My friend Lacey just started a new job in a creative division of Universal Studios. Talk about an awesome job. She started last week and was spending her time trying to fit in while also trying to keep a low profile. A balance between being noticed and being acknowledged. You don’t want to be invisible, but you also don’t want to sit in anyone’s cake.
When I moved over to the Studio division of COSI, I didn’t heed the “stay under the radar” warnings. I had several friends in the Studio so transitioning wasn’t difficult. As a matter of fact, I believe I was a little too comfortable if not cocky about the whole ordeal.
One of those cocky days corresponded with an afternoon creative meeting. This meeting had about eight people attending along with our Divisional Vice President, Joe. During the meeting, ideas were being tossed about and several of them were completely stupid. Sadly, there seemed to be a consensus amongst the group and these really crappy concepts were going to move forward to the next level of development. When I couldn’t take it any longer, I spoke up and started disagreeing with the reigning opinions. I did so calmly and professionally and didn’t mention the phrase, “You are a complete IDIOT.” My arguments had some merit and I defended my position and gave some alternate ideas to replace the crappy ones that everyone liked.
In the end, the crappy ideas were still on the plate, but Joe wanted additional research done with additions of some of my ideas incorporated into theirs. I had stuck my neck out and it seemed to impress Joe. Some of my coworkers were a little pissed, but hey, it’s not my fault their ideas stink.
I must have really impressed Joe because as we were leaving the meeting he said, “Doug, can I have a word with you in my office?” Wow. Joe wants to talk to ME. I knew that he wanted to discuss that he was pleased that I was speaking up and that I was a valuable addition to the team. I think I floated into his office.
Joe shut the door behind me and did not ask me to sit. He did not sit either. He crossed his arms. His lips were pursed. He paused for effect. He spoke. “Doug. Did I hear you say, “Suck my cock” today?”
I thought. I remembered. Oh shit.
Flash back four hours earlier. Erik was in the back hallway with his arms full of trash, heading for the dumpster. I was in the back hallway making blueprint copies. Erik playfully said something to the effect of, “You are new here. Why don’t you open the door.” And I said, “Why don’t you suck my cock?” I can see those words leaving my mouth, drifting through the paper thin wall and into Joe’s office and landing on his desk. Waiting for him to hand them back to me.
Yes, yes I did say suck my cock.
What followed was obviously not the congratulatory speech that I had been expecting. No pats on the back. I don’t remember what he said, but basically he took the “respect of others” angle and quietly ripped into me for 45 seconds.
There’s really no lesson here except for the “Do not say suck my cock” during your first month on the job. I don’t know if that laid the foundation for my next five years with the Studio or if Joe even remembered the event. Since that time, I usually try to hide my crude language under several layers of entendre. At least for the first two months.
Good luck, Lacey.