Great Bosses

  Great Boss #1: The second company I ever worked for was U.S. Pioneer, still my favorite; they went out of business in 1983. I worked in the warehouse, unloading trucks and picking orders. The small company didn't have any education benefits so I had to quit to go back to school full time to finish my two-year degree.   After I completed my degree I went back to the warehouse and asked my former boss if there were any openings; he said no, and I gave him my current telephone number and headed for the door.   Before I got to the door he stuck his head out of the office and said: "Dave, report to work Monday; I'll MAKE a position for you." And Monday I had a job again at the greatest company I have ever known.

  Great Boss #2: My second day on a nine month temporary job my supervisor said 'do as I say but not as I do', wanting to hold me to a higher standard than the work that she did. That got my back up which the boss noticed. The next day the whole department had been re-organized so that I got my work from and reported directly to the boss. After a few months it was December in Olympia, Washington, a very beautiful city, where they average 60 inches of rain each year, and that year was right on average. It was so dark all winter that the street lights were still on at noontime when I went outside to try to get some sunlight.
  I got very depressed, it is called SAD; I had it before in the Navy on an aircraft carrier and living in Northern NJ. Symptoms vary every time that I get it, most times it sneaks up on me and I don't know that I have it again; but this time I felt sick to my stomach and recognized it. Somebody kills themself most years in Washington due to this sort of depression; colleges have screenings, etc., it is a very serious thing in the north.
  I told my boss I quit, I knew that the only real cure was to move south. My boss said: "No, you can't quit." and sent me to a shrink who was terrible and gave me Effexor pills. I took the first pill one morning at work and told my boss I was doing so; my boss was actually a doctor with a Masters degree in Public Health. After an hour or so I felt very seasick and pulled over the garbage can close to me because I thought that I was going to vomit, then I fell asleep on my desk.
  About two hours later my boss returned from a meeting and I could hear her but I couldn't move. She said "are we feeling the side effects of our medication?" and giggled very nicely. I managed a small groan but I still couldn't move; she sat down at her desk and continued her work and eventually I was able to sit up and continue my work; it takes the liver enzymes a while to adjust to new medicines. This is the kind of boss I needed at Kaiser Permanente. This is the kind of boss every decent worker deserves. When I quit IBM the only thing my manager had to say was that I had to put it in writing, he barely knew who I was.   Does your boss care enough about you to refuse your resignation?

  Great Boss #3 was actually at the horrible IBM. One lady in our department asked to do something kindof wierd, I can't remember what. Normal IBM manager response is to quote which rule says you can't do it; this manager said "I'll try to find something that says you can do it" and he did.
Once he came into my cube to tell me about another re-organization of management. I told him that IBM reorganized management so often that I couldn't keep track and I no longer cared, I would just do my job and he could keep track of the organizational structure. He laughed and said that arrangement was OK and that's what we did.
Later this boss came to me and said I was due a promotion. I told him I did not want any promotion; I was working at the level where I wanted to be; promoting me would change the type of work I did. I also told him I was still learning new things that helped me do my job better every week. He forgot the promotion and gave me a raise instead. I worked for him until he moved to another job, I tried to stick with good bosses. It was after he left that I got the shaft from IBM.

  Great Boss #4: I worked dozens, if not a hundred, temporary jobs while working my way through college; and all of them treated me better than IBM where I was a 'permanent' employee. (P.S. IBM treats temps like dirt.)   One of the companies that treated me so exceptionally well was in San Jose, Calif. after I quit IBM.   First I worked moving furniture for Gary and Jerry, both high-level plant managers.   Then I was re-organizing heavy boxes and over the weekend I fell while roller-skating and smashed all the cartilage in my chest (self-diagnosed, I had no benefits and no doctor).   I couldn't even breathe deep.   Instead of abandoning me like IBM, Gary and Jerry immediately assigned me to light duty until I could resume my former work, and they offerred me a permanent job which I refused because I wanted to try to continue in my profession and knew I could not return the loyalty that they had shown to me.

  Great Boss #5: At another temporary job in San Jose (Atari) I moved heavy literature; so heavy that on the last day of the job my one arm quit working and I finished the job with only one arm.   Never-the-less, they called me to come work for them when they started-up the production line.   I told them it violated my agreement with the temporary agency, so they brought me in again as a temporary, which cost them more than hiring me directly !

  Great Boss #6: I worked my way through college; I was working as a security guard and on Christmas Eve I had a stomach virus and was throwing-up every hour. I called my boss and he said so many people called in sick that he was working someone elses job and had nobody left to call. He told me to go to work and that there was a cot and a heater in the ladies room and he would come check on me if he got the chance.

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