The one who is never wrong


The one who is never wrong

Let’s start with some basic facts of working life. Everything you know about the state of the universe, your boss knows better. Everything you say about the mysterious ways of the world, your boss says better.

Everything you think about, including the actual timing of the discovery of water on Mars and the Hollywood movie release on the same planet, your boss has already thought of. Everything you do or hope to do, including the whole spuds in red soil business, your boss has probably already done. To put it in a nutshell, your boss knows best, always.

What your boss may not know, as you will now, is that over six decades ago, a lady named Patricia Bays Haroski got October 16 registered as National Boss’s Day with the US Chamber of Commerce in honour of her father (whom she happened to be working for and whose birthday fell on the day). It served the purpose of showing the boss how much Patricia appreciated him at a time when she felt most employees just didn’t
understand how much hard work their bosses actually put in at office.

Not as well known as other “days” in India — with marginally less advertising for the occasion — Boss’s Day is certainly a good time to spare a thought for the one who, as the mantra goes, is always right. If you were blissfully ignorant about the existence of this special day, chances are that your boss may not be aware of it either. But that’s not something you want to harp on!

A lot like love

Boss’s Day actually has a lot in common with Valentine’s Day, believe it or not. Understandably, you are not going to have a whole procession taken out against bosses like the anti-Valentine groupies that have sprouted around the country. However, there are probably more people who would love to line up for a procession against bosses, if there ever was one. Would anybody actually have the guts to risk losing their jobs, by dragging bosses out of their favourite pubs? Probably not! But would anybody want to? My guess is as good as yours.

What makes the day important is that it does have the power St Valentine seems to exude in today’s world. Here is a day when a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates, preferably with a card, can go a long way in terms of brownie points for the rest of the year and a reliable shield for the future transgressions you may commit.

Say you forget Valentines’ Day, you’ll perhaps have to ignore your spouse’s cold shoulder or make it up to your lover with some expensive apologies, but with the boss it’s a completely different ball game. That’s not a person you can ignore or fool, so easily. Especially if you want to stick around at your job for longer than 48 hours. So, ladies and gentlemen, there’s every reason to try and get into your boss’ good books and stay there for a while.

As the old saying goes, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” A B2B marketplace, Approved Index, in a survey of 1,374 employees in the United Kingdom found that approximately 42 per cent have left a job because of a terrible boss. Satisfaction with your job goes deeper than the temperature at which your office air conditioning is set. That brings us to the all important question: what does it take to keep your boss happy? For, that ultimately makes your workplace a more peaceful place. And as an employee, you would be a lot more productive and so would your boss — business, as you know it, would certainly be good.

Saying it sincerely

So, you like your job — probably love it — but your boss doesn’t seem to like you. While the initial instinct is to make a run for it, take a moment to think back to what you can do to change the way the wind blows. If staying back a couple of hours after work or helping out on an extra project is going to get you somewhere, just do it. Better still, get started on your Boss’ Day gifting options. Better late than never.

Winning over an unapproachable boss is no easy task, and Mount Everest could look like a molehill from where you stand at this point. But don’t lose heart! Here are a couple of quick pointers that could turn the mean and arrogant Ricky Gervais from The Office (TV series) into a Paula Abdul from American Idol who would absolutely love your every song even when out of tune. 

If the one who are trying to please is anything like the pointy-haired boss (PHB) from Dilbert (the comic strip),

refrain from giving him a hat. A talk about your boss’ haircut or need for one, or the size of an adequate top-hat is certainly not a good idea. With the PHB boss, a box of chocolates and a fantastically worded card, preferably without any jokes about haircuts, might work well.

If the image that comes to your mind when you think of your boss is Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, neither outright competition in the looks department nor flattery by way of emulating her style blindly would get you anywhere. Of course, super
efficiency at work and preempting her every move is easier said than done. When it comes to the perfect gift for such a fashionista, stay away from (what you think are) stylish shoes or a gift coupon for comfortable sneakers. Some interesting Oolong tea sourced from that tiny shop that sells authentic Chinese tea (if the boss is a tea drinker), or that exclusive Luwak coffee from

Indonesia might make for an apt gift. Please note that chocolates may not be appreciated, especially if the boss is on a diet.

Remember Bruce Willis in Die Hard? Is your boss anything like him? Not in terms of looks, but in his attitude

towards work. He’s probably not taken a single long break in two years. He works through the holiday season, comes to work running a temperature just to make sure deadlines are met and eventually has an ‘I can save the world from ruin’ look about him because of his sheer persistence and dedication.

A spa coupon would not be appreciated here, but staying back longer hours to finish work that needs to be submitted — even if it means missing out on your movie with friends — is certainly worth counting on. Getting the team to take him out to a surprise lunch could also work wonders here. Letting him know that he’s appreciated for all the effort he takes at work and admired for his commitment is more than asked for in this case.

Although cribbing about your boss is almost an unconscious pastime today, a survey by Ajilon Finance recently found that 79 per cent of the employees actually respect their bosses. Sadly, not many bosses know this. Today is a good day to let the boss know. Because at the end of the day, as Iver Tarp, chairman at Happy Bosses, said, “The leaders must lead happily.”

Here’s to happier bosses and happier employees!

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