Reigniting Old Flames?

I think my boss is having an affair. Like this jellyfish I photographed on my trip to the Great Bear Rainforest, he’s become rather slippery.

Slippery When Wet
Slippery When Wet

It all started a few months ago, after he went to a college reunion sans wife. Since the reunion, his behavior has grown increasingly uncharacteristic. Previously transparent regarding his comings and goings, always advising staff when he’ll be out of the office and where he’s going, suddenly he’s grown vague. He’s arrived at the office on numerous occasions after noon, with no mention that he’d planned to be out or, upon arrival, an explanation of where he’d been. Overnight work trips now take two. Out-of-town driving trips previously not requiring an overnight hotel stay, now do. Suddenly he’s arranging his own travel.

A couple of weeks ago, he came by the office on his way out of town for one of these vague marketing trips wearing blue jeans. I’ve worked for the man for a decade and have never once seen him in a pair of blue jeans. He pointedly told me a few years back that he no longer wears blue jeans. On top of that, he recently bought several new pairs of shoes. For a decade the man hasn’t given two shits about what he’s wearing, and suddenly he has new blue jeans and shoes?

As for recent out-of-town boondoggles, he has been quite content to let me skip them, going on his own. The man does not like to do marketing trips on his own, telling me on more than one occasion that he does not enjoy small talk, and that he prefers I join him as I’m better at that sort of thing. In the past, he’s practically insisted that I go with him. Now, he tells me if I go, I’ll need to take a separate car as he has a dinner scheduled with “friends.” Suddenly the man has friends all across Texas he’s never bothered to dine with in the past.

Not to mention the fact that suddenly he’s happy. He’s practically bursting with glee. One of my co-workers asked me the other day what in the hell was going on with him when he arrived at the office after a long weekend happy and chipper, engaging staff in polite conversation. The man is wearing blue jeans and having animated conversations with staff about their weekends.

Even more suspicious, he’s not micromanaging me. In fact, he’s borderline disinterested in project deadlines. He’s disappearing from the office in the face of such deadlines with nary a care in the world.

One of our partners, noticing this out-of-character behavior, asked me with a smirk if he was out doing secret job interviews.

If I may be so crude: he’s totally nailing someone. Someone he ran into at the reunion. All the signs are there. New clothes, odd comings and goings, markedly elevated mood, disinterest in the job, not being all up in my shit every minute of every day. This turn of events, while disconcerting, does have its advantages. He’s much less of a pain in the ass of late. His distraction has provided relief from his constant helicoptering. Good has become an acceptable substitute for perfection.

Assuming my suspicions are correct, this could be a very good thing for all those who work with him at BigLaw. So long as he doesn’t get dumped or caught. Then again, if it’s this obvious to me he’s rekindled an old romance, that does not bode well.


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