Brothers Campfire How The Cow Chews The Cud and Diminutive Dots

Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!

If it is important to your boss, you should make it important to you as well, up to a certain extent. 

I once had a supervisor that directed me to dance on a table and disrupt an awards ceremony. The boss was pushy and demanding, making it necessary to stand my ground as it went against good ole common sense. When I complained to the higher ups, my supervisor denied, denied, denied. It was awful. Had I done what was demanded I would have been legendary for all the wrong reasons. 

Is this dancing? I hate the action of bullying.

Supervisors, and people in general can be tyrants, resulting in lasting repercussions. One of my former coworkers is missing an eye because he listened to a new manager at a tire company against his better judgement. Sometimes it is ok to say no. One thing that can go wrong .

A while ago, when I was 18, I was nearly killed in a tunnel when I put a wrench to a large water pipe that still had pressure. The pipe burst and water pinned me to a wall all while I was holding an impact wrench. I was bullied into doing it and almost cashed in. I never found my hard hat in that tunnel and they tried to charge me for it. 

I had another boss that said he would break me. I stood up to him and demanded an explanation. He doubled down and stated it again with no frame of reference given. In typical bully fashion there was a lot of denying when I took it up the ladder.

The Nerve.

There are many examples of foolish things supervisors have demanded, and I can go on and on with a topic we all have horror stories about. 

Sometimes, I envision some of these ridiculous demands and statements in other settings like , oh I don’t know, the middle of the forest and wonder if some suits would walk with such bravado.

Probably not. Dress shoes are murder on the feet in uneven terrain and I have connections for sturdy outdoor footwear and would give my finest advice on appropriate attire.

With a history of abusive supervisors, I was leery and on guard in this new assignment. I am not fitting to let anyone mess with my livelihood or bully in my sphereof influence.

Then it happened just like I predicted…..

Well sort of. 

My job has a diverse range of expectations and undefined responsibilities. In the people business, flexibility is required, as is a lot of active listening.

During a conversation that was quite lengthy and results oriented, I read the sign. My supervisor was gearing up for a boundary test.

I could see that supervisor look and the body language was just right. I knew what was coming.

I stared right back, defiant, ready to tell my boss how the cow chews the cud. 

“You should try a blue polka dot bow tie. You would look sharp with one. “

All the spit and vinegar and gearing up for an epic argument was for naught. 

“Sounds like a plan, Done. “ I said.

“I am joking,” says my supervisor. 

“Too late,” I said. I will get the tie.

With grim determination I set about in search of one at thrift stores and outlets, but to no avail so I looked on Google at Bows N Ties and found me one.

The descriptor said, 

“A bow tie fit for a king – or just an everyday kinda guy who likes to jazz up his look from time to time with something a little out of the blue – our Royal Blue Polka Dot Bow Tie is one you won’t soon forget. Aside from the usual solid colors, we feel like this bow tie, thanks to its diminutive dots, would go quite nicely with a pinstriped shirt or suit. Contrast is the name of the game. And that effect could be amplified with a matching pocket square” 

Contrast, kingly, the dots, diminuative. The blues, royal ……. Sold. I can rock this.

So I ordered one. It hasn’t come in yet, but I look forward to giving it a try.

Contrast is the name of the game, and I can sport it with confidence it will demand. You see, If it’s important to your boss….

….it should be important to you.

That’s my story for the day, what’s yours?

Author: The Storyteller

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire.

42 thoughts on “Brothers Campfire How The Cow Chews The Cud and Diminutive Dots

  1. leendadll says:

    After 6mos of abuse, I no longer acknowledge my boss unless explicitly told to do so. If everything I do is wrong, doing nothing is my only chance to be right. I hope the new mgr, who starts on the 21st, treats me fairly… at least till I get knee surgery.

    1. The Storyteller says:

      I wish you the best, Bubbles. My boss is amazing. Perhaps it is time for things to look up. Get that knee better, friend!

      1. leendadll says:

        Thank you! Maybe Life wants me to learn how to stop being an over-acheiving perfectionist at work.

  2. Geoff Stamper says:

    Oddly enough, my boss once tried to get me not to dance on the table at a business function. I avoided too much trouble by telling everyone that my boss told me to do it.

    1. The Storyteller says:

      Ha ha ha! How the tables were turned. I don’t mind being silly and acting up, but when a supervisor is willing to to mess up your reputation for you, they are toxic. Thanks Geoff!

  3. Whiskey Bravo says:

    Sounds like the bow tie was a reasonable request, and that your new boss has a fine sense of humor 😉

  4. Terveen Gill says:

    Oh my God! The bow tie is hilarious. And a boss has gained the reputation of a bully. It’s just that extra hint of power that leads many to believing that they own the people working a level beneath them. I’m glad you’ve stood up for yourself on several occasions. That takes guts and strong sense of self-worth.
    I hope you have a pinstriped shirt. 🙂

    1. The Storyteller says:

      Ahh, the pinstripes. I will have to check the closet. In this instance, I feel the support of my supervisor and a few polka dots are more than acceptable. I heve never felt a more open door for questions and concerns.

      1. Terveen Gill says:

        That’s really wonderful. Takes a heavy load off your shoulders. Though your neck may be tied up.

    2. The Storyteller says:

      It is crazy how management thinks of people as property in so many instances. I agree. I know a guy who owns an apartment and a business and encourages his employees to live there. Creepy, possessive and Way too much.

      1. Terveen Gill says:

        LOL! Please take note of the capitalization. That is beyond weird and freaky. Who does that? Apparently, people do. Gives off some psycho vibes.

  5. kagould17 says:

    Ahhhhh, managers. Some do and most don’t. They take the credit for good work and assign the S— for bad work, even if it is theirs. I had 17 managers in my 38 year 7 month career and my last boss who took the creidt more than most did not even stick around for my farewall party. I once had a boss who suggested I cope by simply dropping one of my projects. I told him to send me a directive on which project I should drop and never heard from him again. I thought not. Another told me that if 70 % effort got the job done, do not give 100%. I asked if I would still get an Exceptional performance review if I did 70%. He thought not. The bow tie directive is executable, Benjamin. Share the pix. Allan

    1. The Storyteller says:

      Allen, thank you for sharing your experiences with management here today. I have learned that there are a lot of similar experiences thus far on my journey.

      When I get the bow tie, I will be sporting it with pride.

  6. herbthiel says:

    So vast a difference between bullying, management and leadership. Sounds like the new boss may have some leadership qualities.

  7. Jaskiers says:

    That is terrifying to read !
    I feel sorry for you and all the peoples who had to go through that infamy…

  8. -Eugenia says:

    Throughout my 40 year career, I had mostly good bosses, however, there were a couple of tyrants in the mix. What’s satisfying is when you read or hear the tyrant was fired. Karma at its best!

    1. The Storyteller says:

      I have worked with and for some amazing people as well. Sometimes I think we can learn a lot from the poor supervision choices of others. What goes around seems to come around, doesn’t it?

  9. Monkey's Tale says:

    I guess I’ve been lucky, I haven’t had a bully for a boss. Your stories are awful. Can’t wait to see the polka dots! Maggie


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