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Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2001
Let me guess your reaction to a situation at work. Assuming you work for a company or government.

Someone in authority, some petty autocrat, issues a summons and having heard the magical sound of his or her voice, assumes that all will be made whole in their world. Minions jump, the backstabbing begins, the joking behind doors, the general ye-hawing. Someone eventually smothers laughter long enough to actually make a stab at this inanity, frequently only to discover that the autocrat was yes, wrong as hell and it won't work, won't sell, won't hunt at all.

Now enter the world of Outfoxed. I hear this same noise and I sigh. Because it does little else other than to slow me down. A little.

We have a self appointed construction manager at the Taiwanese Resturant. He is the eyes of the architect. A one shot joint agreement deal for which the construction manager is paid to railroad a job because the architect has neither the time or inclination. The architect has already pleaded with us not to leave the job because of the CM.

I swear, as I sit here, this Construction Manager dude is one of the more palpably worthless human beings on the planet. I have spent some 25 years in this industry and thought I'd seen 'em all. Predictably, of course, I haven't.

As todays example, he manged to find the time to purchase one gallon of stain for the painter. It occupied his whole day to select, find and purchase this gallon of stain. He detailed to me the make, model and manufacturer with a series of flourishing gestures. Triumphantly, he returned to the jobsite (to a chorus of groans, the entire scenario of different trades have reached the same conclusion about this man) with his prize held aloft.

Construction Manager: "Look, Outfoxed! This is what you need to buy for your paneling."
Outfoxed: "And what would that be?"
CM: "Why, it's the stain we need. It looks just like this."
O: (peering) "Looks a lot like a gallon can to me."
CM: "Right! Right! It's a gallon! A gallon can!"
O: "I can't tell you what a revelation that is for me..."

The other day, he followed a helper and myself out to the truck, where we were preparing to unload a few sheets of plywood. Like a small toy poodle, he yipped questions and directives at me the entire course of my journey. None of which had the slightest consequence as to what I was doing, would do, or even would want to do in my quest to get off this job as quickly as possible. When he began suggesting methods for better unloading of said plywood, I'm afraid I went a little off the edge.

CM: "Wouldn't a forklift be better for that?"
O: "Sure, if I had 40 sheets of plywood. I've got about 6."
CM: "But are you considering the safety of the helper?"
O: "Look sport, carry your ass."
CM: (blinking rapidly) "Huh?"
O: "Get your micro-managing mouth and your trendy shoes off my jobsite."
CM: "but.....I'm just here to help...and I'm running this job....."
O: "Oh balls. Who's got the hammer, here?"

I've always liked the fact that I have a handy assortment of hammers, knives and possibly explosives hidden in my toolbelt. It never fails to make an impression on the unanointed. A sudden shift of hand to hammer is not unlike a state trooper moving hand to holster.

He moved. He, in fact, hopped in his imported car and wasn't seen for the rest of the day.

I love this job. I think I'll keep me hired for the duration.

It's the least a boss could do for an employee.

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