You’re not the boss of me.

You might hand over my low-three-figures paycheck every two weeks, but you don’t own me. Per policy, I wear your nametag and smock, and even stretch your old lady hairnet over my beard when I’m going to be near the grill, but that doesn’t make you, in any way, my superior.

Difficult though it might be for you to imagine, when I was your age, I was forwarding 4.0 college transcripts and glowing letters of recommendation to some of the nations’ top Ph.D. programs. But not so many years before that, I was exactly like you: trying to figure out how to unstuff my scrawny ass from inside my high school locker.

In fact, the only difference between you and me when I was a much younger man is that it appears you really enjoy being a dick to people. Also, unlike you, I worked at the public library after school rather than a fast food burger restaurant famous for deep-frying its lettuce.

Maybe you should read a book or two − other than the company’s employee manual. Which is just a three-ring binder, not a book at all.

No offense to our corporate HR policies, but you might be surprised to learn that there’s more to life than how many smoke breaks employees are allowed to take during a four-hour shift. How many more breaks would I get if I filled my tobacco pipe full of that crazy hydroponic marijuana the overnight shift manager pushes?

Would I be better off paying too much for some of that ditchweed you sell out of your pick-up truck’s glove compartment? Or do you actually grow it in there somehow?

There’s nothing in the employee manual about pot breaks, just like there’s nothing in there about how a Professor Emeritus with more than two dozen peer-reviewed monographs published under his byline could wind up taking the most degrading job ever after the mother of his children disappears with her masseuse to some island off of Mexico because alimony doesn’t pay itself.

That sad cautionary tale would make for an informative chapter, though it probably wouldn’t read nearly as funny as you think it is.

I could even write my firsthand account so you and/or somebody at corporate headquarters wouldn’t have to. Of course, that would require another employee being in

charge of dragging the broom and dustpan around the front dining room and cleaning the restrooms every half hour.

Maybe that person actually knows why our restaurant smells so much like dirty diapers. Whenever customers ask me, I tell them I think it’s because the little badass in charge around here is so full of shit.