The boss is always right

Farjana Liakat | Update:

The boss is always right. Photo: Collected“Every time he talks to me, I feel like punching his face. The ‘idiot’ has made my life hell,” an executive of a renowned insurance company, Junaid (pseudonym) said while smoking at a tea stall in the capital’s Bangla Motor area.

Like Junaid, there are millions of people in the world who hate their bosses like anything.

Then again, there are millions who like their bosses tremendously. There is a wise saying, all team leaders are bosses, but all bosses are not team leaders.

Every working person experiences at least one boss in their life time, who is very moody, non-cooperative and always sulking around. It does not essentially mean that a boss cannot rebuke his/her subordinates.

Those who turned out to be bosses to many were, at any stage of their careers, subordinates to their bosses and used to think of themselves as the poor souls having to deal with their ‘idiot’ bosses on a daily basis.

And when they become bosses, they actually put their feet into the shoes they once hated the most.

Mutual respect is a big factor here. It is not very healthy to think of the person as an ‘idiot’ or the ‘irritating’ one who appointed you. Neither should a boss think of himself as the perfect one and be too stiff to accept constructive criticism.

There is a difference between being rude and being critical and it’s everyone’s duty not to forget that.

“Office culture has changed a lot. Employees of this generation can talk sassily with their boss, which we could never think of,” retired banker Mahfuzur Rahman, living in Eskaton area in the capital, told Prothom Alo.

“It was overtly hierarchical and formal in our time. Now I see my son working in a corporate office. Their work is ‘teamwork’ not designed in a hierarchical way. Though, my son keeps cursing his team leader,” Rahman laughed and continued, “You know what? There are no bad bosses, only difficult ones!”

There were times when subordinates were not allowed to question the decisions and actions of their bosses or employers. The picture has changed. Constructive criticism is appreciated now. Sense of collective betterment has arisen among all now, be it employers or employees.

The overall society culture drives the attitude in job sectors too. Joint or extended family has broken. Children from nuclear families get more attention and priority. Their tantrums are tamed easily. Friendly environment in the family instigates them to create the same at their workplace.

“We could not question our father, how could we question our bosses at our young age? Most of the time we could not let our boss know even if he was wrong. So yes, you can mention social transition in this regard,” Sadik Khan (pseudonym), currently a news editor of a renowned newspaper and once a junior journalist, explained the situation now and then.

Most likely, a good boss will never mind answering or clearing your doubts and teaching you something new. Which boss does not enjoy showing his smarts off?

Asked if as a boss he feels offended if a junior asks question over his decision, Sadik Khan said, “Never! The more questions, the more angles. Newspapers are all about dynamic angles. There is nothing to be offended about.”

Private firms have harder competition and therefore the workload is always high. Because of this, bosses have sometimes no option but to pressure the employees for higher productivity.

“A happy employee is an active employee. We the seniors should keep in mind that the workload must not hamper the private life of an employee. After all, people work hard for their and their families’ happiness,” Sharif Uddin, a shift-in-charge of a private firm told the correspondent.

However, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable to approach the seniors with questions, but there are things that one must do. If we never ask for the missing pay cheque, we may never get paid. If we never ask questions to our bosses, our career may remain stagnant.

A boss may assign an unbearable task to his employee and the employee may feel uneasy in their skin. But it ultimately benefits the employee by boosting his/her capability.

Ask questions for the right reason, the boss will understand. If he doesn’t, just remember two rules. Rule number one, the boss is always right. Rule number 2, if the boss is wrong at any stage, just recall the rule number one!

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