Copyright 2005

This is an essay or a review of the rules when you work for someone. These are personal rules that anyone can adopt or discard. These rules are not cast in concrete, but these rules are ones that I have found to be true over the years.

The boss is never a friend. Never work for a friend because you won't be after awhile. Doing this just puts you in a bad situation...and it puts your friend in a bad situation too.

Always remember, the boss is the boss first and if you develop a trusting friendship...the old adage, "Money Talks and Bullshit Walks" applies. The boss will throw away the friendship before he throws away his job, position or money. Bosses are not to be close personal friends.

The boss is always right even when they are wrong. There is some wiggle room here, but for the most part the boss makes the decisions. There is a Biblical principle here that Paul talked about that we should do as we are told so as not to anger people around us. Now, that doesn't mean we should do something illegal or immoral or something that goes against God. But, the boss is the authority and as Christians we have been called to submit to that authority. I have found this to be correct and true in my 55 years. Now, the word "submit" does not mean lay your rights down and let the boss walk over you. It is about giving the boss the honor and the right to be wrong...or to make his decisions...or just to honor him and his rank. Someday if you are the boss...wouldn't you like your employees to have the same attitude? That doesn't mean you can't disagree...but the disagreement has to be done have to dummy up. There are times that a change of jobs is called on because of these issues. Also, you can grump about the boss and the boss's stupidity to your mate or friends but always in private. Sometimes, doing that is like pinching a pimple and getting the puss out.

Never argue with the boss in a combative mode. Nope, never works. That will just make the boss angry and he will look to get rid of you. Never argue.

Never tell the boss you hate what you are doing or a certain part of the job, unless he asks. Even then, smile and tell him diplomatically that this part of the job is not your favorite thing to do.

Never lie to the boss...or to anyone...and I think many people don't really believe this, but it is one of those concept that always points "True North."

Work is work and home is home and school is school and so on and so forth. Try to keep them separated as much as possible.

You will be misunderstood. Count on it. Make sure you select the right words when expressing yourself to the boss. Do not assume that the boss understands. Expect that communication will be disrupted by lack of understanding (you or the boss) or even a person's own experience will color how he or she perceives a message.

Have a positive attitude...even when you don't feel like it. Fake it if you have to. Really, you can go to work with home worries or school worries. The boss doesn't want to deal with those are there to work...and not be in a grumpy mood. Fake it.

Think of yourself as a "servant" to the boss. You are there to make him look good. I know, you're thinking "door mat." Not so, you make him look good and he will appreciate it in many you, keeping your job, giving you choice assignments, giving your favor, giving you raises, giving you good "atta boys" which we all desperately need. There is a time to not be a "servant" but most of those times are when it is time to move on.

Do something unexpected. For instance, everyone needs a little help from time to time and make sure you can deliver that help. It is a choice, but doing so gives you a rock solid foothold in the heart of the boss. Here is a story that might explain what I am trying to say.

The boss asks Johnny what he is doing next Tuesday. Johnny says the usual…working. The boss says that he has an appointment in a nearby town to have his wisdom teeth pulled and he is going to be sedated. Since he will be sedated, he can't drive back from the oral surgeon. Could you come down and get him. Johnny thought a moment and offered the following; how about if I take you to the oral surgeon and wait for you and then give you a ride home. I can take some vacation hours and that way you don't have to worry about picking up your car later. The boss agreed and that is what happened. The boss did not charge him any vacation hours either.

Will the boss remember? I am sure. Is it "brown-nosing?" Nope, the act is kindness. It will go a long way not only in the job, but also in your soul. Kindness is hard to find in this world…finding an asshole is easy. Your soul will flourish under acts of kindness.

So, I have now officially written down what I think about all this. I am sure I have more points, but that would be wasting time at work. :>)

I asked at Drubers (the local donut shop and the seat of wisdom in the community) if the guys around the table worked at 90% efficiency when they worked. Many of the guys are retired. The consensus was that they did because of their jobs at the time. But, the consensus around the table felt that 75% would be a great number but more like it was 50% in all reality. They all agreed that today, 90% was too high and that if everyone did the 90% there would be no economic slow down in our country. :>)