Dear Steve,

You are not cool.

I know your family takes pride in your career. You’re this regular guy who worked hard and then made a life for himself out of managing people. Not printers, not little pencil making assembly lines. People. That’s something, isn’t it? Your mother should be proud. What else do mothers live for past a certain point, if not for the satisfaction of having a really good answer to “What does your son do?”.

“My son, why he’s a manager.” – I picture her saying, and I find myself feeling an outburst of affection towards her, your mother. She’s innocent, she doesn’t know what I know. You are not cool.

The other day, when you told your manager you’d implemented this project that’s taken me four months to build, that wasn’t cool. I said nothing, enthrilled by the realisation that you actually had a manager of your own. Does your mother know that? Oh well, I hope he’s cool and all and gives your hard work the recognition it deserves. It’s always nice to feel appreciated.

Like when I say something and you reply, “Oh, that’s such a girly/Romanian/nerdy thing to say.” and laugh and ignore it, though it’s always some work related thing I’ve purposely rehearsed in my head beforehand, so that it specifically doesn’t come out as girly/Romanian/nerdy (we know you hate that!). I suppose I really should feel special and appreciated then, as I am indeed a girl, a Romanian and a nerd, but I somehow can’t help feeling that’s not cool.

You give me the why-am-I-not-talking-to-the-nice-HR-people vibe several times a day, you know. Take today for example. Remember when the Marketing people came along, and you introduced me as the Romanian, then went on making jokes about my fellow Gypsies coming over to steal your jobs? Oh I know, the century of silence that followed really was crazy embarrassing. And I definitely made it worse for you with my “Well, that certainly was inappropriate.”, before I introduced myself again.

I’m sorry, was that not cool?

It’s true, I suppose I could have giggled one of my girly Romanian giggles and let it pass, but you know what, be grateful I didn’t claw your eyes out. We’re known for being savagely violent back in Gypsyland.

Don’t get me wrong, Steve, it’s not all bad. I like some parts of you. You’ve got a cool laptop bag, for instance. And your mom seems nice. And then, I’m sure there’s plenty of people who think you’re the best manager in the world. Even I could probably fool myself into thinking that, if it weren’t for you being such a horrible human being.

Not cool.

7 thoughts on “Dear Steve,

  1. You should report him to HR. Or just tell him stories about how people from Romania, do terrible things to their enemies while the enemy is asleep. And then smile and ask him where he lives.
    Or you could tell him that in Romania we do witchcraft and two days later take some paper clips and stuck them in a cloth puppet. Oh, and add some black feathers or something creepier than the paper clips. 😀
    And please tell him that right now, legions of gypsies are training for management positions, and he will surely lose his job, as soon as they get there. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!

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  2. I can’t believe this sort of approach is still happening in civilised society – it’s not only uncool, it’s disgusting. I have no advice (maybe the gypsy voodoo doll would help?); but I wonder if you tried approaching the person and telling him? Perhaps he’s so uncool that he doesn’t even realise how inadequately he is behaving? Good luck in coping with Steve!!

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    • Well, I have only recently approached him again, and the consequences were less than pleasant I’m afraid. Perhaps I’ll write about it at some point, but I’d rather just have a Steve free weekend this week! 🙂

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  3. In an attempt to forget their own insecurities and to distract everybody’s attention from them,some people tend to point at the insecurities of others.

    So I think there might be some things in Steve’s life that he’s not too proud of.Maybe this is why he tries to make you feel bad about what,to him,are your insecurities.Or…maybe he is trying to turn your origins and your geekiness into insecurities.Either way,I’m sorry that you have to go through such an ordeal.(working with Steve on a regular basis)

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