You’re sitting across the table from the woman who will shortly be your supervisor.
To your left, fellow new recruit The Posture sits bolt upright, clearly nervous and nodding with almost manic intensity to show that, yes, he is indeed listening to the boss. You, by comparison, are leaned back in your chair, arm at your side — not out of arrogance, but because you are completely at ease.
Through whatever quirk of genetics or personal upbringing, you get along almost freakishly well with Southern Belle, your soon-to-be boss; as in, the two of you were bouncing jokes off of each other within 10 minutes of last week’s job interview. Today, with employment papers to be signed, the tone is more serious, but every once in a while you’ll let loose with a zinger that gets a laugh from her and has The Posture — a straight-as-nails Japanese returnee who spent several years in the States — turning to you with a look of almost comical shock.
What are you doing?! his gaze seems to be saying. This is the boss!
The Posture is escorted out of the room to get his tour of the office, which you have already received. With you and Southern Belle alone the tone starts to get silly, alternating between what will be expected of you on the job and rather corny jokes on both your parts. Before long, there’s a soft rap on the door and Mr. All Right, the HR person, enters the room.
“Is everything all right?” he asks. “We could hear you two laughing all the way down the hall.”
Southern Belle excuses herself as the conversation switches to Japanese regarding the particulars of your new employment. Everything seems to be in order, and you sign your name on the line.
“OK, so if everything looks all right, we’ll send out the rest of the papers you’ll need before the end of the month, all right?”
“Sounds good,” you reply.
You leave the room. You thank your new boss for her time and walk outside, fresh working papers in hand. You pull the papers from their envelope, give them another once-over … and see something you hadn’t noticed before (bold added).
“John Turningpin is to receive its payment on the 25th day of each month.”
Filed under: Salaryman Anecdotes