Most of the places I worked had friendly, nice people who if they didn't especially love their jobs, at least didn't hate them. In this place the workers barely smiled. They were sullen and not especially friendly. At first I attributed this to temp syndrome; they didn't want to waste their time being nice to someone who wasn't going to be there after a couple weeks. Then I noticed they treated each other the same way. I half expected to see a sign up somewhere that said Beatings will continue until morale improves.
Then I met the boss and it all made sense. He was in his mid-30's and the greatest argument for a one hundred percent tax on inherited wealth I ever met. Mr. Pissy Bossy would come strolling in around 11 am and immediately head for the time clock to check to see if anyone was late that morning. And by late, that meant anyone who failed to clock in by 8 am exactly. Early was good. One minute after eight meant your card was stapled onto the cork board in the middle of the work space so everyone could see it and the big red letters scrawled over it: LATE!
That was warning one. Warning two was someone waiting at your desk to escort you out the building, usually Mr. Pissy Bossy because he enjoyed it so much. His cheeks would get all flushy and his voice would go up in pitch as he announced to everyone: this employee chose to steal from me because time is money so they are no longer my employee.
Besides being a total douchebag, he was also one of the dumbest and most racist jerks I've ever met. He would walk around and check computer screens and make completely uninformed and stupid comments that showed how little he actually understood about the business. One thing to note was that not once did he stop by my desk. Since I was only temporary he had no control over me and therefore no interest. I might as well have been invisible.
But everyone else cowered under his douchebaggery. They put up with his cruelty, his racism, his stupid remarks. No one ever challenged him. No one ever corrected him. No one ever suggested he might be wrong or have the facts wrong. No one ever expected him to care because everyone knew he was there just so his father could justify the fortune he spent buying him a college degree.
I say "buy" because it was clear Mr. Pissy Bossy never cracked open a book in his life. He didn't have to. If he was in danger of failing a class, daddy just donated more money to the university. He just funded another scholarship, built another building, whatever it took to make sure his dumb as a bag of rocks son got that piece of paper.
That was Mr. Pissy Bossy's life: wealth, privilege, never having to work very hard at anything, or have anything he said or did--no matter how stupid, challenged. The disdain he felt for the people he employed was so obvious that no one even gossiped about him. On their breaks they wanted away from him. To talk about him would give him far more presence in their lives than they wanted. It wasn't so much that they hated him, but more of an acceptance that this is what money did to people, this is what it filled in the places that everyone else called love, trust, tolerance, compassion, and altruism. Mr. Pissy Bossy's very pores were filled with the kind of wealth that is cheap, ostentatious, and will never make up for lack of a personality.
It would seem that with such an insignificant role in his father's company for a mere four hours a day, that he wouldn't have much impact with his presence. But Mr. Pissy Bossy wasn't content to just put in his time, torture a few workers and then go flush out his alcoholic cheeks with another round of martinis at the country club. No, he couldn't just do what daddy wanted because like many men and a whole lot of rich fucks like himself, Mr. Pissy Bossy had daddy issues. He had something to prove.
And prove it he did. While sitting through the mandatory minimum requirement for his MBA, Mr. Pissy Bossy fell in with a bad crowd. They taught him things about money daddy never taught him. They showed him how fun it was to move money around and make it hurt some people as at the same time, it made others wealthy. As dumb as he was, this was something Mr. Pissy Bossy could learn and do well because it required nothing more than seeing people, assets, money, banks, and Wall Street as one and the same. It all came down to numbers in one column and numbers in another column. Anything else, like human factors, took the fun out of the game.
For Mr. Pissy Bossy and his friend, it was a game. They would hover around the computer in his office and play move the money around games. One of their games while I was there, involved buying a block of what they called "N-word habitats" in some mid-western city and forcing the long time residents out by demolishing the building after the purchase.
Rich people don't have to sell right away, unlike those who need the money. So they held on to the land and made constant and horribly offensive jokes about the people they displaced. That was the game. Hurting people. Mocking them. Taking away the roofs over their heads. Land that would one day, ten or twenty years down the road bring them money wasn't relevant. It was just a side benefit of being born wealthy. The real fun was in making human beings suffer.
I asked for another assignment after a week and unlike most jobs, the agency didn't even ask me why. They knew. I went to work somewhere else the next day with no problem.
For several years I forgot about Mr. Pissy Bossy until Mitt Romney came along to remind me about him. You see, these gaffes that Romney makes, the insensitive comments, the stupid remarks, it's just like Mr. Pissy Bossy. No one has ever dared to tell Willard that he was wrong, or stupid, or uneducated, or cruel, or out of touch. It must come as a shock to him to even be questioned at all. Look at his reaction when anyone asks. His entire body language says how dare you!
And like Mr. Pissy Bossy, Willard has never been poor. He has no idea what it's like and he doesn't really want to know. That's the main problem. He just doesn't care and he just doesn't want to know. It's what a life of privilege and wealth does to you. It insulates you. It robs you of the requirement that you actually learn and do something of value with your life. It makes you mean. It makes you cruel. And it fills the emptiness with more money than anyone can spend in a hundred lifetimes.
This is who the Republicans are offering to the American people, a man who would turn the entire country into that desperate and sad company I once gave a week of my life to before I couldn't stomach it anymore. This is how he would treat the poor, the old, the weak, the ordinary human beings who earn nothing from the Mitt Romneys of the world but their disdain.
And if you stay home or vote Republican, you will be helping to make it happen. The choice is yours. All I ask is that you remember those people in that office and ask yourself if that's how you want to spend the rest of your life. How you answer will tell you how you should vote.