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Poking Fun at the Boss #1

During my first week at a technology newsletter company, I allowed my supervisor to talk me into joining the entertainment committee. It seemed harmless enough, in that we were generally expected to poke gentle fun at the company and its business, as well as the senior managers (known as “the honchos”).

At the time I joined, the committee had just begun working on the latest entertainment, which was a spoof of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance.” We spent hours rewriting lyrics and music, and then it was time to cast for the upcoming performance (at the monthly company meeting). Everyone else agreed that I bore a reasonable resemblance to the company president, given that I have blonde hair, am over 6′, and owned a pair of “aviator-style” sunglasses. This, combined with my ability to sing and my willingness to look like an idiot in front of a crowd, guaranteed my casting in the lead role.

Performance day came, and it was flawless. The audience roared at “I am the captain of the company… and I will never micromanage ye…” and all of the other darts aimed at our esteemed leader. Returning to the office, my spirits soared at the accolades from my co-workers, and I stopped off at the kitchen to get some coffee. Much to my surprise, I was soon joined by the President and Vice President at the coffee machine. (I knew them by appearance, but had not yet spoken directly to either one.)

The VP was laughing and said, “Tim, that was exceptional. At first, I didn’t know you worked here, and thought they had brought in an actor to do that.”

The President was laughing too and added, “Yes… that was great. You’re fired.” And with that, they both turned and walked out of the kitchen without laughing.

I wasn’t fired, but I learned an important lesson: The boss always has the last laugh.


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