I’m not writing this up to suck up. But I wanted to commemorate. Since I finished school almost a decade ago, I’ve been so incredibly lucky to have had great bosses. I’ve also had my fair share of not so great ones. Never horrible, thankfully. But let’s focus on the good ones. Great bosses aren’t something you work hard to achieve. They happen to you, like having a monkey pee on you from an electrical line does. They’re like leprechauns basically. I scored big time have had a few really great ones who fished me out from the chum, gave me great opportunities and showed me how to work, how to be and sometimes both at the same time. They were also incredibly patient (thank you!).
One of those bosses – actually, the very first boss and the one who helped me (and so many others) figure how to work – passed away unexpectedly last week. I found out early on a Monday morning. Over the past week, its made me reflect on all of the unintended teachers in our lives.
Great bosses know how to slap you around to make you better. They know when to give you a useless project when you’re naive and young, because it will make you work that much harder. They’re also quasi-parental, quasi-older sibling and semi-psychotherapist. They’re also there for stories and minestrone. So many stories that it makes you want to be able to tell tales of similar calibre when you’re a boss yourself. I think I’ve got a couple. One involves Ricky Martin.
And great bosses are the ones you want to meet decades after to say “look at me now, I’m all grown up and I’ve learned a few things.” One of you will wind up on a tiny island in the middle of nowhere. You’ll exchange messages every so often, because that’s what you do and it feels nice.
Great bosses become friends. So it sucks when they go away. But at least you’ll have his playlists with a selection of Iron Maiden, vintage French rock, and bossa nova interpretations of the Rolling Stones that you wretch about but secretly love. In the name of office playlists, here’s one for your week.