Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bossing Around

I was at Hallmark yesterday, perusing the aisles in search of all things graduation-related...

(Yes...I'm still hopeful that son will truly be graduating...I'm praying daily to the Patron Saint of Graduation....)

...I turned the corner of the massive card aisle and almost bumped into a woman about my own age, and we kinda' did the "nod politely" thingy that you do when you almost bump into a stranger in a Hallmark aisle.

But then we both did a double-take and looked at each other more closely.

"Hey....I know her," I thought to myself. "Who the heck IS that?!"

"Hey....I know her," I could see her thinking..."Who the heck IS that?"

She figured it out first.

As she well should have, because if it's one thing I'm not good at, it's names. Gah. Faces? YES! I know faces of people.

But names? Uh oh. I can never, never, never, NEVER remember names. Sorry 'bout that. It's a true character flaw of mine. I would SO suck at Jeopardy if it was based on people's names.


Back to Hallmark.

"Hello, Sherri," she says.

"Hello, Newman," I said. In my best Seinfeld sneer.

No, I didn't. I just made that part up. It's what I WANTED to say.

Because who should it be - but one of my old bosses from many years ago.

Which got me to thinking about bosses.

Over the years, I've had some interesting bosses, to say the least.

My least favorite ones were the ones who micro-managed everything. Gah.

I HATE Helicopter Bosses...who hover over everything and everyone.

Then, there are the Dream Squashers.

I had a boss who stifled every dream that came his way. It could be the most awesome idea EVER - and if it wasn't HIS dream - it wasn't happening. I left that job pretty darn quick, as who wants to work in a place that squashes peoples' dreams?

My best boss ever was my very first boss...for six years, I worked in an office, and I had an older lady-boss named Ruthie.

She was fabulous.

She listened...she mentored...she encouraged...she instructed, when needed...and most importantly, she gave all of us the skills and tools we needed to do our jobs, and then she stepped back to watch us grow.

She WANTED us to grow - and delighted in it.

My mom said, "You'll NEVER have another boss like Ruthie. Don't get to thinking the REAL world is like that."

And she was right. I never, ever did have another boss like Ruthie. She's long since passed away, and I miss her. Tons.

Anyway, it was interesting to run into my old boss yesterday, as it got me to thinking about bosses.

Are YOU a boss? If you're a parent, then, yes. You are.

Do YOU micro-manage? Or stifle the dreams of your children?

Or do you give them the skills and tools they need to grow?

I've always tried to emulate Ruthie in how I treat others - whether they're my subordinates or my kids...and I hope Ruthie's looking down now from Boss Heaven and smiling at me.

Yes. She would be. She was always smiling.




La'Tonya Richardson said...

My son is graduating too!!! I'm so excited I could scream. His cap and gown came the other day, and I wanted to take pictures of him trying it on, but refrained.

My first real job, I had a helicopter boss, who was also a dream squasher! But while working with her, and all the work we HAD to do, I learned so much! And for that I am greatful.

Gwen said...

A boss can make or break a job/career. I loved my last bosses but unfortunately the company didn't survive. When I first started where I am now I didn't like the guy I worked for much. Then he got transferred out and a new guy came in. He has made my life so much better. I could never thank him enough for everything he's done for me and my career. Hope you are having a great day!