>On the other side of the table…

>…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!


14 responses »

  1. >Trust me D I too die to become a Boss!!! It is an enviable position.I think i know one such boss who can be substituted, coz i have seen people pitching in for weeks when he or she is not there…

  2. >And here we think that being the boss is the best thing to be, just goes to show every thing has its pros and cons.:) And with these kinds of posts, you have me all curious to find out what you do!!

  3. >I never wanted to be the boss ever. It’s just not my personality I think. But I am sure you enjoy lots of things about the role since you’ve always wanted it – you must feel so proud of your company/team for example, it’s like your baby, isn’t it?

  4. >Oh darn…Well, take those 3 randomly distributed weeks off in the year, and enjoy them to the core!And after a reasonable time, just leave it all… after you’re financially sound to begin a different phase of your life.But yes, remember your own words… The Grass is Greener…

  5. >I’m sure the sentiment is shared amongst all the big bosses – you’ve reached the pinnacle of monitoring everything, but it comes with a price. It’s especially true that one feels guilty when taking days off from the “bossing around” because if you’re not gonna be there to do it, who else? Like you said, there is no replacement. It’s a tough balance to maintain, but don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process! The company is only as healthy as you are when watching over it. 🙂

  6. >#Simplyme: Oh well, thanks to some very low standards set by some bosses, being one seems so easy, doesn't it?@my space: So true.@GM: 🙂 I'm self-employed. Run an educational institute. @JPJ: Thank you!@Devaki: That was the problem with me – my personality type was always more suited to be the boss :)@unsung: I honestly am waiting for that "reasonable span of time" to pass…@Sindhu: Thank you for your words of consideration :)@chandni & Monika: If only I was that far-sighted!

  7. >Wow…never heard the boss’s side of the story. Most stories i’ve heard about annoying bosses :P! Good refreshing change to hear this POV. I guess the best of things come with the highest price to pay :).Cheer up! You’re the boss of you..in the literal sense :)!Keep Writing!

  8. >I guess not, if the work is your ‘baby’. Entrepreneurship always caught my eye and my brain’s love whenever it was mentioned.And sooner or later, my answer would be the same as yours, D.I love being accountable to no one but me, and a lot of ideas that only I can bring forth and the love of the entire idea of being a ‘businessman’. Yeah sure, I’m an engineering student, barely in the first year, but hey how many of us really get into companies and stay?

  9. >@Neha: Yeah, I cheer up at that thought too.@Ramby: Really? I mean does dog pee do that do the greass?@Kazarelth: I think, though I didn’t say it in my post, leaders are meant to be leaders, whether they crib about it or not!

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