This week was slightly better than last week for me. Super Boss was in a cesspool of misery for most of it.
Thursday, the department director pulled me aside to talk about the overall misery in our department. He said really great things like how he doesn't want to lose any of us and he knows that Super Boss and I are doing the work of three analysts. He also was highly concerned about Super Boss and how miserable he is. The director noted that when I'm upset that it bleeds onto Super Boss - I agreed saying we basically feed off each other's moods. He also talked about this huge deliverable we have for next week and how Super Boss's perfectionism is holding it up and in this case 80% good is fine. I pointed out sending out not perfect work makes us feel dirty but I did agree killing ourselves over the deliverable made no sense.
First off, I know the director was operating from a human concerned place and a business results concerned place. Looping me in was his way of pushing along work and getting a read on how bad things are. But it put me in a weird situation. I liked having a superior to express concerns about Super Boss because I CARE. Fuck the deliverable if it makes Super Boss cry in my office every day of the week. You know? But I did get an idea of how to take a load off his plate by running with the deliverable. I am pretty sure knowing this discussion happened would upset and piss off Super Boss more so why do that? So, guess what this oldest child, type A, highly-functioning depressive did? I tried to save everything and kept Super Boss in the dark about this discussion.
He hasn't been eating lunch regularly for weeks. I have sent him out of conference calls telling him to get food but what he does, he goes back to his desk and works more. I have also lectured him about how blood sugar affects mood and thinking. So, Thursday I grabbed him a sub when I grabbed my lunch. I handed him his sandwich in his office and he looked like an ashamed child asking, "How much do I owe you?" I told him, "Just take care of yourself. Put this food in your face." I also created a report to help figure out what to focus on for the Big Deliverable. Super Boss liked it a lot and found it helpful.
He introduced me to the music of Ellis Paul months ago so I was listening to him in my office. Super Boss, with his awesome memory, got very confused and had no idea how I knew about the guy. We spent the end of Thursday in my office listening to Ellis, working on the deliverable, and talking about our day. A lot got done and Super Boss looked a smidgen less miserable.
Friday morning he came into my office and thanked me for Thursday with tears in his eyes. He said that he felt so much better going home Thursday night. I asked if I could hug him but he refused. He also confessed he didn't eat the sub I got him but he kept it in the office fridge for Friday lunch. I joked that I need to bank sandwiches for him.
I know I can't save the entire department or stop him from leaving but it is freaky how much my mood or intention for the day can affect things. Or maybe it wasn't me? It could have been the music. Yeah, it was good music...