All of my bosses are white, gay men between the ages of 24 and 30. Literally, I have a boss who is TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD. He does the scheduling and payroll etc. He’s lovely and he considers this his career, “I’m a lifer” he stated during my interview as a way to demonstrate that there is growth opportunity in retail. He doesn’t seem to mind my scheduling conflicts and my tendency to bring books and school work in to do in the breakroom whenever I have a break. And he talks to me with a… very specific tone if you know what I mean. “Ohhh hay gurl, what you get up to this weekend?!” like I’m his token black friend. I am.

He’s great. I also have a boss who’s 30 years old, dresses head to toe in our stores attire even outside of work, he’s about forty pounds overweight and says everything with a slow, judgey SASS. He repsonds to near everything with a long, slow, low “Mmmmm hm.” As though he never really believes anything anyone says. He doesn’t really do any managerial tasks but he’s been here for like a decade so I think they just had to promote him. He and 24-year old boss do NOT get along so they never work the same shifts and never overlap – there’s another boss who kinda mediates this divide. It’s hilarious.

I once ran into the 30-year old one at a drag show in the valley, he wasn’t performing in it (which I would have loved!) and I wasn’t really intending to be there so we both kinda pretended not to see one another and carried on with our lives. Although after that and ever since then, he’s been especially cool with me on work matters. He left me a packet about “corporate growth” once and I had to find a gentle way to let him know that this was not a long-term career for me. This was just a means, but that’s condescending to say to someone who is in it for the long haul. So I just thanked him, told him I’d look through it, and it’s been in my junk pile ever since.

Sometimes the greatest thing you can learn from a boss or manager is exactly how not to interact with people so I try to look at my bosses as characters, rather than people, from whom I can learn good things to do and not great things to avoid doing. The former: I’ve learned how important it is as a boss to just treat people like their jobs are not the most important element in their lives. And the latter: I’ve learned to never sleep with my fucking employees. Duh! Both duh!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *