my eyes half open with a milky glaze and I kind of fall half asleep. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Looks like I’m productive, but I do nothing. I don’t hate it.

That being said, my numbers are solid and the higher ups are happy with the quality of my work. If they knew how I spent my time, I think it would be rational for them to give me a standing ovation. One boss though… this guy’s kind of a dick, and I don’t think he knows it.

I was listening to a solid Podcast about The Bachelorette, fajitas, and Miatas when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I pulled out my earbuds and turned around to some corporate fat cat with a Fuckboi haircut, and he said, “Hey Jake, I’m trying to compliment people more often, so I just wanted you to know that I think you’re pretty competent. I wouldn’t have thought that when I first met you.” I told him I appreciated his appreciation and went on with my day. Then I realized… that was a pretty mean thing to say. Let’s break this “compliment” down.

I got to give him props. He got my name right. For the first 3 months I worked here, he called me Jason, John, Jon, Jerry, and Jack. Then for the next 6 months, he didn’t talk to me at all. So I was pretty excited when he actually called me by the right name. That was neat.

Then he followed it up by saying, ”…I’m trying to compliment people more often…” Did he… did he just compliment himself? Yes. Yes, he did. He acknowledged a personal flaw within himself and corrected it. He didn’t need to tell me that; he’s just a narcissistic dick. As it turns out, that was actually the only compliment that was said in his entire spiel. Congrats to you, shit brain: you’re a good person. At least someone made it out of this confrontation with undeserved dignity.

Next up was, “…I wanted to let you know I think you’re pretty competent.” Wow. So… okay… fuck me right? It’d be one thing to say, “I think you’re competent,” but no, he even put it one step below that just by adding the word “pretty.” That’s the most minor thing he could say to me. Don’t beat around the bush, just tell me like it is. “Jake I think it’s pretty great that you know how to use a computer. Hell, you even know the ENTIRE alphabet. Hats off to you man.” Get the fuck outta here. Like… I’m not trying to brag, but I’m on a pretty solid streak of not walking into work, tripping, falling and looking down and it’s because my shoes are tied together. What more can I do to be considered a fully-fledged competent person? Do I wear a bib when I eat? Well yeah. Sometimes, but still… fuck him.

He capped off his commendation with a straight up insult. “I wouldn’t have thought that when I first met you.” What the hell did I do wrong on my first day? It’s not like with walked in with a propeller beanie, a tie that went down to my nipples, a shirt tucked into my underwear, and pants that only went down to the top of my ankles. I imagine that when I walked in he looks to the guy next to him and says, “Hold on, did that moron DRIVE here? Who the hell gave him a license? His goddamn eyes are crossed! Dude’s mom probably still puts his letters to Santa in the mailbox.” Leave my mom out of your hypothetical conversation you dick head. Also yes, my roommates still do that for me. I don’t know man… this dude’s beefin’ and he just used a Gallagher sized meat tenderizer to beat the shit out of me.

I just sat there for the rest of the day like George Costanza thinking of what would’ve been a good comeback. “Thanks, man. Tell your therapist that next session she should work on your overwhelming need to have a 24-year-old think you’re a rad dude. Also, you have a raging boner right now. I’m not sure why, because you just jerked off all over me.” I should’ve said that… I should’ve, but I didn’t.

Instead, I started putting intentional typos in my emails so he has a harder time understanding what I’m trying to say. I know it’s completely counterproductive and actually proves his point, but he’s already made up his mind. I guess we’ll have to see what my next employee evaluation has in store for me. I can see it now, “Jake Beckman: Wears Velcro shoes because he tripped over himself in the doorway last March. Basic grasp of the English language. Sometimes forgets to wear a belt. Overall- kind of competent.”

Image via Shutterstock

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I'm a Stand-Up Comic based out of St. Louis, and one time I was student of the week in middle school.

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