>…The deal is just as raw as it was when I was around it!
I spent a large part of my life, nay, all of it, wanting to be the boss. The first year I started working my very motivating boss asked me where I imagined myself five years hence. And I replied candidly, “As the boss.” I never stopped to think that could mean replacing him, because I never thought of it like that. I just always wanted to be the boss; you could give me any time frame, and my answer would remain the same. I chucked that job five years later to become my own boss. And for appearances’ sake, I have to say it’s the best thing in the world – being accountable to no one but yourself, being free to take an off when you want to, to be “ma’am-ed” (not that I dig that too much!) all the time, to be saved the heartburn of someone less worthy being promoted out of turn… All of that is true, no doubt. But there’s so much baggage that comes with it that there seems to be little time to enjoy any of it.
No, I’m not cribbing, but I am expressing my agreement with that cliche – “the grass is always greener on the other side”! I know now the boss’ job isn’t enviable at all. It’s like waiting all your childhood to grow up and when you’re all grown up, you know you were so much better off as a child! Today, I’d rather go home with a lesser salary at the end of the month than be saddled with the problems of being the captain (or co-captain) of the ship! If it floats, people aboard just take it for granted – that is the captain’s job. But if it sinks, it’s certainly the captain’s fault.
They say it’s lonely at the top. And though we do not follow the kind of hierarchy in our office that makes it lonely up there, sometimes it just feels so. When you and you alone are accountable for everything that goes wrong (even if you’re accountable to no one else but yourself) at work even if you can chide someone else for it, when despite trying to be more than an employer, you end up being treated only as that, when there’s no one to pat your back at the end of a difficult day and say “well done”. It gets lonely then. It gets lonely when you can’t have your employees sit with you and explain to them the financial crunch that is making life slightly difficult for you. It also gets lonely when all you do is expected and all that you do not is carefully noted in some mean crevice of a staff member’s mind.
As for off days, there are no off days anymore – none at all, because how do you leave your baby behind and enjoy an off without guilt? You can get subsitutes for everyone in the office, but unfortunately, there’s none for the boss!