Good Boss And Bad Boss

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Good boss and bad boss

The other day I read an article on the net about Bad bosses and how to cope with them. The advice given by the writer, in my opinion, was superb – change your job if you can’t change the boss !

Can you as an ordinary worker change your boss? For that matter, can you change your job so easily in India? Job hopping might be an option when the jobs available are plenty and the job seekers a few. What if the situation is in the reverse order? You would remain an unemployed guy for perhaps months and ultimately die of starvation. The correct stand therefore is to stick to your job and put up with the bad boss.

I joined a Public sector company as a telecommunication engineer after my retirement from the Army. Here, I found myself in a strange world, as it were. The work ethics was patently different to what I was used to . Discipline? People didn’t even know its spelling! Command and control? Well, your writ didn’t run always. A man obeyed your orders if he felt like it; otherwise, he found some easy methods to circumvent your commands. Productivity? The work output was invariably below standard. A worker never gave his best; possibly he was not capable of or it had not been instilled in him. Respect for the Officer? Hold your breath. He expects an officer to serve him, to look into all his problems and pay him fabulously whether he works or not. Commitment and loyalty? These were new words in his vocabulary.

“Have you checked the telephone exchange in B block for correct ringing?” I asked the mechanic and he said most courteously, “I will look into it, Sir.” “Do it fast. I have received three complaints so far about the ring not passing after dialing.” And then I turned my attention to the dozens of files at the IN tray.

On the following day I found on my desk for my signature an “Over time slip for one hour.” The telephone mechanic had placed it there. “Look, I told you about the problem at 3 p.m. And you go to the exchange at 5 p.m and claim one hour’s overtime for a job which should have been done during working hours. Why?”

“Oh, I was busy on other works , Sir,” he defended himself.

If I become serious and take him to task, he would run to his Trade union leader with the charge, “My officer is a bad boss and he denies my legitimate claim of one hour over time.” As a result, I would have spent some ten hours arguing and justifying my action and attending enquiry meetings. Finally the mechanic wins the case and I sign the OT bill.

It’s difficult to find even one soul anywhere in the premises after 5 p.m, the official closing time. Not that they all had finished their daily quota of work. What matters is the closing time, which must be observed religiously. Work? Well, it could be carried over for the following day. The only persons who work beyond the office hours are the officer community who do not have the habit of leaving any pending work.

I gathered an impression that the staffs look down upon their bosses and other officers in the organisation and consider them as aliens and enemies. From a worker’s point of view all his Bosses are bad guys who demanded too much of work from them and didn’t give ‘over time’ for not completing any assigned work.

Now you know the reason why our India is progressing very slowly.

All officers in any organisation, including the Defence services are well qualified people and are selected very carefully after much screening and filtering. They are very much Indians as the government’s representatives to get the job done. When an order is issued, it is for the best interest of the company, not for his personal pleasure or for the detriment of the work force.

So, where is the question of bosses being bad? An Estaablishment will flourish only if the work philosophy of its workers are in tune with the expectations of the CEO. Whereas in our Indian companies, the work force expects the new CEO and his officers to adjust to their style of work life; they would not change and it is the CEO and the officers who ought to change.

Will any company progress if it does not keep in step with the time and current techniques? So, change of CEOs and officers at some intervals is a must while the work force may remain the same. However, they ought to modify their work culture and align with the new management and new ideas. There is nothing known as ‘bad boss’. This is the workers’ perception, unfortunately. What happens in reality is, that the work force will resist any kind of change and dub the new officers as ‘bad bosses’. This equation obtains in most of our public sector companies.

In our land, development is the watch word. In order to make the country prosperous, every Indian is required to work hard. Officers are their leaders. All their subordinates including the junior officers are expected to follow his instructions faithfully so that all of them shape into a solid team. If you consider someone a bad boss, then nothing will emerge and your heart would not be in the work nor with your boss.

Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion has been operating eminently in the professional life of the Indian work force. The same law could convert itself into a positive thing if a team produces a minimum result on a daily basis.


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