Big Boss at the Pool

There I was … having a major program review at the local air base. It was big enough that my boss’ boss had flown in for the event. With so much being planned, I had arranged lots of different transportation. All us working stiffs went out early in the morning to make sure the base and set up was correct. This included my boss. Several hours later, the Big Boss was picked up in a limo and taken to the base – just in time to speak to and listen to a few appropriate remarks by senior customers and host a lunch for the soon to be minted squadron. After that, we sent him back to the hotel – partly so he could do email but mainly to get him out of our hair while the rest of us did some real work.

We dragged our tired and hot bodies back into the hotel right at sunset – a thirteen-hour day including travel. The Big Boss hailed us from the swim-up pool bar with an umbrella drink in his hand. He said, “Ya know, Mullet – this is an easy gig you have over here!” Easy for him …

Same big boss, by the way, who was crossing the street to our offices in the capital. The favored hotel was literally across six lanes of traffic from the office – but usually those six lanes were at a stand-still in terms of traffic. So, he (and others) got into the practice of just wandering between the stopped cars from the hotel to the office building. Enter the local practice of small motorcycle (moped) drivers running between the cars. You had to always be on the look-out for them. One morning, out he walks to cross the street. Cars are at a dead-stop, but he forgets to look for the mopeds and steps in front of one. This causes the driver to hit him at a non-fatal but reasonable speed, knocking him onto a car trunk. The moped goes careening like a pachinko ball, hitting another four or five cars. Of course, the driver immediately pops off the ground to scream at the Big Boss. But five car doors open as drivers go to scream at the moped driver – not having seen my Big Boss as the ultimate cause. Big Boss quickly grabs his briefcase and dashes into the office building! At least for us, no harm, no foul – only a slightly bruised (and embarrassed) Big Boss.

Moral: Most of your company is going to think that you, the Globe Trotting Offset Manager racking up the frequent flyer miles is getting a great deal! Not much you can do about it … except laugh (in private) when they get clocked by a moped.