After working for a total douchebag for the last few years, I finally got a new job within the same company. Happiness was finally within my grasp. Unfortunately, the lazy douchebag has somehow achieved the means to bring me back into his fold. I have to work overtime for this jerk because he’s a bad manager (whom everybody hates) and can’t run his department. So, I’ll get paid to go back to the DB. I’ll even get public (within the company) adulation for my effort. However, the money and the praise are cold comfort for a demoralized employee. My question is; how to return the favor to the people who have so blithely destroyed my happiness? Don’t give me any of that bad karma crap...That won’t make me feel better. Can’t I have a little schadenfreude?
The Straight Skinny: I don’t know: can you have schadenfreude? It sounds like you’ll be saving his bacon, and making him look good, so how are you going to revel in his destruction and bad fortune? Are you planning to run over his cat?
The way you get revenge on him is to take his job. And then the way you get revenge on your company is to be really great, and quit, and move to the country to make jam and raise chickens and ignore the reports that your ex-company has gone down in flames without you.
The Pharmacist says: Slip him a mickey.
The Practical Cogitator says: The only way for you to take pleasure from DB’s misfortune, is for DB to fail. Since you are now working under this DB-Jerk again...if he fails, then you fail, too.
There will be no schadenfreude for you until you surpass this guy on the vertical climb. Hopefully, you can take some short term pleasure in the overtime wages you’ll be earning. The public adulation may pay off in the long run. If your superiors see that you’ve accepted this assignment, done your best and left personalities out of it, you might just get promoted, or be given your own team to oversee.
Be careful though, management isn’t cut out for everyone. Many employees think they can do a better job than their boss, or that their boss is unfair, or that their boss is skating by on the work of subordinates. Maybe you’ll get promoted just high-enough that you become the next Douche-Bag-Boss. The Peter principle is a very real phenomenon, pal. I’d hate to see you get promoted to your level of Douchebag Incompetence, (talk about demoralizing).
Maybe you should be taking pleasure in the fact that you have a job, and someone thinks you are useful. Unemployment is hovering around 10%, buddy. Schadenfreude be damned.
Nature Boy says: Henry David Thoreau wrote that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” slaves to their work and enslaved to those for whom they work. Another famous New Englander, Robert Frost, said that “The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.” With those things in mind, don’t you think you’re putting way too much importance on your job? Start sending your resume around, if you haven’t done so already. In the meantime, punch the clock. Yeah, the job market sucks right now—but if you’re as good as you say you are, you’ll land on your feet. That will be the time to look back at the floundering boat you left, with quiet satisfaction.
I spent the last few weeks coming up with a Halloween costume. I thought it would be great to go as Carl Paladino. I have a suit, red tie, orange and black sign...but as it turns out, I look nothing like him, even with lots of makeup courtesy of an actor I know. Nothing’s worse than having to explain who or what you were trying to be for Halloween.
This happens to me every year. I put a lot of thought into a costume. Then, when it comes time to execute it, I run into problems. Do you have any last minute suggestions?
—Sad as Hell
The Straight Skinny: The gothamist.com suggests that you could set the stage in advance: send everyone at the party racist and dirty emails this week, and then when you get there tell them that you had only meant to forward them to your good friends. (You know—the ones you get together with to laugh about black people.)
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