I don’t know if y’all have ever been a boss. And I don’t mean a “like a boss” boss. I mean a person in charge, who has to handle all the crises that come up on a daily basis. Being in charge is rough. It stinks to be on call 24/7/365 (or 366 in a leap year situation), having to wait for the inevitable Sunday phone call. Worrying about everything coming crashing down in your absence on the rare occasions you go out of town can ruin a vacation. And don’t get me started on working in retail and having to get up at 3AM for an inventory and having one of your employees abandon her job THAT DAY. Like I said, it’s rough.
However, being in charge can also be very wonderful. Having autonomy can be so freeing. Being the one giving the direction, you get to make sure your mark is left on the company. Plus, let’s not forget that you get more perks as a boss. More vacation time, higher pay, and sometimes even fringe benefits like a company cell phone or vehicle often come with. With greater responsibilities come greater perks.
So what do you do for a boss/supervisor/owner/CEO who’s under all that pressure? How do you show them that you’re glad they handle all that junk so you don’t have to? I’d guess that depends on what sort of boss you have and what sort of relationship you have with them. Coffee and mugs are safe in just about every situation. But maybe you know your boss likes wine. There’s nothing wrong with gifting them with a nice vintage. Maybe your boss likes golf. A set of golf balls or a flask, depending on the relationship you have. Perhaps your company has that culture where the boss has a lovely crystal decanter of some very expensive whiskey on a dry bar in their office. Or maybe they don’t have one but that’s only because they haven’t had the time to go out and purchase one. Why not do that for them?
Ok, I’m going to break the fourth wall here. At this point in the narrative, I was writing about how my boss is a germophobe and I was going to get him a hand sanitizer dispenser for his desk. Ironically, considering his germophobia, he got a cold recently that progressed into pneumonia. So I thought, you know, the first line of defense is clean hands. But then Hurricane Matthew happened. What a catastrophe. As you probably know by now, I live in North Carolina. We thought we’d be all good and that the storm would miss us, or at the very worst we’d get some rain. Matthew had other plans, I guess. When he made landfall in South Carolina at 10:45AM on Saturday, he had already dumped six inches of rain (it felt like feet of water) and wind gusts of over 60 MPH were recorded in Fayetteville, NC. During all this clishmaclaver, I got a frantic phone call from the Public Works Director (he’s a boss, too!) that the building I work in for my regular day job was flooding. And so, of course, because I am also a boss, I went to work during the hurricane. Inches of water inside the building. My office was flooded, the linoleum in the kitchen and the carpet everywhere else was floating. When I got back in touch with the Public Works Director, he’d already been in touch with our boss, and in turn he had already been in touch with a disaster remediation company. My boss is On. Top. Of. His. Game.
In addition to all his other duties, my boss is now dealing with our insurance company, the disaster remediation company, flooring companies, and who knows how many others. So now, rather than just giving a simple ‘thanks for all you do’ for our boss, I’m going to ask the other employees to go in with me on a gift basket. Maybe we’ll get him a huge one so there are leftovers and we’ll have to help eat it. That’s not too mercenary, right? Right?!
But it’s not that you have to give a gift. A “thank you” may do it all, or doing something nice for your boss – like making a take-home dinner for their family, inviting them to a movie or ball game, bringing in a Fall plant or pumpkin, or whatever you think might make them smile - would be a great way to say it, too.
In any case, I’m sending out a Thank You to everyone who is a boss…even if your staff doesn’t say it, I’m sure you desire one.
Posted: Friday, October 21, 2016