Two people with honstly good intentions can still end upn arguing.


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My Friend The Boss
By Bing Thayer

He’s not my boss and I’m not going to tell you where I know him from, but we were talking the other day and he said some things that got me thinkin’. He’s not a bad guy, where I know him from, but I’d hate to work for him. Then again, when I think about it, I’ve never really liked working for anyone, anyway and I bet I’m not the only one.
He’s the boss because he started the business. He’s basically an idealistic guy , but the pressures of running a business sometimes get to him, a fact that he will admit ... privately. I doubt that he ever confides in his employees. He’s got alot of pride.
We were talking about how unreasonable people can be and he started talking about how much HIS employees expected from him and how little he got out of them. When I pointed out that the words he spoke seemed to say that he thought that he owned his employees, he accused me of nitpicking and trying to change the subject.
I doubt that he really thinks of them as possessions but, it sure sounds like it the way that he uses words. It’s a trap that a lot of bosses, owners and managers fall into. Like my friend, they have so much on their minds that they just bark out orders without thinking about what they sound like. Along with the way that so much tax, regulatory and business literature is worded, i.e. “how many employees do you HAVE” or “Human resource CONTROL,” it is easy to start treating employees as objects rather than people.
My friend tries, as much as circumstances will let him, to establish good benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. He truly wants the best for the people that work for him. Most employees though, have no idea how much effort, time and money goes into this. All they see is that he tells them what to do all day long.
What people should see and what they do or choose to see is always good for an argument and we had one. Of course, it solved and settled nothing, but we both let off some steam. He wants to be appreciated, like anyone else. Hopefully he’ll have time to realize that about his employees some day. Uh oh, look, I just called them HIS employees.
Of course, the employees are probably not blameless, either. There is always someone in the crowd to adopt the role of head complainer or instigator. There is also the traditional management/labor adversary relationship. Both sides could probably use some tolerance.
There are still a lot of people around who forget how profitable the easy freebies are. A smile costs nothing and often pays off with an easier day for everyone. Acknowledging a good job or some other accomplishment can pay off with a better attitude toward future tasks. A calm, friendly tone of voice can turn criticism into advice, even assistance. Allowing and encouraging innovation and improvement can turn an employee into a team member.
These are, obviously, ideals. There will always be people who create complaints as a hobby. There will always be problems that arise. A bad day is a bad day no matter what the cause. But a good day is a good day, too. Hopefully my friend the Boss can have a few.