Monday, June 27, 2011

Who's The Boss ? - Wrinkled Brows

Wrinkled Brows:  a Monday series on either a quotation or a word definition or meaning.
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Remember the TV show of this title?  It starred Tony Danza, as I recall, although my recall is vague because I never really watched it.  I just remember the title because I always thought it was a little inane.  I mean, after all, who doesn't know who their boss is?

But then, I have been told that even as a child I was a bossy little thing.  My Aunt still laughs about the time she took me to a county fair when I was about four years old and she was a teenager.  I wandered off a little ways, while she was talking with some of her friends, and managed to fall down in a mud puddle and get myself all dirty.

Indignantly, I marched up to her and told her, "If you can't take any better care of me than this, you can just take me home!"  Even at the age of four, I was clear about who the boss was supposed to be.
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For quite a few years, I was "the boss" in one role or another. At one time in my career, I managed the western region for a Fortune 500 company, and had responsibilities in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento offices.  I would fly into L.A. and someone would pick me up at the airport and drive me to our offices on Wilshire Blvd.  This was heady stuff for a girl who didn't get a drivers license until she was twenty, and who didn't own a car in my own name until I was forty.

The actual word "boss" is derived from an old Dutch word "baas" and literally referred to the straw boss.  This was the person who decided how heavy a load was to be placed upon the backs of those doing the heavy lifting.  Having learned this little tidbit early in my management days, I determined not to be the kind of person who made others' loads heavier. 

I always thought a good boss was there to take the heat when necessary, shed some light if possible, and never ask anyone else to do anything you were unwilling to do yourself.

Two years ago I downsized, so to speak, and it is a whole new ball game.  I went from being a "voice of authority" over about twelve hundred employees, to being responsible for one LOC (Lovable Old Coot) and one Lhasa Apso (Holly) a smallish but feisty little dog.  That's it.  And sometimes trying to get either one of them to do something takes more patience and savvy than it used to require to negotiate a million dollar contract.  I'm just saying....

The LOC calls for more iced tea, and I step lively.  Holly yips about her empty food or water dish, and I step even livelier.  So now I am the one asking the (still) inane question, "Who's the boss?"

I suspect that I may not really want to know.  :)
Hope everyone is clear about who's who in your domicile today.  Until next time ... Marsha  (No longer the boss-and glad of it)


  1. Actually, I think the question, "Who's the boss?" is a pretty decent inquiry. Around here, I am content to let Cindy tell me what to do next and to explain to me what is going on in general. But, when a issue of some import arises, she is more than happy to let me go into action. This system works for us.

    As for the matter of being very busy and involved in business and then retiring two years ago,, too.

    A friend told me it would take two years to completely decompress from my job and I thought he had badly overestimated the time required. He didn't.

  2. Hey Marsha, if you find out who the boss is, can you share it with me?
    I'm still trying to find her to ask for a raise.

  3. Hi,
    Well it is a bit of a competition sometimes, especially with grandchildren. When I am left in charge of them, I can sometimes be heard to say "I am the boss not you" or "I am in charge" - But on the whole I dislike bossiness (sp) either when I sense it in myself or others, especially if it takes on the tone of bullying.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    God Bless - Nita.

  4. I retired last July 1st, a lot of it being the boss who was a man just got too power hungry. I had been a computer tech for 25 years at a nearby public school. My boss before him was a lady and a gem to work for. I might of been still been working if she was still my boss. Politics and a male dominated department forced her out into early retirement.

  5. Clint - So we are both two years into retirement. I'm loving it - hope you are too.

    Rick, If I find "her" - you will be the first to know. :)

    Nita - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, those grandkids can be very savvy.

    Robert - Your story is one that rings too true, sadly enough. Hope retirement is treating you well. And thanks for coming by.