The Tyranny of National Boss’s Day

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Monday, October 17 is National Boss’s Day in the U.S. It is an annual made up day that no one wants to celebrate. As if we needed a day at work that no one likes. Bosses don’t like the day and neither does anyone who works for a boss. And that is most of us. The “holiday” is awkward and unnecessary and the reasons are legion.

First, good bosses want neither gifts nor this artificial recognition. Good bosses are self aware and organized and don’t need cupcakes in October to be affirmed. Given financial disparities, good bosses don’t want anyone to use hard earned money for a new mouse pad gift.  It’s awkward and embarrassing and puts the boss in a spot where he or she has to say, “Thanks, now get back to work.”

From the subordinates’ perspective, the saw cuts two ways. On the negative side, there’s nothing more miserable than celebrating someone that you don’t like. And then there is the pressure if a collection being taken to get the boss a gift. If you don’t contribute, you’re not a team player.

Pull the saw the other way and it might bring out the real nature of National Boss’s Day. Remember why we like our jobs. Remember what it is that creates job satisfaction. Researchers have been working on this since the Vikings were rowing the boats.  And there are a lot of answers but one stands out. Pay and benefits are up there on the satisfaction list. Free coffee and free lunch and workout facilities are good.  The nature of the work is very important. But the one factor seems to always stand out is your boss. Yes, that boss.

The more you feel supported and mentored by your boss and the more you get along with your boss, the more satisfied you will be at work. Simple as that – the boss is always at the top of the list.

If you are a boss, remember the important role you play in the lives of everyone around you. Be the mentor and leader without having to be celebrated once a year.

If you like your job you might just need to remind your boss of how important he or she is to your job satisfaction. No flowers or candy required.

If you ignore National Boss’s Day altogether, it’s likely that no one will notice and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief – until next year.

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