Quote of the week

Jack Baruth’s last post for 2015 was nominally about hookers, but a section on avoiding the appearance of hooking had more, shall we say, universal applicability:

I’m in a pretty decent team at my current contract but I’ve worked places where I thought everybody in the department would be primarily useful as a kidney or liver donor. I had a boss a few years ago, a director of the company, who was this sort of grinning nonentity. He lifted weights as his sole hobby, so he had a head that looked like Ron Howard’s on this really wide neck, and he always had this stupid look on his face like he’d just been given an extra ride on a children’s Ferris wheel or something. Every single thing he ever said was either a deliberate lie or a gross misrepresentation of events.

The day finally came when I went into a meeting with him, lost my temper, and said, “You’re an idiot and a wannabe tough guy and I have complete and total contempt for you. Everybody who works for you thinks you’re too stupid to be allowed to take a bath by yourself. When you’re in a weight room by yourself, you’re not the smartest object there.” Let me tell you, that was immensely satisfying and I’ll never forget the look on his face as I proceeded from there to call him out in the most forthright terms possible for ninety full seconds. The reader will not be surprised to hear that I didn’t work there the following day, although it sure as hell wasn’t the last day I collected a check from the firm.

That little diatribe probably cost me a quarter-million bucks in salary and deferred compensation. I know it cost me my “Cadillac” health insurance. But it was worth it. By the time I was done with him I’d wiped the smile off his face. That’s a moment that I’d have been proud to have my son witness. But most of my days are pretty ordinary. I go to work. I go home. They pay me. It’s a living.

A lot of us swear by those last four brief sentences, even if occasionally we swear at their implications.


  1. backwoods conservative »

    2 January 2016 · 7:59 am

    I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.

  2. ETat »

    2 January 2016 · 9:36 am

    bc: I work. they pretend to pay me.

  3. ETat »

    2 January 2016 · 9:39 am

    J.B. post is written with gusto (“verve”?); that animated tone is the obly good quality of the piece.
    the philosophy behind is primitive and totally disgusting.

  4. Jack Baruth »

    2 January 2016 · 10:31 am

    Well, I *do* look like a caveman, and my ancestors were a bunch of Teutons and whatnot. I will admit to primitivity.

  5. CGHill »

    2 January 2016 · 10:50 am

    I will, of course, swipe that weight-room remark the moment it becomes useful to the current situation. It shouldn’t take long.

  6. ETat »

    2 January 2016 · 11:05 am

    JB: you might look like refined courtier from the times of Marie-Antoinette; that has nothing to do with your primitive, offensive and chauvinistic philosophy.
    And that’s someone making money by writing professionally!

  7. McGehee »

    2 January 2016 · 2:07 pm

    Tat, I’m sure he’s just as shattered by your disapproval as he was at losing that job.

  8. Jack Baruth »

    2 January 2016 · 5:00 pm

    My philosophy is really only offensive to unattractive women and men who can’t get a date.

    I’ve never had a woman turn me down because I wasn’t progressive enough :)

  9. ETat »

    2 January 2016 · 5:06 pm

    …and I can care less of his reaction.

    He is a tough guy wannabee himself, with his 90 seconds of “telling truth to power'” when he lost his patience for an incompetent boss.
    And his self-excuse for being a pen-for-sale at all other times.
    He is not a mensch. He is not a hero. A mensch will be calmly courteous, on equal distance from extremes: neither an infantile loudmouth, nor an ass-licking lackey. A mensch will be doing his job regardless of extraneous circumstances – up until he’s prevented from doing so by too many factors. And then would be time to look for a different workplace.

    I am not even touching on his “empathy” for prostitutes who – supposedly – just doing their job. Or his repetitive insistence on questionable wisdom of explaining his work to a 6yo boy (but not a girl. A girl’s opinion of her father’s competence doesn’t matter, right)
    And that confident claim that all men are like him: low-esteem, petty, envious and bad-mouthing assholes who – without any basis whatsoever – assume that woman who “doesn’t want to go out with them” has to be punished. But no, he’ll do no punishing himself – he is too cowardly for that – but he’ll be giggling reading of someone who does.

    Self-congratulatory lowlife poseur, that hero of yours.

  10. ETat »

    2 January 2016 · 5:18 pm

    Oh, yeah, and another thing – probably the most appalling. His populist, vulgar-Marxist praise for proletarians vs. managers. That – from somebody hwo is NOT a proletarian. How limousine-liberal of his (or another $$$$$ vehicle of his expert choice…)

    I see another great comment of his, with characteristic mention of “unattractive women”. And the word “progressive”, as if it’s a good thing.

  11. CGHill »

    2 January 2016 · 5:27 pm

    Inasmuch as he has no daughter, I suggest that we don’t know how he would break the news to her.

  12. Jack Baruth »

    2 January 2016 · 5:38 pm

    I guess I should just be happy that this fellow has promoted me into the :”bougie” class from my natural place among the proles.

  13. CGHill »

    2 January 2016 · 6:21 pm

    Tat’s a she. Really.

  14. ETat »

    2 January 2016 · 10:54 pm

    I suspect he doesn’t have a son either. Nor a wife. Or, more likely, he’s had wives. Not one stayed for long.

  15. Jack Baruth »

    3 January 2016 · 10:53 am

    Damn girl you hardcore.

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