Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


Much has been written (and snorted) about younger people having no respect for rules.

Consider, then, the case of a Millennial who stunned her boss by quitting.

The tale was told on Alison Green's Ask A Manager website.

The boss wrote that a young employee had asked to come in two hours after the normal start time.

What effrontery, some might think.

Who does she think she is?

And indeed, the boss said no.

"I was unable to grant her request," he said, "because she was the employee with the lowest seniority and we need coverage for that day."

But he tried to be (his version of) reasonable: "I said that if she could find someone to replace her for those two hours, she could start later."

She couldn't. Apparently no one was willing to come in on his or her day off.

The boss therefore told the employee she couldn't have those two precious hours.

Wait, why did she want those hours? She just wanted to attend her graduation ceremony.

Please imagine how this fine, thoughtful boss reacted when the employee "handed me her work ID and a list of all the times she had worked late/come in early/worked overtime for each and every one of her co-workers. Then she quit on the spot."

No, he wasn't expecting it.

Instead: "I'm a bit upset because she was my best employee by far. Her work was excellent, she never missed a day of work in the six years she worked here, and she was my go-to person for weekends and holidays."

It's at this point that some might want to pen a missive beginning "Dear Asinine Dunderhead Boss."

Please wait before raising your quill. There's more.

He admitted that he had, in fact, made exceptions for other people. They had concert tickets.

The boss now wants to reach out to his former employee. He wants to explain to her that quitting in this way is not OK.

"I only want to do this because she was an otherwise great employee, and I don't want her to derail her career by doing this again and thinking it is OK," he said.

Some might feel that instead of derailing her career, she has placed it on a Hyperloop.

If asked why she quit in an interview, she can tell the story.

If the interviewer isn't impressed with her behavior, she can immediately know that this isn't a company to work for.

A wonderful employee still possessed of her self-respect is a priceless asset, one that cannot be valued on some cold balance sheet.

But let's get back to the boss. His compassion still overflows.

He explained that the employee "was raised in a few dozen different foster homes and has no living family. She was homeless for a bit after she turned 18 and besides us she doesn't have anyone in her life that has ever had professional employment."

He just wants to make sure she "doesn't make the same mistake again."

So now let's begin.

Dear Asinine Dunderhead Boss,

If you can't see that attending your graduation ceremony is a moving, momentous time of a human's life, then you shouldn't be a boss. If you can't see that someone who was raised in foster homes might consider the fact that they graduated a time for pride and celebration, then you should attend People School. If you can't understand that your supposedly principled stance is nothing more that pompous posturing, then I suggest you slither away to a retreat and consider the essence of your being. And if you can't find someone to cover for two hours for an employee, you truly float in a sludge of incompetence mixed with mindless myopia.

I'm sorry, I was just trying to give you a few ideas.

Published on: Jul 6, 2016
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