Everyone hates their boss… or do they?
This isn’t Apple. This isn’t Facebook. This isn’t Google. This isn’t Disney. Think about the vast majority of the jobs that everyone has. It’s not glamorous work. It’s hard work. Long hours. Tough clients. Most businesses open early to prepare for the day’s business and close long after the last customer has left. Most businesses are a part of local community. Now, as nice of a boss as as most of us have, they are still the person at the top. Loved? Respected? Appreciated? Hopefully. But still, employees are always wanting better hours, more staff in place, better accommodations, more money and the like. We all have a seen a myriad of ridiculous stories about employees that would make all of us shake our collective heads. We probably have similar stories about bosses, and how they can often come off like Scrooge. This isn’t (usually) the staff against the boss. It is – for the most part – how most people work. They go to work and they hate their job/boss. It’s like some weird kind of badge of honor. Not because their boss is a bad individual, but simply because they are the boss. Not everyone lives being resentful, but it’s common – for many, many people – to feel like they know better than the boss, or that the boss is out of touch with reality.
How to go to work.
I never left any work feeling like that – for any of my bosses (even the ones that let me go). Even when I held sucky minimum wage jobs. And, I had many of those. I packaged make-up in a warehouse. I served frozen yogurt. I worked the cash at a newsstand. I delivered newspapers. And there are plenty more. I worked for my share of miserable bosses who were transparent about their lack of respect for their employees. Not fun. Still, I never got mad at the boss. It was my fault. I took the blame. Why? This may be a first world problem, but I chose to work for this individual. I went into each and every position doing my own due diligence. After accepting the position, I did so knowing – full well – what the salary, expectations and hours would be. On top of that, I was also able to recognize (from a very early age), that the beginning is always the honeymoon period, and that things could very well deteriorate quickly over time. Would I be ok with that? Before accepting the job, I had to accept that the "rules" will always change. Was having the job better than not having any job? Was having the job worth dealing with people who could very well get under my skin?
It’s not always that easy.
People need to make rent. They need to pay their bills. They need to take care of their family. Sometimes, we can’t make the best of decisions, because we’re not in the best of positions. This also happens more often than most of us would like. Still, even if you’re trapped in a job that isn’t helping you to achieve your dreams, don’t blame your boss. They’re in their own situation… you’re in your own situation. What are you going to do about your own future?
Being a great boss.
I’ve had many great bosses. But, it’s what most people don’t see. These people – the good ones – are always watching the budget. Did every employee truly understand the thin margins that the business was operating under and how the slightest of change could force the business to lay people off? Who knows? It’s still shocking – and somewhat disheartening – to see how the vast majority of our population just falls into these traditional ideologies of "stick it to the boss." It’s fair to say that there are bad bosses… and bad employees. It’s fair to say that there are great bosses and great employees. Does everyone always love the boss? Who knows? It just seems easy… and sometimes cheap… to take it out on the boss. Beyond the old chestnut that there are three sides to every story, I’m often very self-reflective on why I chose to be in specific work situations, instead of how I was perceiving someone else (with more power than me). Being a great boss is not easy. Being a great employee can be ever harder.
Whether you’re a boss or an employee, it’s always important to both walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and not always lay the blame with others.