The Micro Manager

Posted on February 26, 2011 by


The emergency department entrance at Mayo Clin...

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Maintenance cleaned up the mess I left at the psych assignment office after my failed suicide attempt, but a different kind of mess was there when I returned. I was surprised to find Frank had taken my shift and a message from him to see the micro manager.

We called her that because she was a little person and a manager and, well, like all managers these days, a micro manager.

When she first interviewed me, it was an hour before I realized she was a little person, as they like to be called now. I still call them midgets in my head. She had sat behind her desk and we talked for an hour about my theoretical orientation, preferred hours, and prior experience before she rose and extended me her hand. I shook it, but, instead of saying thank you for the interview, I will be looking forward to hearing from you soon, like I was supposed to, I said, “You’re short!”

At least I didn’t say, “You’re a midget!”

And at least she didn’t say, “You’re fat!”

Instead, she said, with tolerance, “Yes, I know,” and called me a week later with a job offer.

I didn’t know till much later that she was a micro manager. In fact, they didn’t call her a manager at first. Then she was called my supervisor. It wasn’t till later that the department of micro management, otherwise known as corporate compliance, started telling us to call them managers.

“Tell me what happened in the office the last time you were here?”

I gave her a version of what had happened, emphasizing the fact that Daniel, as I like to call him, had attempted to escape by crawling out through the suspended ceiling, which collapsed, and leaving out the part where I had attempted to hang myself on that same ceiling, at the same time.

“We found a noose in the debris. What was a noose doing there?”

I had confiscated it from a patient, I explained. We get a lot of suicidal people at the emergency department.

“Oh, which patient?”

“Oh, it was um…” I began.

“You tried to hang yourself on the ceiling. Didn’t you, Harry?”

I stopped.

“We can tell by the rope burn on your neck.”

She always used the royal we. It’s part of being a manager.

“We want you to get help.”

Oh, my God, I thought. They’re going to admit me.

“You’re suspended until you do.” She started to tell me about EAP.

“No,” I interrupted her. “You don’t need to do that,” I said. Then I heard myself say, “I quit.”

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