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Celebrate Boss's Day with a Ceasefire


Boss's Day is 50 years old. Boss-bashing started around the dawn of time.

Patricia Bays Haroski registered "National Boss's Day" with the US Chamber of Commerce in 1958. A secretary for State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Illinois, she chose October 16th because it was the birthday of her boss, who also happened to be her father.

Besides the fact that Patricia's Dad got to double-dip with another Hallmark holiday, Father's Day, the gesture initially seems fairly innocuous. After all, those were the days of Father Knows Best. However, the relationships between bosses and their subordinates often play out in a murkier, more insidious, less congenial manner.

How much less congenial? Friction with the boss is the number-one reason people leave their jobs.

In an employee retention study called, "The Top Ten Reasons People Quit Their Jobs," Atlanta-based author and international business consultant, Gregory P. Smith, concluded that, "People don't quit their companies: They quit their bosses." Many people reach retirement grateful that they can finally stop fleeing one bad boss after another. Upon reflection, many retirees look back on their career path as nothing more than a series of escapes from adults with enough institutional authority to wreak havoc on their quality of life.

Havoc can become a way of life, whether the bosses are colossal morons of biblical proportions or mere idiots who wandered away from their villages and into the executive suite. The recent spate of disasters on Wall Street provides ample evidence of this.

In fairness, there are good, caring and compassionate bosses - but not enough to stem the tide of perpetrators, predators and panderers in positions of power.

Ponder the Machiavellian Boss - the one who considers the top of the organizational food chain to be his by divine right and will mercilessly dismember anyone who innocently wanders between the Machiavellian and his golden perch. It's "nothing personal - just business" he says matter-of-factly as he reaches down your throat, rips out your heart, and slaps it, still beating, into the palm of your hand.

Sadistic Bosses delight in hearing the sound of weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments coming from the cubicle farm. Or how about the Masochistic Boss, who views her life as a monumental failure and wants to make you party to her decline?

The Paranoid Boss believes that you and everyone else on the planet are conspiring against him - and he has proof. The Buddy Boss stitches herself to your hip and expects to spend every holiday at your house, carving the turkey, watching the Super Bowl, and/or having the occasional sleepover with you and your kids in her Batman jammies. The God Boss expects you to bring tithes and burnt offerings, burn incense, and fall prostrate before the throne of judgment from which he menacingly proclaims, "You're fired!"
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