Monday, March 8, 2010
Employees know their supervisors better than the supervisors know themselves.
CASE NUMBER ONE
One of my favorite employees was attending college and his major was Psychology. He and I would oftentimes discuss his classes and I was able to help him on occasion. One time he called me to his work station and he told me that he was reading an article about Marilyn Monroe. I asked if that had anything to do with his Psych classes and he responded that it did because they were comparing traits of famous people with people they knew. I asked who had traits like Marilyn Monroe and he answered, "You do." I was stunned. I asked, "What trait could I possibly have in common with Marilyn Monroe?" He said, "You are always stroking yourself." I said, "Oh, I do not!" He said, "O.K., the next time I see you stroking yourself, I'll yell out Marilyn." Within fifteen minutes I heard him yell "Marilyn" and I caught myself stroking my thigh. A few minutes later, I heard him yell out "Marilyn" again; I was stroking my arm. After the third time of his yelling "Marilyn" I went to him and admitted that I had not realized that I had that habit. I asked, "What does Psychology show that means?" He laughed and said, "Ah, I was just putting you on--it had nothing to do with my classes--although the article does tell about Marilyn stroking herself!" He would oftentimes call me "Marilyn" after that.
When I went home that evening I told my husband that I couldn't believe that I hadn't known this about myself and Gerald said, "Yeah, you do it all the time." I asked, "Why didn't you ever tell me?" He said, "I been kinda enjoying it all these years!"
CASE NUMBER TWO
Another time, I was walking through the department and one of the guys asked, "Hey, do you wear those Underalls?" I said, with great indignation, "Well, that's none of your business!" He said, "Well, we never see any panty lines!" Underalls had just been introduced and the advertising campaign was centered around seeing "no panty lines". At lunch time, I said, to my boss and the other supervisors, "You won't believe what one of the guys asked me--whether I was wearing Underalls!" My boss said, "Well, do you--we don't see any panty lines." My fellow supervisors chimed in and made the little noises associated with the Underalls commercial. I let out a shriek and answered, "You don't see any panty lines because I don't wear tight pants!"
CASE NUMBER THREE
One of my employees said, "Hey, it looks like your boss just got kicked out of his house." I asked, "Why do you say that?" He answered, "Well, his clothes were always perfect before--now look at the shlump--his pants have no creases and he wore that same shirt yesterday!" I thought, "How am I going to bring up this delicate subject to my boss?" At lunch time I told him what one of my guys said to me and he answered, "They see everything, don't they?"