Librarian Ire

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Question: Does one need to be creepy to get the job or does the job make one creepy?

I have a creepy boss. Truly, the most creepy boss I can imagine. [Now, that's 'creepy' meaning:
Of or producing a sensation of uneasiness or fear, as of things crawling on one's skin; Annoyingly unpleasant; repulsive]

It took me about 4 months to figure out her 'management' trick. Knowing it is a (evil) trick, doesn't take away from its effectiveness or her creepiness. She has slightly bulging eyes and she does not blink (I've spent many a meeting watching her). What she does is every now and then she creeps in to your office and stands there staring at you until you notice her. She immediately start smiling - closed lips, half-smile. She'll offer some greeting such as: "how are things going?" "Busy?" "Anything happening?" I offer the usual response to such a question: "Fine." "Usual" or "No." I mean, I don't know what she wants, I don't need her micro-managing me, so I keep my workings to myself. Well, after my brief response she will continue to stand there. Smiling. Not blinking. Staring. Not saying a word. Now, when I first started, this made me very uncomfortable and I did what any normal person would - I'd fill the silence. I'd mention something about the library or work - anything. This, I found, is exactly what she was waiting for. No matter what I said, I would either be wrong, I would be given a long lecture on the history of something here or if it was task related I would have to redo the whole thing after showing it to her so she could criticize it up and down. Why would I mention such things you may ask? Well, it doesn't matter what I said ("It sure is cold in here." "This library was built blah blah blah , we used to have staff do blah blah blah , the shelves were constructed so that blah blah blah although I understand why you think its cold that's not really true.") these things would occur. Again, at first, I thought that I was not communicating myself clearly and that is why she was always completely misunderstanding what I was saying. I have since learned otherwise. She is a control freak and she has absolutely no understanding of what occurs in the department she manages. Since I do not come to her seeking advice constantly, she needs to find some way to impress upon me her authority. Thus, she needs me to open my mouth about something so that she can find a way to instruct and criticize me. Because I do not communicate anything requiring these tasks she must 'misunderstand' me in order to establish her control.

Now, as I've said, I have figured out this trick. So, when she slithers in and stares at me I say nothing. I return her stare and smile. Figuring that now that I know her game I can out do her. I'm convinced this is a viable solution, however I mentioned that she doesn't blink? I admit I can hardly ever last out. I timed her once. We stood there staring at each other, smiling, not speaking, for 2 minutes! That is a heck of a long time - time it. I admit, she defeats me on this. I cannot stand it. I am a normal person. However, I have no problem being rude. So, when she does this - smiling and staring - I turn back to my computer and work or I get up and leave the office.

This is clearly creepy behavior. I understand people are going to have control issues with bosses, its the nature of the game, but something like this? I would like to know if this is something she used to get where she is or if its something that she had developed to function in her position?

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