Most people have/do/will work for a douchenizzle at some point in their career. I’ve encountered several in my time in the corporate world. If you’re like “I haven’t ever dealt with someone like that…”, you’re either 1) in denial, 2) don’t have d-bag radar, or 3) are the douchebag yourself (which is the most likely scenario, letsbehonest).
My stories over the years of d-bag encounters at work populate into what I call Cool Daddy VP. He’s typically a supervisor of some type and gets a huge ego boost of having said title. However, anyone working with or for him cannot pinpoint one attribute that makes him successful or a single accomplishment he lead to completion. He’s the guy that probably has his phone belted to his hip while coordinating work doodling on an iPad AND uses his whiteboard as a crutch in a vapid attempt to show “leadership” skills (me.draw.flowchart.me.leader.) I’m literally surprised he doesn’t pound his chest at the end of the meeting like the silverback he is.
So the other week I had another “enlightening” of said leadership during our regular update on the programs I was developing for his latest pet project. Here’s how the conversation went around a pitch for doing a pop-up store with a professional street marketing team:
Me: “Here’s the proposal from AGENCYNAME where we would execute a pop-up display that would circulate through the city to generate buzz, awareness via guerilla-style marketing targeted to the urban demographic we are striving to get in front of. We could even have the display be mobile and then park it in designated locations which would give the targeted audience an opportunity to interact with a street marketing team. This would enable them to learn more about the service and engage with the brand.”
Cool Daddy VP: “iPad” (while giving himself a thumbs up)
Me: “Hmmm, what about an iPad? Like do you mean as doing advertising with tablets”
Cool Daddy VP: “We can get a guy taking orders on the road with an iPad. That sounds much better and then we can do it ourselves.”
Me (outloud, trying to keep a straight face): “Yeah, that sounds grrrrrrrrrrrrreat! I’ll be sure to investigate further” (rolling my eyes inside my head)
Me (in my head): “Bitch, you barely listened to what I just said and then paraphrased my recommendation to a watered down version as if it were you own idea and that I’m too dumb to notice. On top of that why would we want a guy stalking strangers on the side of a road trying to process sales like he’s out of an episode of Dateline’sToCatchaPredator??? Haven’t you seen Law & Order, fool! But thumbs up on the ‘innovative idea’…keep ‘em coming!”
One of my pet peeves in business is that more and more everyone is an “expert” at everything. To me, there’s a reason we are all hired for different jobs because we each possess different, yet qualifying skills required to complete designated tasks that align to the respective job at hand. If you’re an engineer, I don’t tell you how to do your job when I couldn’t get out of calculus class fast enough in high school. See how that works?
To me, IF you know it all, then why am I here. IF I’m going to spend weeks, day and night, working to present you with the best recommendation possible, then I expect you not only to listen to me but to consider the proposal I’ve laid out before you. Not act like James Franco in psychology class and daydream like you’re somehow above the conversation.
I know it’s silly of me, but I expect mutual respect among working colleagues, on both sides of the fence. But alas, the Lumbergs of the world will never go away and always make for great fodder at gatherings and parties. Yes, they’re laughing at you, Cool Daddy, not with you.
To be continued…