Stepping on Dave

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 7th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Ethics

How to deal with exploitation and work place abuse and feel good doing it.

The 'Favour'

The recession hit Dave hard. He lost his business.

Out of a clear blue sky, Vince, who he had known from college, popped up and invited him into his office.

Dave thought that he’d be a partner, at least a senior manager. He’d come in on a first name basis. Although the salary was rather small, Dave assumed that he’d be allowed to take on his own clients to top up his pittance.

For the first month, there wasn’t a problem. Dave had only two clients, both of whom came to the office, and left after about twenty minutes.

The Plot Sickens

Vince loaded Dave’s desk with work. Dave took it as a kind of compliment. After all, he was just as qualified as Vince.

But, Vince would micro-manage. Every letter, every document, Vince needed to look over every single word.

Vince would find fault with everything. Nothing could go out until Vince had personally okayed it.. There was always something, even when Vince’s ‘insert’ took from the prose, it had to go in.

It was as if Vince needed to dominate Dave, prove he was superior.

How Not to Treat People

The second month Dave had to go to a meeting with a client off the building. When he returned, in about an hour, Vince was annoyed, “I have work for you, and you leave it for your own frolic!”

The way Vince spoke, that angry bossy way, so shocked Dave, he didn’t say a word.

He wanted to shout back, ‘who the hell do you think you're talking to? ' But considering that his salary was all the money he would take in for the month, (his credit card debt was enormous).

As he drove home he couldn’t believe that Vince would have acted like that.

Getting Worse

In the morning, Vince put a ‘Register’ Book beside the door. Dave was to sign in and sign out.

To say this was an insult would be like calling a gun shot a mosquito bite.

Dave made a flourish of signing in, printing the time; 8:27 very large, (he was to begin at 8:30). Considering he arrived three minutes early, he left at 4:27; to ‘equal’ the time.

He said nothing to his ‘friend’ Vince about this demeaning demand.

He went to his desk and Vince called him.

“I run a professional office! “ Vince blasted. “Look at this document!”

Dave didn’t see anything wrong with it. Vince pointed out all sorts of 'errors’, including how Dave had numbered the paragraphs.

Fortunately the phone rang, Vince took it, and Dave went to the door.

“I’m not done...” Vince barked.

Dave mouthed, “Bathroom”...and went out. He was so upset that he felt like leaving the building and living in a cardboard box.

What made it so horrible was that he wasn’t a 20 year old on his first job, and Vince wasn’t some guy old enough to be his father.

Dave was the same age as Vince. They’d gone to school together. Dave was brighter.

How could Vince treat him like this?
Did he find Dave so threatening?

Even worse

Dave was sick during the forth month. He only took one day. When his monthly pay packet arrived, it was one day short. “You were absent...” Vince snipped.

Dave’s eyes nearly fell out of his head.

How could Vince deduct a day off his tiny pay?

With all respect, Dave should be getting three times what he took home. He had accepted the pittance as a semi-charity and a chance for him to get back on his feet. He didn’t realise he’d sold himself into slavery.

Doing the Math

Work, for Dave became as close to torture as he wanted to come.

Suddenly a feeling came over him. It was a mixture of ‘f*ck it’/fair trade/lemonade.

He felt stress fall away like dandruff. A smile burst across his face.

He did his math.
He worked out his ‘day’s pay’ as if he were a labourer on a work site.
He deducted his gas, lunch from that figure.

Hence each day he made X-gas-lunch.

When he took a client he charged them 2X a day. This meant, that instead of rushing into office after a meeting, so as to be two hours late or less, he took the day.

This meant he would ‘lose’ 1x - gas - lunch.

So that easily covered the ‘money’ side.

Now to Unworking

Dave then moved to the ‘work’ side.

He decided to do as little as possible to get by.

Although he could easily finish three projects in a day, he limited himself to work on only one. He worked painfully slow.

And since Vince liked to nit pick he’d give him a few nits.

Dave would have the project on his computer. If Vince asked to see it, he would show it to him. If Vince didn’t ask, well, at 4:20 the computer was off and Dave was packing up to escape the office by 4:26.

Vince, who liked to wait until the last minute to view a document, thinking that he’d keep Dave imprisoned in the office was thwarted.

Dave would be in the bathroom at 4:15. When he emerged it was for the purpose of shutting off the computer.

When Vince found him, sometime after 4:20 Dave was studiously packing up, so engrossed in putting a pad in a drawer, a plant on a ledge, he didn’t see Vince.

Of course, when Vince finally came to look at the project, he’d find the ‘nits’.

That meant another day for Dave would have virtually nothing to do except ‘clean up’ the project.

In ‘real life’ the project would be done between 9 - 11, in Vince’s world the project took Monday/Tuesday and half a day Wednesday.

When Vince was out of the office or seeing a client, Dave was on the Internet, playing Scrabble, answering email, writing articles for technical journals, and watching the match.

The pay was a bit more than the work.


Abuse, Boss From Hell, Exploitation, Megalomanic, Retaliation, Work

Meet the author

author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
9th Mar 2015 (#)

Some people are just plain mean and there is not much you can do, they need power to make them feel like big men.

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author avatar kaylar
10th Mar 2015 (#)

Yes, and when you work for/with them....

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