My boss can be given to moods of contrariness and combativeness. I am generally spared these as we have a rapport, but I do perform a sort of public service by warning others when I can tell he's in a mood, or, as I like to tell people, "He's having his period today."
Unfortunately, yesterday morning he was having a symbolic mood period while I was just about to start my actual one. A Perfect PMS Storm. I, frustrated and at the end of my patience, walked into his office with a check request, and expressed my HUGE frustration at my consistent inability to get vital information from a very small percentage of certain regional personnel, which required me to spend in the neighborhood of two solid days' work on on each monthly batch of invoices from our attorney. This information related to the check request on his desk, attached to copies of the invoices, a stack that resembled The White Pages.
Because he was in A Mood, and because I was too enmeshed in my extreme pique to realize this, I suddenly found myself being cross-examined as to the way I was handling this, who I was talking to, what channels I was using. (This, for a simple request to give me a property code.)
When we got to the point where he began splitting hairs over the exact wording of my requests (I could tell he'd already decided that the problem must lie somewhere with me, not with the same three people who don't seem to feel that their bloated salaries justify any kind of financial responsibility over their budgets), I realized I needed to end the conversation.
Here, Ladies, and Gentlemen, is the perfect way to address such a situation when you find yourself engaging with someone who is being impossible.
Throw your head back, raise your arms to the sky, and from this televangelist faith-healer-cum-James Brown pose, declare:
"I give up."
That's what I did. I contorted like a Pentacostal filled with The Spirit, just gave up, asked him to sign, and took the pile down to Accounting. He went to the bathroom, apparently had a good think there, and came back to me to say he thought that the process should be changed so that I don't have to deal with it at all.
"You're singing my song, Man."
Faith moves mountains.