Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash: Sheila ‘Mothereffing’ Jackson Lee, how to deal with an evil boss, and are ants communists?

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Darth-Vader-Evangelical/dp/1439159971">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

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Dear Matt:  The Daily Caller just featured an expose of what everyone has always known about Rep. Sheila “you mothereffer” Jackson “you mothereffer” Lee.  What advice can you offer on how to deal with difficult bosses? In other words, how often does Tucker Carlson call you a “mothereffer?” Your indulgence is much appreciated.  — Sydney D. Mothereffer

I’ll take your questions in order of unsuitability due to mature themes and adult language. Tucker frequently calls me a “mothereffer.” And in retaliation, I call him “Oedipus,” because I’m sophisticated, and once took a class on Greek mythology down at the community college. When launching The Daily Caller, Tucker even tried to name this column “Ask Mothereffer.” But I refused, figuring it would only confuse readers, who’d wonder why Bill Maher was writing for him.

My first piece of advice if you have a difficult boss, is to quit and find a more agreeable boss. If you still work for a horror show like Sheila Jackson Lee after she publicly called you a “mothereffer,” then it’s time for some self-examination. Maybe she has a fair point. In which case I suggest you go to Sheila Jackson Lee’s office — entering cautiously in case she chucks a stapler at your head — to thank her for her honesty.

Many people think it’s a sign of moral inferiority to quit. To which I say they have quit – on finding a better solution. I know that as Americans, we’re supposed to be all about dogged optimism and stick-to-itiveness, and we’re not supposed to be quitters. But sometimes change is necessary. The Farrah-cut once worked for you. But you can’t wear it forever. That was yesterday’s hairstyle. Time to get a new look. Maybe “The Rachel,” which really accentuates your cheekbones. Get with it. These are the ‘90s, man.

In the event that you can’t quit, for whatever frivolous reason you have like paying your mortgage or feeding your children, here are some additional strategies for dealing with an evil boss:

1. Playing Possum – If you have a difficult boss, chances are they bring you difficult tasks, which interfere with more important office priorities such as eating lunch, emailing your friends, and finding unspeakably offensive porn sites. Your actual mission, then, is to convince your boss that you are not the man/woman for the job. So gladly accept these tasks, then prove your incompetence. After enough failures, your boss won’t entrust you with anything more consequential than bringing in cookies for National Cookie Day. Thus allowing you to get back to discovering the joys of goldenshowersbringmayflowers.com.

2. The Snitch – If there’s one thing that cannot stand in today’s workplace, it’s intolerance. Intolerant people are simply not tolerated. So in order to make yourself indispensable to management, find someone who has disparaged a woman, a minority, a physically-challenged person or a person of whiteness (white people in America will be a minority by the year 2042, meaning it’s time to start practicing more tolerance toward them). Once you locate said hater, loudly reprimand them, then report them to HR. Your boss will no longer have time to express displeasure with you, since he/she will be too busy punishing them. Will your co-workers come to resent you for putting their careers in jeopardy? Undoubtedly. But what are they going to do about it? Report you? Too late, you’ve already reported them. Wake up a little earlier if you want to get the drop on The Snitch, co-workers.

3. Respect Is A Right, Not A Privilege – Under no circumstances should you ever tolerate being called a “mothereffer.” It’s the “mother” prefix which I find particularly troubling. It harks back to a dark chapter in our nation’s history, one in which women found it perfectly acceptable to stay home and raise their children. Sure, mothers gave birth to us, and breast fed us until we were four or five (normal, right?) But the very word “mother” is so politically charged nowadays, with connotations of hausfraudom, of bon-bon eating and game-show watching and denim-jumper-wearing. Such pejorative labels are unacceptable in a place of employment. And if you work, and are additionally a mother, then you are what social scientists call “working mothers.” So demand respect from your boss, and insist on being called a “working mothereffer.”