NPD Chronicles: Coping Mechanisms

I think I've made it clear by now the difficulty I have working with my boss. There is just no way we could ever get along. I have to bite my tongue and put effort to keep a straight face, lest my disdain for him shine through. I do this on a daily basis. It's not always easy.

My boss is insane. He just doesn't think with a sound mind anymore. It's a combination of age, stress, and just plain trying to do too much. Of course, he's unaware of this, in his mind, he's still the smartest, sharpest, most creative person here. He founded this agency, and he can't process the thought of him needing help. He doesn't realize that in the end, he's causing more harm than good. He will end up destroying this agency, and due to his NPD, that may be what he subconsciously wants. The thought of someone else running his "baby" is probably too much to bear.

Just because he's crazy, doesn't mean I will allow him to make me as crazy as him. I am a little crazy though, so my way of coping with the stresses and the anger is to fight crazy with crazy. Now, I'm not proud of what I'm about to share, people think it's hilarious when I tell them, but I'm sure it's a combination of amusement and surprised at my craziness. I may smile to myself as I reminisce on these stories, but I'm definitely not proud of them.

Whenever my boss upsets me, I mean really upsets me, or insults me, or says something super condescending, I get the urge to get back at him. Ideally, I would quit and storm off, but since I need to pay the bills, I have to find other ways of getting back at him. My methods are a bit unconventional.

He's old, a bit senile and extremely forgetful. My favorite way of messing with him is to have him sign something, then a day or so later, go up to him and have him sign the same thing again. Since he's forgotten things so many times around us all, he's hesitant to try to prove us wrong, so he never questions me. He sometimes looks at the document in confusion, probably wondering to himself if he had signed it already, but he always ends up signing it again. Not sure if he's just humoring me, or if it's actually having the effect that I want. For all I know, he may think I'm the senile one. But oddly enough, I get a strange satisfaction out of messing with his mind like that.

I've also, on a couple of occasions, gone into his office and rearranged the myriad of post-its he has on the wall facing his desk. I really doubt he even notices this, that's how oblivious he is, but again, my crazy self gets some satisfaction out of it.

Another favorite is simply turning off his monitor. He never turns it off, just lets it go into sleep mode on its own. So I just walk in his office, press the off button and then go back to my desk and wait for him to return. Inevitably, I will hear the sound of his computer restarting, because this time, moving the mousse doesn't wake up his screen, so he thinks he needs to restart it. I'm sick, I know, but I think it's so funny and it makes me feel slightly better.

One time, I flipped over his computer screen. Not the monitor, the screen itself was showing the picture upside down. That one wasn't as effective, since he found it more amusing than anything, but again, it helped me out in a sick way. He then accused my IT buddy at work of doing it, because you know, apparently women don't know how to use computers.

At the suggestion of my husband, who is also in IT, I went into his office one day and re-programmed the buttons on his mouse. So the left-click became the right-click and vice versa. That one was fun. He was so confused and he called me to help him out. Sometimes I do fix it, other times I play dumb and make him call our IT guy, JC, to fix it, but since JC is privy to the fact that I'm the culprit and he's really busy, I sometimes choose to fix the stuff myself, by finding some "magic" solution to the problems I myself caused, so as not to bother him with my childish revenge antics.

The best one and my personal favorite consisted of messing with his mouse again. I went into his office and just disabled it. It was so simple to do. I actually planned it a day in advance, my husband is the one who taught me how to do it, and so I purposely got to work early the next day, so I would have enough time to do it. Then I sat at my desk and did work while quietly laughing by myself. I have issues, I know. He comes in at around his usual time, which is half an hour late, and walks into his office. At this point, I'm just sitting there snickering and trying to listen at the same time. I hear him say "Hmm" then shortly after, hear his computer restarting. I'm cracking up at my desk as I hear the computer restart like 2 more times after that. Then I hear him call JC, who promptly calls me to ask me what I did. A midst my laughter, I explained to him what I did and how I did it, so he could easily go in there and fix it. He asks me why I did it and though I don't recall now, I'm sure it was a valid reason, because JC then proceeded to drag out the repair, on purpose. What a pal, that one. This was on a Friday. So JC managed to allude my boss' calls all day, and my boss at one point had to move to a different computer to work. He walked into my office and told me his computer was "frozen", which wasn't the problem, but in his mind it was. JC managed to avoid him all day and so my boss had to wait until Monday at noon before his computer was fixed. He was just walking around all lost, because he didn't like the other computer and wanted his, but it was "frozen". It was lovely. I might try that one again sometime.

Most recently, today to be exact, he managed to piss me off yet again. Just his whole tone, being condescending, wasting my time and preserving his, which just consists of sitting at his desk and looking out the window, or slowly typing an email, or slowly typing things into his precious Google calendar. To this day I don't know who taught him how to use that thing, but now he thinks he's all technology savvy because he knows how to use it. He spends hours painstakingly typing(with 2 fingers) his daily/weekly/monthly tasks, the majority of which just consist of stuff he needs to tell us to do, or bug us about. Today I became sick of his tone and felt the urge to do something. I've been taught by JC how to deactivate his email and/or change his password, but I'm saving that one for something BIG. So I just went into his precious Google calendar and deleted all of next week's tasks. And I immediately felt better. I'm sick. I know. I just chalk this up to yet another reason why I need to get out of here asap.

So there are some of my coping mechanisms. Will I add more to the list? Probably. Unless I get a job offer soon. Again, I'm not proud of them, and perhaps they're a sign of my own mental illness, but would I do them again given the chance? Absolutely.

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