Beating the Bah Humbug Boss

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One of the unwritten and unenforceable clauses in your job contract is to attempt to get along with your boss. There are many types of supervisors and each take a different approach. One of the most difficult is the Bah Humbug supervisor. This supervisor is usually a male. He seldom speaks, he frowns, he never learned to smile, and on the rare occasions he does speak, it is to criticize someone. How do you deal with a boss like that?

Be Happy

Forget the tyrant with the bull whip at your back and recall the great date you had last night. How your stocks have gone up ten percent since last spring. Think about the party you're looking forward to this coming week end. This may drive your supervisor crazy, but there has never been any justification for firing a person just because they are happy.

If you should achieve some breakthrough on your job, express your joy out loud. You're not going to get fired for improving a product and your fellow workers will mostly be happy for you.

Convince all your co-workers to visualize your supervisor as a clown instead of a three-piece suit. That should bring a smile to your face every time you look at him.

Plan a birthday party on your lunch hour. If there are no birthdays, show cartoons.

Hang a bulletin board in a prominent place and encourage your co-workers to pin jokes and cartoons on it from time to time. You may find that many employees will arrive 5 to 10 minutes before starting time. Not because of any demand from the boss, but because they hope to get a few laughs before starting work. This is the same principle as reading the comics in the newspaper first so the news doesn't seem quite so tragic.

If you have a cassette play your favorite music while you work if this is possible. Wear your earphones so you won't bother others. It may start a precedent, which will offset the gloom of the workplace.

If there is an alternate road to your place of employment, consider it. Ideally it is a two-lane, country road, past a few mansions, a park, a lazy steam, a golf course and even a cemetery. By the time you get to work, you will be more relaxed than you would be battling 10,000 cars on the freeway. It will be easier to put up with the stress at work and maintain a cheerful disposition.

Turning gloom into a happy workplace has even been known to cause a grin on a supervisor's face.

Courtesy of Robert T. Lewis