So today, the VP in charge of our department came down from the Corporate Office to have a 3-hour meeting with some of our team members. My boss offered to provide lunch, which of course means that I’ll take orders from 10 people, walk to the restaurant in below-freezing weather to pick it up, and give it to my boss so she can present it and make it look like she did all the work.
For this entire week, she harangued me almost hourly. “Did you get the menus?” “Did you get the orders?” “Is everything faxed?” Did you ask [my other boss] for the corporate credit card?" “Do I need to ask him for you?” Everything is fine… it wasn’t a difficult job taking the orders.
I was, however, busy with other things when the VP’s assistant called me an hour ago to ask for a whiteboard for the meeting. As I had my attentions in, y’know, managing my office, the whiteboard completely slipped my mind.
Boss comes back like a raving lunatic, “Where’s the whiteboard?! You didn’t get the whiteboard! Drop whatever it is you’re doing and get it right now!”
So this was an example leading to my question: How did executives in Corporate America come to be regarded as semi-divine? Never embarrass an executive, even if he said something completely stupid. Never dress better than an executive. If you and the executive are walking toward each other, get the hell out of the way. Yes, he signs your paychecks. But this sort of reverence isn’t found in Europe or other industrialized countries. Where did it come from in the USA, and why?
**Disclaimer: The story might be slightly embellished to make my point, but not much. Plus I’m in a bad mood now. *