National Bosses Day – Honoring the Leader of the Pack.

fistThere is probably no holiday more controversial than National Bosses Day; A day created  to celebrate and appreciate the work of one’s boss. Huh!? You heard me right. No, not Employees Day…  Bosses Day.

The term ‘boss’ alone elicits fear, hate, disdain and so many other negative emotions and gastric reflexes, it is surprising that such a day even exists.  Many workers refer to it as ‘Pain-in-the-a$$ Day,’ ‘Suck-up –to-Satan Day’, or many other endearing terms that would best be defined using urbandictionary .com and some parental advisory.

So, Why do people hate their bosses so much? asks a WikiAnswers user.

A: It’s pretty simple-  The boss is in a position of extreme power. You are the subordinate;  weak  and helpless- the vulnerable underdog.
Let’s face it; No one likes getting ordered around, being told what to do and when to do it. Bossman, or Bosswoman,  can analyze your weak  performance and point out your imperfections . They can break you down slowly and silently so by the end of your your 9-5, you hand in your time card along with your dignity. Bosses can reduce your hours and your self-esteem. They can  rearrange your vacation days, create tension in your workspace, and hold  an invisible pink slip over your head.  The Boss says jump and you must  say ‘how high’.

Yipes! Why does this day even exist!???

I will tell you, my friends. It exists because every now and then you will come across a rare gem. Believe it or not, there are indeed bosses out there that do the best for their employees, that care for them, that even worry for their well being. I jest with you not.  When those above us choose to use their power  to create a person instead of destroy him, to train employees on how to use their skills for the benefit of the company  instead of belittling their errors, when the boss  promotes an environment of cheer, where thoughts and opinions are welcomed instead of suppressed – it humbles us. So much so, that the few that exist deserve a national holiday.

Leaders can reign through fear or love. Those who reign through love rally up the troops to help protect  and Richard simmonsimprove the whole. Those who rule with fear have much more success in the beginning but almost never succeed in the long run. Feared leaders must always worry about being overthrown. Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung and Simon Cowell rule through fear. Gandhi, Princess Di, Churchill, Lincoln and  Richard Simmons rule by  love. In such a confusing world, what would nature have us choose?  There are many  animals that live in packs, pods, and other social groups, just like us . They also have one defined leader – so how do they succeed?

Well this is the part where I should say through love, that we should learn to hug and cuddle one another the way a group of fuzzy baby gorillas in diapers do- but it’s not the case. Most animal groups that have a leader- the alpha male (the rare alpha female and alpha pairs also exist)-are established via violence, force and terror .

  • Take your typical pride  of lions. If Mr. Lion King wants to take over the pride, he fights the current alpha. If he wins, he kills all the offspring of the previous male (infanticide) and drives away any teenage competition.
  • wolfThe Alpha wolf stands at the head of the pack. He leads the hunt, and gets first dibs on the kill. Although the members of the group share the rest of the freshly caught meat -along with the perks of protection and territory, they are reproductively suppressed. In fact,  if a male wolf so much looks at the Leader’s mate, he’s in trouble… Wolves use eye contact to establish rank and a wandering eye can mean a slash across the jaw.
  • Next we have the hierarchical society of the common chicken. Throw in a few more hens – and chaoscockfight ensues until a new pecking order is established. Even worse, throw in a rooster and you have an all out cockfight on your hands. And they fight to the death by the way (care to place any bets, Pedro Martinez?).
  • Alas, what about those baby gorillas mentioned? You guessed it; when they grow up they lead through fear – grunting, pushing and intimidating the heck out of the competition. Sometimes the males do cooperate with one another; If it involves mutiny.

In all these cases, groups stay successful for short periods  of time until the current leader is ousted, killed, or dethroned to a lower rank.

So wake up and smell the office coffee! Next time you are lucky enough to have a boss who doesn’t stare you down or cockfight you to mental  death, smile and appreciate it.  When your boss doesn’t eat your firstborn or intimidate you, realize how lucky you are! This goes against nature! Give back to your giving boss! Buy a cupcake and balloon and say ‘Thank You’ on National Bosses Day.

On behalf of myself and all the lucky employees of Answers.com, thank you Bob.