Monday, January 5th, 2004 • 4 Comments on Why I’ll Never Rule the World
I was once a twenty-one year old boss. I had employees. I made schedules. I had a budget. I spent the company’s money. I dealt with angry, cursing morons—all with a smile. I hired people. I fired people. I was young, I was naive and I was in charge. I took care of the people who worked for me because that’s what I thought a good boss should do. I figured I had nothing to lose by doing things my way and there was rarely anyone looking over my shoulder to tell me otherwise. My work ethic was less “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean” and more “get the work done, then goof off.”
My work ethic hasn’t changed much in fifteen years. I am not lazy so much as I am rebellious. I don’t like rules. I don’t deal well with authority, especially if the authority in question is an idiot. I don’t like policy and procedure manuals, I prefer to handle things on a case by case basis. I don’t like black and white, I prefer shades of gray and blue and purple. I don’t like being told what to do, nor do I like giving orders. I prefer a looser style of management. Smart employees know what to do and will get the job done. Dumb employees should be taken out back and smacked around. Simple.
I believe vacation days are for vacation and sick days are for whatever you want them to be. I think the best thing you can give an employee—besides a hefty raise—is respect and the acknowledgment of work well done, even if it’s the work they’re supposed to do. I believe in positive reinforcement and chocolate rewards; when a raise isn’t in the budget, I believe in commiseration and drinks on the house. I believe in fraternizing and getting to know the people who work for you. I believe everyone is entitled to have a bad day and everyone deserves a second, and even a third, chance. I believe
most people want to do a good job most
of the time. That should be enough for any boss.
I believe in looking out for your employees and giving them credit where credit is due—and even when it isn’t. It’s no real hardship to let someone stand in the spotlight for a few minutes and it makes a world of difference in how they feel about themselves… and their job. I believe in staff meetings that include doughnuts and coffee. I believe in pizza parties on me because we’ve had a good, productive week. I believe in looking the other way when lunch stretches to an hour and a half once in awhile. I believe as long as ONE person is on time, everyone else can be a few minutes late occasionally. I don’t believe in evaluations, I believe in heart-to-hearts when the need arises. I believe work can—and should—be
All of this just goes to show why I will never be a boss again. Not that I want to be—the hours suck and, oddly enough, no one seems to think I should be in charge. Imagine that.
Things would be better if I ruled the world. Trust me.