An Open Letter to My Staff Regarding Boss’s Day

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Everyone:
I have a very important announcement to make. No, no one’s getting laid off and we aren’t implementing pay cuts. It’s bigger, more important than that. It’s about the upcoming Boss’s Day.

This year, don’t bother with a present or even a card. Instead, use your time, energy and money on something worthwhile.

Boss’s Day is a stupid holiday. Our organization pays me to be in charge. I don’t need a day.

Yet every year on October 16, staff in offices around the country feel obligated to take up collections and buy token gifts for someone who makes more money than them. They struggle to say nice things on greeting cards passed around from one to the other, as painful as trying to figure out what to write in the yearbook of that kid you barely spoke to in algebra class (2 Good + 2 Be = 4 Gotten).

And we can’t even blame Hallmark for this holiday. In fact, Hallmark makes it clear that the holiday started in 1958, and they didn’t start coming out with cards until the late seventies. When Hallmark won’t even take credit for a made up holiday, you know it’s bad. So who did start it? Some secretary named Patricia Bays Haroski began it for her boss in 1958. She picked his birthday for the date. She wanted to show appreciation for how hard he worked, and help subordinates realize it.

This boss also happened to be her Dad.

Some boss’s do work hard. They look out for their staff, and deserve some appreciation. But I don’t think forcing employees to appreciate their boss is a way to do it, especially if they are the other kind of boss – the ones who take credit for your work, blame you for their mistakes and would fire you at the drop of a hat if it meant bigger bonuses for themselves.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the gifts of chocolate and coffee and the cards I’ve received over the years. I especially value the mug you gave me one year with all your pictures on it. Who doesn’t feel good about getting presents? But you all are busy, both at work and at home. The last thing you need to be doing is figuring out some way to please me, fearing I’ll be offended if I don’t.

Not to brag (okay, maybe just a little), but I know you appreciate me. I realize that if for some reason I were to change jobs, I’d have to skulk out in the middle of the night, like the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn, or face your wrath. That means a lot to me. With a staff as great as all of you, every day is Boss’s Day.

The best thing you can do to celebrate boss’s day is to come in and do the best job you possibly can. Look out for each other. I can look out for myself.

Time to go now – I’ve just been reminded that I need to sign a card for my boss.

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