To my boss - I can see this eating you alive.
My boss (we’ll call him Steve) is one of those guys who’s always attached to his email. Whether he’s at his desk or answering them from his phone, he will stop the conversation immediately and read the email. No warning. The sound will go off, he’ll stop mid-sentence, read and reply to every email. This annoys me. A lot. While going over a very important project (well into the $40-$50 million dollar range and long-term), I’m briefing him on talking points and covering the power point on the projector. A few slides in, he gets an email. Immediately Steve pulls out his phone and begins reading and replying. I’ve dealt with this for years, and this is where the revenge begins.
I’m on slide 6, and while he’s buried in his phone, I progress the slide to 13 and patiently wait for him to end. He looks up, oblivious to my trickery. Mind you, he has to present this within a few hours to top-tier business management, and this a project that we’ve been working on for months. I finish briefing him on the rest of the slides, we take lunch, and eventually the guests arrive for their briefing. Steve’s taking charge of the meeting, and I retreat to my office, where I can still clearly watch the presentation but don’t have to participate.
Steve’s hob-knobbing, talking our guests up, laughing and joking. As he’s talking to one particular VP, he gets an email, and in normal sh*t-lord fashion, he stops mid conversation and reads it. The VP did not like this, not one bit. He interrupts Steve’s email reply with a hand wave and a, “let’s continue.” This is where I get my second idea for revenge.
Eventually Steve gets to the power point presentation, yammering on like he’s the one who spent all the time on the fancy fly-in’s, formatting, research, etc… Until he gets to slide 7. I can see him pause, break his jovial manner, and begins reading word for word what’s on the slide. He’s no longer chipper and poised, he’s floundering. Little does Steve know that I’m about to launch an email war on his psyche that he is ill prepared for. See, since I’ve been in my office, I’ve been collecting all the emails that came in that needed replies, drafted the replies, and have them sitting on my desktop. I’ve CC’d Steve to every one of them, because I’m just that good of an employee. As he skips to the next slide, I send the first email. I hear his phone jingle. He pauses and instinctively reaches for his phone, throwing him off his presentation. He looks around, and then continues. A minute later, I send the next email, then after a short pause, the next… And the next… I can see him sweating bullets, his brain imagining some catastrophic failure somewhere in our building, in shipping, in product sourcing, etc… But he can’t check his emails without breaking from the presentation and pissing off the executives.
It’s still going on. I have about 8 more emails to send, and he has about a hour until he’ll be able to slink away and cower over his phone like Gollum holding the one ring.
I’m glad I went to work today.