Monday, July 11, 2011

Horrible Bosses

Seth Gordon's Horrible Bosses,the funniest, smartest comedy I've seen in years, boasts a tremendous cast and a plot with which most everyone can identify.

Because we've all had our share of bad bosses.

I experienced my first bad boss on my first job. During my freshman year in college I worked during the summer at a local Dairy Queen. Sticky hands at the end of my shift were OK, and the one-third off my meals while working was a pretty cool benefit. So the gig wasn't a bad way to make money for rent.

Except for The Man.

The franchise owner was more than a horrible boss. He was mean, really. Back in the 80s -- and perhaps they exist even today -- DQ coupons for a "Free Sundae" could be found on cereal boxes. Little kids would come to the store to get their free sundae and The Man would insist he be the one to serve them the ice cream. He's pour out the smallest of dollops into a small cup, slop some hot fudge on it, then smile as he handed it to the kid.

"I hope the kid chokes on that ice cream," he'd say after the kid walked out the door. And he meant it; The Man hated losing a nickle to anyone, even if it was a poor kid who had to rely on a coupon to get some ice cream now and again.

That's why a lot of times I just gave away a lot of his product. To little kids, to adults, to anyone who looked like they could use an extra hot dog or a upgrade in value meals. A whole lotta folks drove off that lot thinking DQ made a mistake and gave them a large fry instead of a small one.

I hope they enjoyed every last salty, fried-in-fat potato slice.

Working for The Man wasn't a complete waste of my time. I learned a lot about how not to treat people, and a lot about how people really want to be treated. Working for The Man made me a better person, because I learned early to do the exact opposite of my horrible boss.

Plus, I still know how to make that cute curly-thing on top of a soft-serve cone!