When Did Bosses Forget How to Be Nice?

Look, I get it. Business is business and we shouldn’t take things personally…

The problem is when you take your job seriously – when you’re not simply doing a half-assed job just to get a salary at the end of each month – and give it your all for 8 + hours every day, then it becomes more than just a job. It’s a career. It’s time away from your family. It’s a big chunk of your life.

For me, I kind of expect something more than just a salary at the end of each month. But maybe that’s just me. Then again, most bosses (the ones that I’ve worked for anyway) tend to expect miracles from every one of their employees. And that’s fine. I get it. It’s their company and they want things done a certain way.

But tell me something, when did the majority of them forget how to be nice about it?

Is there no time in the the business world to have manners anymore or to care about a company’s biggest asset – its employees?

My husband told me the other day that I have an impossible expectation of what a boss is supposed to be. For all intents and purposes, he’s not completely wrong. But he’s not right either. I don’t think my expectations are ludicrous.

For example, if an employee screws up, I don’t think a boss should yell and scream about it to make an example out of this said person just because they’re stressed about their business. Gosh, if an employee had to throw a tantrum like that, there would almost certainly be a warning letter or a formal HR “chat.”

When I was 24 I had the most incredible boss. I was a secretary back then and on Fridays he’d let me leave the office at 14h30. He was friendly and made polite conversation, but he also let me know in no uncertain terms when I’d messed something up. I knew where I stood with him and the respect went both ways.

One thing that still to this day ceases to amaze me is why bosses don’t say the words, “Thank you” enough. Or  even a “good job”, a friendly pat on the shoulder or a thumbs up when you’ve done your job well. Obviously I’m not talking about that happening every day… I mean that’s just silly. But when you really work hard and take pride in what you do, is that really too much to ask?

You’d be surprised by how many employees leave a well-paid job because they feel like their bosses don’t care about them. No, it’s not pre-school and they’re not there to hold hands, but like I said before, respect works both ways in the office. Or so it should.

Many might argue that bosses don’t have the time to be nice. Bosses are busy running businesses. I get that. But guess what, many of their staff members are busy doing the same thing. They’re bringing their A game to work every day because they love their job and want to make a success out of their careers and see the company do well.

The definition of “nice” bosses

By now you might be wondering what I’m referring to by “nice”. Well, let’s see… My definition of a nice boss, is someone who:

  • Greets their employees instead of ignoring them until the paw paw hits the fan
  • Has more or less an open-door policy
  • Trusts their employees instead of micromanaging them
  • Practices giving compliments as much as they do criticism – or constructive criticism
  • Doesn’t walk all over their employees, but doesn’t let them walk all over them either
  • Sees their employees as assets – not numbers

Is it just me? Do I really expect too much from a boss, or does anyone else feel the same way? I’d really like to hear some feedback/opinions on this one…

Photo credit: laverrue via photopin cc

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4 thoughts on “When Did Bosses Forget How to Be Nice?

  1. I have thought this so many times! Really Mel I had the worst boss for about 7 years. So mean and liked to make us fear for our jobs! Knowing we had families and children and needed our pay checks. She was SO intimidating and just mean.

    One day she told another tech to yell at me for her (and I was a senior tech so she instructed a tech 1 to yell at me for her – also I was with a patient)! I was so pissed…I went straight to her office and told her I didn’t appreciate that one little bit! She then apologized half assed and said she was having a bad day. I netted up and said well don’t make me a victim of your life! You wouldn’t allow me to behave that way and I won’t tolerate it either.

    She started crying. I couldn’t believe it!!! I suspect crocodile tears. I quit not long after that and had nightmares about her still. Ugh.

    • Okay, I think it’s safe to say your worst boss trumps my worst boss by far! Why are people like that? I had a boss who enjoyed making me squirm every day but not for fear of my job, he just enjoyed making me feel like a piece of dirt. I went out for wine and cheesecake to celebrate once I left… it was like I’d gotten out of jail or something! So glad you left that nightmare as well. It’s just not worth it – for all the money in the world!

  2. Mel, I think you’re an INFJ like me (as well as a clark, lol). I took that fun personality test last night and I was like, OMG. One of the things it said was that I was really sensitive. I am – I expect respect from people and don’t come yelling at me for some stupid little thing I didn’t do perfectly. Then it said that I also do a lot better when I get praise from my boss. But, it’s true! If a boss could give their employee a little praise, do they EVEN understand how loyal that could make an employee – especially one like me?
    It also said I’m supposed to be a writer, haha. And…that I’m good with languages. LOL.
    But anyways, I’m right there with you. There are too many bosses out there with their noses stuck in the air who also think they can’t find good employees. Pfft. haha

    • I’ve got to do that personality test, I’m sure you’re right – I’d probably be very close (if not 90% spot on) to what you are! I’m with you there – respect is a TWO way street – it doesn’t matter in what relationship, it works both ways. I hear you… I WISH more employers would realise the same thing. I even mentioned it as an HR administrator in my last job, but alas – no one listened. So simple and yet so hard for some people to understand, drives me insane! 😛

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