I remember the day I hit my breaking point. I had driven from Philly to NJ early that morning for the dreaded Tuesday Sales meeting, which honestly, was very comparable to “The Bachelor’s” Rose Ceremony, if it were really violent and no one ever got a rose. I hesitantly entered the conference room and there he was, Napoleon in khaki floods, staring at me with laser beam eyes, his face full anger and disgust. As I sat down, I could feel myself shaking but today’s shaking felt different. I knew at that very moment this would be my last meeting (which turned out to be more degrading and brutal than most). After the one-hour, fun-filled abuse fest, I was going to shuffle ball change out of that dank, old TV Station in nowheresville, New Jersey and I was never going to look back.
Working for a Sociopathic Narcissist has its benefits if you are fresh in your career. Mostly, any new boss after that one will seem nurturing and sane. Secondly, the Sociopathic Narcissists are usually quite intelligent so you can learn a lot from them if you can handle the heat. And most importantly, working for a Sociopathic Narcissist prepares you to become someone’s bitch and I hate to say it but becoming someone’s bitch pretty much sums up parenthood.
Here are 5 ways working for a Sociopathic Narcissist helped me prepare for motherhood.
- I became exposed to sleep deprivation.
A lunatic boss will have you working into the wee hours of the morning when you actually have to start work in the wee hours of the morning. There were some nights that I just caught a couple zzz’s on the couch at the station instead of driving all the way back to Philly to have to turn right around again. I had a change of clothes hanging in the Anchor Woman’s dressing room for these instances.
A baby will have you working the same hours. Not a wink’s sleep and you will feel desperate and exhausted but you will have to go through the entire next day, feeding, changing, rocking and hopefully catching a nap on the couch…if they don’t start crying just as you are dozing off.
- I learned the art of redirecting.
I would keep things in my back pocket to distract my crazy boss when he would call me screaming or burst into my office with his hair on fire about something someone had done and was apparently my fault. “How come Alana is late for work?” “I’m not sure but we have bigger fish to fry here”, I would blurt out in panic. ” The competing channel got the Mayor to do a promo for them so I’m on the phone with the Governor’s office to see if he’ll do one for us”. None of it was true but then I’d just pick up the phone and get the Governor to somehow do the promo. I used to think I was a magician of sorts but in reality, I think a lot of people knew how crazy he was and felt bad for me.
With a child, you also need to master the art of distraction and redirection. Little Tommy wants to stick his hand in the electrical socket so you pop a balloon in his face, make him cry, cuddle him and start anew. See? Art of distraction and redirection is a parent’s most important tool.
- I learned to handle screaming.
No, thankfully my boobs didn’t leak when my boss screamed at me but it did make my heart race and my ears hurt.
No one likes to be yelled at but after having a grown man or woman scream at you like they are some sort of child over and over again, your sweet baby’s shrills will seem like a lullaby.
- I mastered the art of being prepared.
As I mentioned above, you can learn a lot from a Sociopathic Narcissist Leader. For example, I learned that if I was not fully prepared for the unexpected at an event or meeting, I’d be publicly humiliated, my job would be threatened and I’d be metaphorically dipped in honey, chained to a flag post and have a swarm of bees set loose on me. This WILL teach you to start asking questions before you jump into anything. “What if James Earl Jones unexpectedly shows up at this event he wasn’t invited to?” “I’d better grab the boss’s favorite Star Wars T-Shirt so he can have it signed”.
When you have a baby, you need to do the same. What if there is an earthquake and I am stuck on the freeway with my infant? You will stock your car with diapers, water, formula, a stroller, blanket and snacks for yourself. Look inside your diaper bag right now! You catch my drift? Are you truly prepared? I can assure you, I am.
- I learned who my people were and we united.
The Supreme Leader had a tendency to do everything in his power to turn people against one another in the workplace. I’m not sure how he thought this benefitted him but it was his favorite pastime as a puppet master. The ones who fell to the dark side and were his mignons could not be trusted and so we were broken up into two different groups. The, “This Guy’s A Fucking Lunatic” Group and the, “This Guy’s A Fucking Lunatic Group But I’m Lame So I’m Going To Be His Mignon” group.
The same applies in motherhood. There are the mammas that build you up and the ones who live to see you knocked down. The ones who assure you on the mommy websites that you are a great mom and this job is really hard and then there are the ones who lecture you and say wonderful things like, “Well, I hope that never happens again for your kid’s sake”. You’ll find your mamma group faster and easier than most if you’ve worked for a Sociopathic Narcissist because you’ll recognize the difference between the ones who have your back and the ones who are waiting to stab you in it.
Whether you are parenting a sleepless infant or a sassy teenager, if you have endured working for a Sociopathic Narcissist, you are applying all of the skills you might not know you even had. You’re prepared to endure the unexpected. So, look back on those traumatic experiences with fondness and give a virtual nod to that asshole you used to work for and thank them for teaching you to be who you are today…and then virtually flip them off and hope they twist their ankle.