• Mike Rinder
    and Sleep Addiction

    F.C.

    I can relate the following about Mike Rinder. It exposes another tragic flaw he had, a trait not uncommon in the loser type. To balance the sadness of it, I will try to find some humor in his pathetic behavior. Mike Rinder grew up in Australia, the natural habitat of the koala. Like this little critter, which Australians affectionately call a “Joey,” Rinder always needed a lot of sleep. Not necessarily the 20 hours that koalas will snooze in a given day, but definitely more than any other able-bodied human I have ever worked with. Koalas sleep to conserve energy, but not so Rinder; he expended any energy he had to put himself to sleep. Yes, it is hard to believe, but almost every morning when the roughly 90 staff of his department assembled at 8:30 to kick off the day and coordinate their activities, Mike Rinder was a no-show.

    No, he didn’t just run late for a day, which happens to most everyone occasionally, but his tendency was to lead by absence, not example, and it was a bad habit. It was pointed out to him more than once—very often as a matter of fact—but his type of sleep addiction was clearly of the incurable sort. His secretary’s first task every morning was to phone her boss and make sure he was out of bed, or else get him to quit the dreamworld and decide to show up for work. Her next job was to field phone calls and explain that her boss was simply too busy to come to the phone but, she assured callers, he would return the person’s call promptly.

    Mike Rinder was not a morning person, which is putting it mildly. In fact, he left no doubt that he was a morning bully.

    Eventually, some days sooner than others, Mike Rinder would roll into the office. Mike Rinder was not a morning person, which is putting it mildly. In fact, he left no doubt that he was a morning bully. Usually his first action was to scowl and bark at his secretary, and often he would find some fault with how she had prepared, or not, papers for him to see on his desk. But she could soon breathe a sigh of relief because he would move on to others. He would soon enough find things to criticize and chastise subordinates for and snarl at any unsuspecting person unlucky enough to cross paths with him.

    Clearly, Rinder had a penchant for covering up an inability to exercise self-discipline by roughly disciplining those around him. But I digress, because the subject of this contribution is not Mike Rinder’s lack of civility, but his preferred state of mind and body: drowsiness. Just as he was a gruffian in the mornings, he was a believer when it came to the afternoon siesta. He would be at this desk and pretend to read some memos or reports. But it was very obvious that he was not among the conscious. His unmoving physical posture was a giveaway. The next clue was the very regular breathing pattern.

    What clinched it were the muffled snoring sounds that would soon follow. At that point, his secretary, embarrassed that her boss would be sleeping in the middle of the workday, began to create noises that, she hoped, were loud enough to pull him from his slumber. Sometimes it worked, sometimes she had to resort to other means to get him to return from the yonder. She would pray for a call for him to come in from the switchboard because that meant she could buzz him awake. When he would go on a trip, it was always a relief for her and the others who had to interact with him. Things would run smoothly around the office and department which was then unencumbered by the whims and distractions generated by an absentee boss.