Arts and CultureNew York

Psychopathic Bosses Are Bitches

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I have always heard that it takes a certain type of person to live in New York City.  Those who move here are often looking to make it' to rise to the top and claim their fortune.  Sometimes these New Yorkers are looked at as 'œType A' or overambitious.  Sometimes they are seen as cold and uncaring.  It stands to reason that these social/economic/occupational climbers must often step on a lot of little guys to get to the top.  As with any stereotype I believe this one to contain a nugget of truth.  In our defense, we transplanted New Yorkers have to be cold because everything here is so hard.  We can’t make eye contact because if we did we may like you.  If we like you we may stop moving'and we can’t stop moving because that may deter us from achieving our dreams.  At least that is how I rationalize some terrible behavior I witness/engage in myself in this town.

In some cases, though, it goes overboard.  Sometimes, I feel this stereotype translates roughly to: a lot of people in NYC are bitches.

It stands to reason that the high functioning, high power people who land in New York end up making their peons suffer.  Though this may be a fact, I have adopted a new policy.

No more excuses.  No more bitches.

I recently left a job where the owner of the company levied so much abuse and insult toward her assistant (and anyone else in her path) that it made my skin crawl. When I took the job, apparently I needed the money more than I needed my self-respect. What happened later on, when my self-esteem (and bank account) increased my tolerance for abuse decreased exponentially.

This employer is a certain type of woman'Ivy League educated'in her 50’s'single. The type of woman who works out until her bones poke out hazardously.  One whose capacity for self-delusion is shown every day when she attempts to prevent flying into a blind rage by sniffing an herbal stress reliever.  It is clear she needs something stronger'I would recommend a high dose of pharmaceutical product, or perhaps a lobotomy?

Her mood shifts so quickly it is hard to keep track of the changes.  Over the course of the year, however, I did find a couple of indicators on which to rely.  Often it boils down to: If money comes into the business she is '˜happy’'if she needs to take responsibility for anything she is going to be a raging maniac.  The one constant in her life is that she releases her disgust for herself onto others strongly and often.

To use what I know from Freshman year psychology 101'

If you are one of those people who fails to achieve the success you came to get in New York, you are probably going to be bitter.  Furthermore, if you fail to achieve happiness on a personal level as well, you may end up thinking '˜why don’t I just kill myself’?  That instinct then reverses itself and said employer'er'.um person would begin to project that self loathing onto others using intimidation and abuse.  The effect is that those around her feel bad'in fact, THEY may want to kill themselves.  All I can say is, making others feel bad works. She made slitting my wrists seem like a solid option.

That is until'I adopted my new policy'
No more excuses.  No more bitches.

I finally reached my breaking point and ended up quitting on the spot'.with no notice.  I delivered my speech'that I was leaving and never coming back as her assistant looked at me with a mixture of sadness and deep envy.  To say I have felt liberated since that day would be an extreme understatement. My personal happiness has increased twelve-fold. I know longer dread Wednesdays which was the day I would have to meet the witch.  Or dread Tuesdays because that was the day before I was going to have to see the witch.  Or dread Mondays because that would be the beginning of the week I was going to have to see that witch'you get the point.  In addition from feeling free just by virtue of not having to be in her presence I feel released from caring what she thought of me.

Which leads me to the lessons I have learned from her.

Thank you, oh evil one, for teaching me so many things.  That it is futile to treat a crazy person as if she was sane.  The end result will be the same.  That it is important to be respectful of people.  The mailman, for example, does not deserve scorn.  And, perhaps most importantly, that life is too short to deal with bitches…like you.

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Christine Witmer - Sparing Stringer

Christine Witmer - Sparing Stringer

Christine was born and raised in the land of the Pilgrims, Plymouth, Massachusetts. She turned in her buckled shoes when she moved to NYC to attend NYU. From that esteemed University she received her BFA in theatre as well as a Master's Degree in Performance Studies in 2004.
Now an actor, writer and broke ass day-jobber, Christine juggles her many personas with the elegance of a red panda. specifically the one in the Prospect Park Zoo . . . soooooo cute! She can be found most often in her own habitat on the Northside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.