Boss’s day is almost here once again!
This year, Boss’s Day occurs this Saturday, October 16. Boss’s day originated in 1958 when Patricia Bays Horoski wanted to recognize her boss (who was also her father – double suck up!). October 16th was his birthday (which she had forgotten; the holiday is apparently based on familial guilt). The holiday was not officially acknowledged until four years later in 1962. This is not to be confused with Administrative Professionals’ Day (the real folks who make the organization run smoothly) which occurs during the last full week of April each year.
How do you feel about Boss’s Day? It kind of reminds me of when kids say “Why is there a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, but no Children’s Day?” (You guessed it – Children’s Day is June 1, and Universal Children’s Day is Nov. 20). Parents often reply by saying, “But every day is children’s day!” That’s similar to how I feel about Boss’s Day. Why should those who make less and have less say be buying a gift for their boss? Of course, as a boss, I simply often feel a little awkward receiving accolades from those whose performance ratings and pay raises I control.
My current boss who is not from the U.S. was a little bewildered when we descended on him with our obligatory annual Boss’s Day offering last year. He theorized it was a “greeting card” holiday (designed by Hallmark to make a buck, or several bucks nowadays). Not so, as Hallmark only offered Boss’s Day greeting cards starting in 1979, a full 19 years after the inception of the holiday. A little slow out of the blocks on that one. I think Spencer’s Gifts was ahead of them.
Emily Post states that you should only give a gift to your boss if it is from a group of employees. Otherwise, you may be seen to be currying favor (which, let’s face it, you are). The justification for giving a Boss’s Day gift is to thank your boss for things like having your best interests at heart, giving you valuable career advice, removing obstacles to your success, etc. Clearly, if those things are not true of your boss, you can always go with the standard coffee mug and a mumbled thanks.
Typical boss’s day gifts include: flowers or plants, lunch (plus, you get to go to lunch), greeting cards (or even cheaper, e-cards), gift certificates (especially helpful if your boss lives in another city), desk toys (hoping that reducing the boss’s productivity will have some sort of spillover effect) and leadership books (especially helpful if you have a boss who could use some leadership development, but less face facts, if that’s the case, this is a book that’s not getting read). Last year, my colleagues and I all chipped in and fed a family for a year as a boss’s day gift. (Based on how little that cost, I’m assuming that family was only eating rice). Charitable donations in your boss’s name always seem like a good way to go, unless your boss wants to admit s/he doesn’t give a damn about the little people or those less fortunate (not a likely admission on boss’s day – you can see the beauty of this idea now).
So, what are your plans for Boss’s Day this year? How do you feel about this “holiday”? Discuss.