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The final organization I joined was a multinational pharmaceutical organization but, unfortunately, was at the other end of town from where I lived. This did not faze me. I was now the proud owner of a beautiful little, egg yellow car which I loved, and all the energy in the world, and a great deal of enthusiasm.
My interview went well, though I did not particularly like my future boss. An Egyptian with quite a few hang ups, one of which was probably an inferiority complex which he tried very hard to compensate for by rather exaggerated superior behavior. He was also fascinated by all state of the art gadgets, and had to have all the latest in his car. I took it in stride and hoped that he would not feel threatened by me and would finally relax into a normal working relationship. I worked for this particular boss for just under a year, then had my accident.
During that first year, I had some really hard times. Working hours for everybody were supposed to be 7.30 to 4.30, with a half hour lunch break. He used to come in at 12 noon, just as I was going off to lunch, would spend two hours on the phone, then would start work around a couple of hours before cutoff time. I could never go home at a decent hour, and life was getting harder, the hours too long. So I thought that if we could use proper technology to make things easier, why not?! I suggested that we get a recorder, where he can record his instructions, letters, whatever needs to be done, leaves it on my desk, and next morning when I came in I would have all morning to get things done.
He liked the idea very much and immediately ordered a recorder. This could have worked out very well had he used some discipline or even common sense. His process of thought was never clear, nor defined. He rambled. It was quite a challenge producing a letter that made sense out of that mess. But as I had nothing else to do, it was interesting and passed the time. But when he started turning his head away from the speaker that was attached to his lapel, and I couldn’t even hear his rambling, something had to be done.
Knowing his highly sensitive ego and dignity, I had to be very serious and very full of respect in suggesting the most ridiculous solution. I told him what the problem was and suggested maybe we should research the availability of a state-of-the-art speaker that could be hooked up to his nose so that even if he turned his head, the speaker would still be aligned with his mouth. He thought deeply about it and said he would put the Purchasing Department on it. I had to get out of the office very quickly as that nearly was my undoing, trying to imagine the look on the Purchasing Manager’s face on being told what he should be looking for, and what excuses he would be making up for not getting what the boss wanted.
This man did not last long, he was very embarrassingly fired in the most public way possible, but that was after my accident, and after I moved to another department, this time with the Regional Office.
To be continued …

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