A Slave to the Dial

My Branch Manager


This is my impression of my boss, B--. Or is it T--? No, wait, T-- was years ago. It must be M---. That's it: M---. Of course this is a lousy drawing, but I'm not really good at charicature. M--- looks sort of crusty, kinda of like a sea captain, but he's actually a very mellow guy.

I like M---. M--- didn't mess with me. He did his job, whatever that was, and I did mine. We didn't bother each other, and that's just the way I like it.

What exactly did M--- do? I don't know, exactly. It's a mysterious affair. He was the Branch Manager. He managed. I don't know exactly how, but somehow he did, and that's what he was paid for.

As my co-worker W. Owen told me, "The first myth of management is that it exists." I think he was quoting Robert Heller.


Over the years, I saw Branch Managers come and go. M--- was definitely the best of the lot. But I remember when T-- was in charge...

[Me, T-- and Joe Bad]

Here's a picture of me and T-- and J-- B--, who was our Regional Manager back then. I'm getting my special "one year" pin, so this must have been late 1991 or early 1992. I had long hair then. I was 24 or 25.

I sized T-- up to be 35, at least. His skin was very white, almost pasty, and his eyes were usually bloodshot and always had bags under them. Basically he looked like hell. Then one day I found out he was 25, same age as me. He only looked older becuz of the stress he was under. It's not easy being a BM for DM.

I sure hope T-- is getting more rest these days. I hope he's happier and less stressed. Looking at this photo reminds me of why I liked M--- so much: He was cool as a cucumber, a very mellow guy indeed.