Who’s the boss?

Dear friends,

I don’t ever blog about work.  The reason why can be found in the words of the famous blogger, Dooce, who was fired for writing about her boss and later declared”Be thou not so stupid.”

However, I am the boss in my particular work situation and so I figure maybe I can get away with writing about myself just this once.

Anyway, yesterday was Boss’s Day. Or is it Boss’ Day? Or Bosses’ Day?

Let’s just say it was The Day Of the Boss (for those who don’t know the exact rule for plural possessives on words ending in “s,” which I’m ashamed I cannot cite from memory, grammar snob that I am).

Anyway . . . look what I found on my desk yesterday . . .

A basket full of food stuffs from “The Hill” in St. Louis!

If you know anything about St. Louis, you know The Hill is an Italian food lover’s dream. And tucked among the cheese and the salami and the sauces and the LaFlorentine Torrone candies was a gift certificate for my favorite Italian restaurant on The Hill, Charlie Gitto’s. (Dear Charlie, please reserve a table for six Saturday night. We’re bringing friends for dinner. Love, Joan)

Do I work with the coolest (clearly most generous) people or what?

And besides their lovely and oh-so-thoughtful gift, the four women and two men responsible for this gift wrote the kindest sentiments on my card. When I moved to Missouri 18 months ago to take this job, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. What I got into was a team of some of the hardest-working, talented, and kindest professionals I’ve ever known. I’ve had some hard days, no doubt. But never because of my “direct reports.” They’re champs and they make me look good every single day.

While I’m on the subject of me looking good, I’ll tell you a funny story I may never live down. My staff teases me because of what they call my “large vocabulary.” I’m constantly using words they ask me to define. (Sometimes I make up words just to jack with them. One day I said a person we all consider to be a blowhard was “speechifying.” I normally would say “pontificating” but I worried it might be too obscure and figured speechifying was self-explanatory. Turns out, not so much.) Anyway, one day not long after I arrived, we were meeting about a problem that was long-standing, complicated and exceedingly frustrating. As the meeting wore on, I wore down. Whereas I normally would have asked “Who in our organization has the authority to change these policies?” I simply blurted out (out of frustration) “Who’s the boss of this?!”

My staff didn’t know me well then, so they all looked down, stifling their laughter, while one brave soul spoke up and said quietly, “Uh, you are, Joan.”

Ever since then, they remind me (with a wink) “You’re the boss, Joan. Whatever you say, goes.” As I wrote to them yesterday in a thank you note for their gift: “I hate the label “boss” — but on this day, I am more than happy to wear the mantle if it means serving beside all of you.”

With gratitude {for the best colleagues this working mother could ask for},

Joan, who stumped a few folks in a recent memo with the word “impracticable”  but wishes to argue it’s the perfect compromise word between a course of action that is not quite impossible but also not merely impractical



  1. I think I know some of those colleagues. You ARE lucky!

  2. If writing about work includes a paean such as yours? I think that flies just fine. Moreover, during these days when wealth is consolidated into fewer and fewer hands, to be in a situation where you have employees willingly celebrating their boss? Kudos all around.

  3. That’s so nice to hear, Joan!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: