I just received an email about the most pressing, concerning dilemma we all face right now. Just in time, too.
Is it about The War on Whichever Thing We Have a War On? No.
Is it about the upcoming presidential election? No.
Is it about health care? No.
Dear Katherine, how about a fun and light feature on Boss’ Day?
Fair, honest, understanding and approachable. These are some attributes that make a great boss. And with National Boss’ Day coming up on October 16, many employees are thinking about showing their appreciation to their managers.
Ah! Ha ha ha ha ha!
Yes, that’s what I’m concerned about. What to get my boss for “Boss’ Day”. Nevermind that this is the dumbest holiday I’ve ever thought of, beating Dental Hygeine Day by a mile. I’ve had a lot of bosses. Some good; some bad. But honestly, I’ve never been one to give presents to anyone who underpays me for the work I do or makes me cover shifts for colleagues with children because I “don’t have a family”.
Of course, there’s more:
In addition to sharing her thoughts on great gift ideas, she can also address these dilemmas:
Are there “safe” gifts or “bad” gifts?
You have more than one boss; should you give gifts to all of them?
How much is the right amount to spend?
Tips for gender-appropriate gifts
Is taking your boss to dinner a good idea?
If it’s a group or department present, what are some rules to stick too and how much is too much?
Those are the exact reasons why I opt out of Boss’ Day. Good or bad, I’ve always had more than one boss in every job I’ve worked. I also think it’s unreasonable for society to expect a person making $25-35K to buy four or five presents for people making three times that who don’t give gifts on Secretary’s/Administrative Professional’s Day.
In fact, the last two jobs I’ve had I’ve always gone to my direct-report and been very upfront about it. Politely upfront, that is. I usually say “Hey, let’s do each other a favour. Let’s agree to ignore both Boss’ Day and Secretary’s Day. Fair enough?” The last boss told me that right there was my Boss’ Day present given early. I say any gift-giving occasion interjects an unnecessary amount of politics in an already volatile political situation and is best done away with. Of course I can’t rule out Christmas and Chanukah, but I’m trying my best.
In fact, let’s add a little side-rant here. Offices are not egalitarian places. Not only do different people make different amounts of money, you often have no idea of the household financial situations of those people. Requiring gift exchanges or requesting donations in an office setting is generally a really bad idea. Odds are you have co-workers who are barely making ends meet and the extra pressure of requiring gifts from them is almost harassment.