Getting thrown under the bus hurts...a lot
i'm a big fan of "greatest american dog." one of the
primary perks (other than getting to see a bulldog for 40
minutes) is that, inevitably, one contestant will "get
thrown under the bus" by another. this idiom was mainly
just an abstract joy, one that i anticipated, enjoyed, and
overall thought was hilarious...but as is always the case
with cruel jokes, they are always a lot funnier when they're
happening to someone else.
at about 2:30 this afternoon i got a call from my supervisor.
"hey nick," she started in the abrupt staccato which could
only mean that i had fucked up, "did you work on an
agreement with jim...a termination agreement...and did you
add and approve some language about buying out a lease and
reimbursing travel expenses?"
the multiple conjunctions took me aback for a second. what
agreement? what buyout? my mind raced to remember what she
could possibly be referring to. and then that horrible
feeling jolted me. where your limbs turn icy cold, your
bowels turn into mush, and the realization sets in, that you
are in some shit.
"ummm," i clammered and stuttered, "can i come by your office?"
so in her office my supervisor proceeded to explain to me
how the termination agreement that jim had been writing,
contained the above-mentioned clauses.
"now, i know i didn't approve it...and i know amy (my other
boss) didn't approve it..."
i continued stammering.
"you know you're supposed to run this stuff by us before
"wait? what? approve?" i uttered in disbelief..."when jim
asked me to write that, i was under the impression that he
was just asking me to reword something."
"well he says you approved it."
i sat back the realization slowly sinking in as my
supervisor smashed into me full-force:
"he threw you under the bus."
let me take an aside to describe jim in a lame attempt to
justify (to myself at least) why i was so blindsided by this
betrayal. jim is the nicest, most obsequious guy you can
imagine. he makes it a special point to always say hi to
everyone, remember everyones name, and always shoot the good
natured shit. in short. i have a list of at least 5 people
of whom i am weary of working with (as i know they would not
hesitate to throw me out to dry), but jim? at the very very
and so is life right? always as you least expect it. so
after the tongue lashing i stumbled back to my desk in, what
could be best described as, a rambling daze.
what just happened? did that just happen? that son of a bitch!
and, as the disbelief and shock wore off,the outright rage
came boiling into me. how the fuck is he going to do that?
i mean what a horrible, lame ass, attempt to shift blame.
and what killed me most (and is murdering me right now) is
that i felt that, due to my utter naivety of what was about
to befall me, i did not do an adequate job of defending
there i sat coming up with obvious defenses. first and
foremost, jim has been working with the company for nine
fucking years, over that time he must have worked with
hundreds of legal interns...he HAD to have known that, no
matter how i reacted to his request, i could never "approve"
such additions. shit, everyone on that email chain in which
jim heaped the blame onto me must (god i pray and i hope
they aren't so dense as not to) realize that jim's excuse,
"the legal intern approved the language." is about the
lamest, most half-assed, sorry excuse to save his own skin
there ever could be.
and all this rushed through my mind as i remembered that
it was around 5:51, i was leaving my desk hoping to rush
around the corner to grab the 5:56 bus. right as i turned
the corner jim captured me with his request,
"hey, i need your wordsmith techniques; we're looking to
draft these additions to a termination agreement."
so i naively went and did it. partially because i felt
that, under no circumstances, was i gracing these additions
with the benediction of the legal department, and secondly,
because i just wanted to get home.
when i look back on it i definitely made some mistakes.
first and foremost i shouldn't have even taken the task.
secondly, i should have made it abundantly clear that i was
in no way offering approval. but you see...it just seemed
to intuitive to me that, i, a month on the job, and a legal
intern, couldn't "approve" such language. shit, i don't
even know if the legal counsel can! that seems solely an
issue for our CEO or CFO.
but jim, in his constant frenetic fashion, obviously wanted
to push something out...took a flier on it, and, when shit
turned bad, and the truck of blame came barreling down on
him for his mistake, took me and threw me before it.
god damn it.
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