Things I wish I could tell my boss

Home Away from Home with Abi Adeboyejo 

Email: Twitter: @abihafh

HAFH2Bosses, love them or hate them, are a fact of life, just like rain, sunshine and the fact that there will always be power failure in Nigeria. Some of us wish our bosses would delegate some authority to us. One of my friends complained of her boss who was given a new role to manage, making his area of managerial authority very wide. His pay went up too, but instead of delegating some of the duties to the staff under him, he continued to try to manage over 90 staff by himself. He is so overworked that he doesn’t reply emails, doesn’t respond to phone messages and is always very abrupt at meetings because he doesn’t have a clue of what is going on in the different areas he manages anymore. My friend wishes he’d realise that no one is after his job (yet) but he won’t have a job soon if he continues to try to do everything unassisted.

Another friend would like to tell her boss that the favours she does are for the good of the company and a word of thanks or appreciation would not go amiss. Her boss runs an events company and my friend has been instrumental in getting them very high-profile contracts through her parents’ friends and church groups. All her boss does is to pocket all the money and praise from such events, without even acknowledging her role in making the connection for the company. Her boss is so ungrateful that she mistakenly bad-mouthed her to one of their clients, who also happened to be my friend’s mum’s friend.

Working for a boss who pretends that he cares is almost as bad as one who doesn’t. I used to have a boss who liked to think that he cared about our wellbeing. So much so that he used to ask for my kids’ names one week and forget by the next week. He constantly asked me where I lived, despite the fact that it was common knowledge that I lived farthest from work and he always asked which country I was originally from. Now I think back, he might have been suffering from the early stages of dementia but I doubt it, as I was the only one he kept asking these questions from. It was just as well that he got transferred because I had started to contemplate writing an information sheet about myself and giving him a copy every week, instead of answering those inane questions yet again.

Nobody appreciates a ‘shouty’ boss. My sister’s boss loses his temper almost every day. But instead of going to his office to calm down by reading a newspaper, he shouts at his staff, like they are paid an extra allowance for the insults he gives them every day. If you are a boss and you carry around a lot of resentment, frustration or unhappiness in your heart, find somewhere else to vent it. Just because you pay a person’s salary doesn’t give you permission to bully them or make them feel insignificant.

A friend of mine resents the fact that her boss is patronising. He takes her for granted because she is a woman and pays her less than her male colleagues. If only he knew what other opportunities have been coming her way! He should beware of her because when she decides to make her move up, he will be the one to call her ‘boss’!

I suppose that last comment sums up the whole ‘power’ struggle. A power struggle with your boss is when she has the power and you have the struggle. Bosses are people who should show leadership qualities and the more discontented your staffs are; the more obvious it is that you are doing a bad job as a boss. Bosses were once employees, so they need to think back to the things they didn’t like as employees and avoid doing the same to their staff. Some people really grow to dislike their bosses and this can lead to unhappiness on both sides and low productivity. As long as things never get as bad as this joke I read on the internet:

A guy phones up his boss but gets the boss’s wife instead. “I’m afraid he died last week,” she explains. The next day the man calls again and asks for the boss. “I told you,” the wife replies, “he died last week.” The next day he calls again and once more asks to speak to his boss. By this time the wife is getting upset and shouts, “I’VE ALREADY TOLD YOU TWICE, MY HUSBAND, YOUR BOSS, DIED LAST WEEK! WHY DO YOU KEEP CALLING?” “Because,” he replied laughing, “I just love hearing it…”

Instead of wishing our bosses dead, we should learn to outsmart or get even with them. A smart guy once played a trick on his boss. He told his boss he needed a salary increase because he had over three companies after him. His boss agreed to raise his salary by 10%. Later, the man’s boss was curious to know which companies where ‘after’ his employee. His employee replied that companies were his bank, his estate agent and his money-lender!

To all the bosses reading this article, please learn to be better human beings .Being a boss is like being a religious leader; you’ve got to care for your flock. Their wellbeing is your priority and if they are happy, they will do anything for you, including turning up to work happy and working hard to make you money. To all employees reading this, aluta continua!!!!