Would you want to work for you?

So you’ve just got a great job. However, on your first day you’re introduced to your immediate boss: another you. Would you get along? Would it be difficult? (Yes, I realize that I’m skipping an explanation of HOW you could work for yourself. Just roll with it. I reserve the right to sneak in a clever idea at a later date.)

Sure. All of my shitty excuses would suddenly be valid!

Absolutely. I’m a good employee and it would be nice to work for someone who recognizes it.

Yes, but upper management wouldn’t like me.

Absolutely not. The me-boss would take all the fun work and make the me-worker do all the tedious and icky work. That bitch would sit around playing with kittens all day while I would be expected to clean the litter boxes.

Nope, I’d frustrate the heck out of myself. I want a supervisor that can speak in a linear manner, not chase every tangent that she can find. Granted, I know what I’m doing 99.99% of the time, but that .01% where I’d have to ask for assistance would drive me nuts.

“Slithy, we feel we may have failed you, and for you ensured success we’ve developed the correction action plan just for you.”

Thinks to self: “Oh shit, the old ‘Love Them Right Out The Door’ routine. Time to document everything.”

It wouldn’t be good. The one time I was a boss, I sucked at it. That’s why I never wanted to be a boss again. So, no, I wouldn’t want to work for me.

It would be horrible. As an employee I tend to want to over-control things: do it the same way (correctly mind you) every time, in an orderly fashion and dotting all the 'i’s and crossing all the 't’s. Which makes me very dependable, but not very flexible. As a boss, I would probably be a micro-managing nincompoop. Sure, I would be unlikely to be ‘wrong’, but inflexible and annoying as heck.

Admittedly, having very clear goals, regulations, and treatment across the board rather than fuzzy ones and unequal treatment between employees would be great, but I couldn’t stand someone watching over my shoulder the whole time to make sure it’s done exactly the way he (I) would want…

Yes. I “boss” people the way I wished to be bossed.

It would be fine. The feedback I’ve received as a supervisor has accorded with how I see myself in that role, and people consider me to be firm but flexible, fair, warm, and collaborative.

Heck yeah. First off, I do have people working for me, off and on, and they always come back when I ask and tell me straight up that I’m a favorite to work for. Secondly, the biggest problem I have with working for people is when they aren’t as smart as I am or as verbal so yeah, that would be a big help.

No way. I’m a tactless, opinionated, hot-tempered, foul-mouthed control freak who just happens to be really good at what I do.

As an employee, I have just enough self-control to keep myself employable. Plus I’m really funny, which tempers the bad stuff and wins me allies. And I work my ass off to make my bosses look good.

As a boss, I’d be a disaster.

Interesting point. At one time I was a manager running a fairly autonomous group within a large organization. The good points of me as a manager that would make worker-me want to work for boss-me: considerate of my employees and their work environment, and giving the best ones unqualified high ratings. Though I was also critical when required, sometimes getting pretty pissed off and at one point involving HR in a disciplinary matter.

The bad points: I suck at management in general, particularly the political aspects of dealing with upper management and advancing the interests of my group. I heard at one time that the VP considered my group a sort of “skunkworks” rather than a mainstream department. Despite doing some amazing things for minimal cost, we were regarded more as something to be tolerated by a graciously liberal management rather than admired. Other groups got a much bigger slice of the funding pie despite sometimes being run by self-serving incompetents in the longstanding tradition of the PHB (the Dilbertian Pointy-Haired Boss).


No matter how many of my employers wished they could clone me, there’s only space for one of me in any workplace situation. I’d get into way too much conflict with myself.

Same here. I was fair; I made decisions; I didn’t bullshit them and I didn’t put up with bullshit; I listened to employee issues; I interceded for them when necessary. I wish I’d had more bosses like me in my career.

Wouldn’t be a problem. I managed people the first 30 years of my work life, and one notable characteristic has always been low turnover on my teams, even when the industry norm is high turnover.

Absolutely. I may not be a lot of fun for people with delicate sensibilities, but they’re no picnic for me, either. I don’t go to work to meet nice people, I go there to execute tasks and collect a bit of gold. I see an ice-cold, highly efficient work setting with no politics. Bliss.

I got to do that (or close enough). Had no idea my new boss was a comic book fan until he walked past my drawing table (this was a while ago…) and whispered “Pete Ross.”

So I wandered by his desk, and without breaking stride answered “Young Clark Kent’s only friend who knew his secret identity.”

This started a long game of what we called Wha’Dat?, which included subjects from video games to quantum physics…

Now, the downside was that he was just as ADD as I am, and a couple times a year he’d rush in and (as fast as he could talk) say "I am SO sorry! I totally spaced it that we have a big pitch to AmFam today… in two hours! I’ll order pizzas and work up a positioning statement, Jeri, you design a logo for a new after-school program, NOW, because Mikhail’s going to start printing and mounting those, Digby, you storyboard the TV spots from Nahn’s scripts, Suze, you write the radio ads, and I’ll make notes for each of you because we’re all in on this dog and pony show. 3-2-1-GO!

Absolutely. I have been told that I am a good employee and I have been told that I am a good boss.