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Big Boss Week 4: Getting Away from the Big Boss June 4, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Big Boss.
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Part 4 of “Big Boss Week” on CorporateSpeak.

As I said yesterday, the current chain of command at my office is Me ==> Big Boss. While I’m still technically working for every department in one capacity or another, my only official direct supervisor is the Big Boss. Think of me as the mouth, the webmaster as the stomach, and the Big Boss as the intestines. CorporateSpeak just did a gastric bypass and laid off my boss.

gastric-bypass-diagramGraphic, I know, but it was too good an analogy to leave out.

I’ve got two vacations coming up. They’ll be the first ones I’ve taken since the axe fell. Both were approved before the layoffs, and the Two-Year-Old has assured me that all vacations approved for the year before my boss got laid off will be honored. I appreciate that.

But what happens when I’m out of here and there’s no one to do web design or development? The company announced their solution to the lack of webmasters, but it’s not in place yet. What happens if there’s a last-minute client (as often happens) who needs something built in two days? Who’s going to do that? There are no web guys (or girls) left in my entire division. In fact, the only other person even somewhat competent at web development will be on his furlough at the same time I’ll be on my vacation.

Oh, and I won’t have my work laptop, either. Well, I call it that, but it’s really just the old laptop I use to VPN in when I have to work from home because my real computer has 64-bit Vista, which is (naturally) not compatible with our VPN. What will the Big Boss expect me to do? Just walk someone through designing a webpage, step by step?

Actually, I think the Two-Year-Old probably thinks I can do that. In fact, I probably can. Don’t tell anyone.

When you work directly for the Big Boss, you’re never off-call. You always have to have your phone, and you always have to answer it because if you don’t you might just be the next head on the block. Most of the time I can troubleshoot and make changes over the phone or, at the very least, stick a bandage over the gaping wound someone’s left on the web. I do it every other weekend, it seems. But when I’m on vacation, out of the state, with my family, at a water park, what do you think the odds will be of me wrapping my iPhone in waterproof plastic and wearing it on a string around my neck as I take one of my kids down the 21st-century equivalent of a log flume?

Do people even call it a “log flume” anymore?

Yeah. I guess I’ll have to find a way. Because when you work for the Big Boss, you don’t get away.

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Note: I realize I haven’t talked about the layoffs much until now, but there are some posts I’ve got coming up next week that address it in full. I happened to schedule “Big Boss Week” before the layoffs happened, so that’s why those posts come up later. Bear with me.

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