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Andy Boy
A Profile in Mismanaging Aggression
Fortunate Son
You’ve either known one of these guys, or you have seen him portrayed as a petty movie villain. His daddy was rich and he was spoiled. The world owes him, even though he fears it deeply, and the people beneath him are just pawns in that insecure game of mental chess he plays with himself so that he doesn’t have to face the fact that he’ll never be the man Daddy was. There is a reason that this seeming caricature of a villain is so common in poorly written movies and modern literature. A guy like this is easy to dislike and easy to write. He and his kind do serve a purpose for those of us who wish to deal with the real problems of life. They provide a cautionary tale for the mismanagement of whatever they are involved in.
The Specialist
I was a temporary supervisor, a specialist who worked for Andy, a feminine type who liked men. I was just there to train his people and get his operation in order, and to leave. The problem with people knowing you are just a trainer, even if you have the authority to terminate them, is that they know that you are going away. The hardcore slackers will hang back and comply, and then tear apart the organization after you leave. But their tactics are passive-aggressive and will take time to corrupt what you built, so there is a long-term benefit to the company. The dysfunctional and disruptive characters thankfully eliminate themselves, except, that is, for the idiot at the top. You can’t very well fire him.
Stupid Stan
One morning, in the last two hour stretch of the ten hour night shift, which meant this was 20-hours into my triple-shift work day, we were behind. The doors were opening for food stamp day in two hours, and we had had two callouts, and still had half a trailer of freight on the sales floor.
Stupid Stan was a short, muscular dude with cornrows, wearing a wife-beater and jean shorts. He came up to me and said he had to leave early so that his mother could go to work. His attendance had been terrible and this would force me to fire him. I explained this to him and he stated that his mother made more money than him and that her job was more important [the guy was 27] so I would have to fire him.
I shook his hand and said, “Okay, you are terminated, no hard feelings.”
I was yawning and half asleep as I pulled open the door to let Stan out. As I looked up and pulled the door frame toward my face, his fist stopped, Stan having realized just in time that his ill-timed sucker punch was going into impact the heavy metal doorframe. I just laughed and herded him into the lobby with the door and locked it behind him as he glared and said, “You just make me so mad, I want to hit you!”
I retorted, “Sorry. Have a nice day.”
I showed the film evidence to Andy when I forwarded Stan’s termination paperwork in preparation for the eventual unemployment hearing. Andy looked at me as he froze the video on the frame where Stan’s fist stopped just short of the intervening doorframe, “But that was not an attack. He didn’t hit you.”
I was dumbfounded, “Look if I shoot at you and miss it is still an act of violence. We can use this as proof positive that he was uncooperative on the job.”
Andy just didn’t get it, did not understand violence. Even after the off-duty cop that worked for him broke up a budding knife fight between a cook and a janitor in the kitchen, he continued to discuss the incident as an argument just because no-one was actually stabbed.
Stupid Stan called and asked for his job back and then said, “I’m sorry about what happened.”
I responded, “Is that an apology for your poor attendance, poor work, or inability to sucker punch a sleepwalking man?”
He snapped, “Oh fuck you. I wish I would have hit you.”
Long Paul
Long Paul stood six feet and ten inches and was even less intelligent than Stupid Stan.
He was also very lazy and refused to do his assigned work. I had consistent policies that I enforced equally so these guys knew before they came to work when they were getting the ax, even the stupid ones. Paul brought a big, scary, dreadlocked uncle to intimidate me. I did not want to get ganged up on, so I waited for the uncle to leave and then fired Paul, quietly, respectfully, and according to a sport fisherman’s catch-and-release ethic.
As I turned to walk away I suddenly felt dizzy. I had a very bad sinus infection at the time and thought I had just turned too quickly and lost my balance. Then I heard my glasses rattling down the aisle for 48 feet behind me to my right. I also noted that my left foot was lifted off the floor and that only my right ear worked.
I set my left foot back down and bent my knees slightly and shrugged my shoulders [acting like I was against the ropes] and turned to face the man that I now realized had hit me. Paul was already five paces toward the door [five of my paces and three of his] and the cashiers were gasping and staring at him and I, stunned by the loud sound of the slap.
My immediate reaction was to call the police to make sure that Paul did not wait outside on the parking lot for my night captain who I did not want being attacked. I talked to the responding officer, retrieved my bent glasses, and began enjoying a life with 60% hearing in the left ear. To this day my left ear always feels over-pressurized. It was a hell of an open-handed hook.
