Barack Obama and the Office Malcontent (Or, a Rant with No Conclusion)

| December 29, 2012 | Reply

Barack Obama PoutIt won’t surprise you to lean that I don’t think much of our President, but it may surprise you to learn that my dislike is not limited to what he does but who he is. Now, I don’t dislike many people personally; you can count on the fingers of both hands the people I dislike as human beings but our President is one of them. It’s taken me a little while to develop that dislike for him, and to figure out exactly what put him in that rare company, but I figured it out shortly after the election. First, though, a little aside.

Back in the misty days of yore, when I was a teenager and knights on horseback hunted dinosaurs with catapults, my Dad gave me a very useful piece of advice to help me get along in the working world. Essentially, he told me that you never talk smack about the man good enough to give you work. My Dad believed that if someone felt you were worth hiring to do a job, you owed that person a certain amount of respect. After all, they could have hired someone else, but they didn’t. They saw something in you that gave them reason to trust you and no self-respecting man would repay that trust with spite and backbiting.

We all knew someone in our past who never got that advice, though, didn’t we? We had that one guy who spent most of the day griping about how the boss was too stingy to pay him more, or how the boss didn’t recognize his awesome skills to his liking, or how if he had just a little more pull why he’d teach that boss a little something about being one of the “common men”. He could make things better for everyone if he was the boss. It’s not fair that one man has the power!

Despite all the griping tough that guy was the first in line to get his paycheck, wasn’t he? And his job performance never really lit the workplace on fire, did it? No, not that guy. He managed to do just enough work not to get in any real trouble, but the trouble he did get into always justified his various grievances. The boss is out to get him. The boss lives like a King while he, a smarter and better man, toils away unappreciated.

I hated that guy. I’ve never been a violent man, but I wanted to punch that guy in the face just about every day I worked with him. Every day the same whining complaint. Every day the same soul-sucking negativity. Every day the same gripes about the same problems that weren’t really problems at all, but hard realities of live that he could have changed in his life if he had converted half the energy he spent on complaining into useful work. I was always grateful he wasn’t the boss because he really wasn’t half as smart as he thought and his badly re-treaded “workers of the warehouse/restaurant/gas station unite” rants weren’t answers at. He wasn’t the boss because he wasn’t fit to be a boss. He didn’t know what it took to be a boss and, worst of all, he was ungrateful for the opportunity he had to earn a living and build skills so he could one day become the boss.

It occurred to me not very long ago that Barack Obama is that guy. Look back at his campaign and imagine, instead of a guy running for President, a guy working next to you on the shipping dock or in the next cubicle. Listen to how he talks about “millionaires and billionaires” then put those words in the mouth of your garden-variety office malcontent. That’s him. That is President Barack Obama. His entire shpiel, the whole reason he is President is the very same reason that guy at work we all hate wants the corner office. He is smarter. He will make everything better. He knows.

Over the years, that shpiel has gotten the President promoted from corner office to better office to upstairs to the Senate to the White House. Now he is the boss and, don’t you know, all he has is the same old complaint he had when he was just Barry in the mailroom (yeah, I know he’s never been in the mailroom or held a real job before. Stick with me here). So what now? Honestly, I don’t know. I tried very hard to make sure I worked harder than that guy I always hated so when promotion time came, I’d be ahead of him and not because I really wanted the promotion either. I wanted to make sure that guy never got his hands on any real power, even a little bit of real power. I knew, even as an inexperienced teenager, if he could boss people around, he’d be a miserable tyrannical failure. That plan didn’t quite work with the President, so now we’re stuck with the office gripe at the top and everyone who has achieved even a hint of success is going to feel the years of his failure and hurt.

They guy we all hated at work is now the boss. God help us all.

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Category: Political Pontifications

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