I reported this to Andy, who summed me to a meeting with a police officer that he knew. The police officer said that I should never again terminate an employee alone, that I should have a security witness and a management witness. I agreed that this was standard policy with big companies, but that I had seen the rage this causes in terminated employees, as they are ganged up on, fired by committee, and escorted out by an armed goon. I said, “I’ve fired thirty-one men, and there have only been two simple attempts at a single strike. It’s not like Paul beat me down and stomped me. I’d rather take that chance than humiliate those twenty-nine decent guys who just couldn’t make the team. Who knows, you fire a guy like Paul by committee and maybe he comes back with a gun and hoses down the front end?”
Andy sided with the cop, which I understood from a legal liability standpoint. And that is how the cop understood it. This was not a measure to prevent violence, but to inoculate the company against a law suit possibly filed by my sons if I got killed. But Andy thought that ganging up on all of your employees that could not make the team and then humiliating them and treating them like a criminal was going to prevent violence. I shook hands and told the cop I would not fire people alone, and told Andy, that despite his suggestion, I would not fire people over the phone. What I in fact decided, was that I was done firing people. If I could not give a man the courtesy of facing him and letting him go with a ‘thank you’ for the effort and an offer to counsel him on his job seeking efforts, I would not fire him.
Again though, Andy proved that he was incapable of understanding violence and how it erupts in the mind of the aggressor, often as a feeling of inequity or persecution, warped or not.
Mama’s Boy
I was present when Andy Boy’s security man collared a female shoplifter and her large 14-year-old son. I was behind him in a supporting role as we walked the two to the back for processing. In these cases the shoplifter is fined $50 plus the value of what they attempted to steal. They are issued with the paperwork that summons’ them to court. They are then often held for the police at our discretion. The cops will talk to the petty criminal and check to see if there are warrants for their arrest, or perhaps parole or probation conditions that have been violated.
As we walked into the stockroom the boy stopped and mentioned that he had something that he shouldn’t have. He then raised his cupped right hand from his belt line, up his centerline and in front and above his right shoulder and said, “Here I keep this with me for defense, take it.”
It was a five dollar tactical folding knife with a thumb-post and a butt-spike. The closed knife was not grasped by a single one of the boy’s five digits, but just rested in his palm. The butt-spike was not even evident as it rested against his palm. He was offering this concealed weapon up as passively as he could. Granted, this was stupid, as he should have just given verbal indications of his armed status. But he was just a stupid kid, and did not yet realize how terrified cops and security people are of the knife, of any knife.
The security man passed the knife to me as he gagged, then he began having an asthma attack and melting down as he spread-eagled the boy and patted him down as if he were an apprehended terrorist at an airport. I did my best to calm everybody down. The boy was beginning to feel threatened physically and seemed capable of taking the security guy, so I intervened and coached him on how to handle the cops that were coming while I detailed the security guy to take care of Mom.
The cops came and locked up Mom for drugs she had on her and took the boy away to a juvenile detention facility for attempting to stab the security man with the knife. After they left he asked me for a knife combatives lesson in the hall and I explained a few things, particularly the innocent nature of the boy who was trying to do the right thing. He agreed that we did not want to see that victim of bad parenting spending time in a juvenile corrections facility with hardened gang members learning their ways. I filled out his security report because his hands were still shaking.
Andy called me to his office after reviewing the report and berated me for filling out a false report that some ‘sleazy defense lawyer’ could use to exonerate the savage juvenile delinquent that tried to murder his security man. He tore up the report and swore himself to the civic duty of seeing to the boy’s prosecution and incarceration, forbidding me to have anything to do with helping the security man in the future. That was easy enough to agree to in all honesty, because I could not stand to work for Andy Boy another day of my life.
Boy Perfected
Andy Boy is the perfect example of the spoiled, suburban, white-bread, elitist coward who claims to want to make things better for society, but in reality is nothing but a spiteful terrified child who will defend against nothing and attack everyone in his power in a vein expression of his fear and frustration. So that Andy Boy could feel like a man, like he wasn’t actually somebody that fantasized about being mounted by an alpha male, he did whatever was in his small power to make certain that a boy, who stupidly tried to do the right thing, and with at best half a chance at a decent life, was going to be housed with the worst adolescent monsters our society has produced.
I don’t know how that story ended because I left in disgust. I do hope that the ‘sleazy defense lawyer’ materialized and kept the kid out of the corrections system. Andy Boy is just another example that fear is not a gift, but a curse, the spongy foundation of a rotten overweening society.
The Hunt for Whitey
Recognizing and Surviving the Condition of Anarcho-Tyranny
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