SURVEY SAYS: What Will You Do About Bosses’ Day?

October 14, 2010 ( - Saturday is National Bosses Day—though some maintain that since it falls on a Saturday, the “celebration” should be moved to Friday. 


This week I asked readers if they would surprise the boss on Friday – or just hope nobody notices? 

Now, I don’t know how much of a surprise it will be – but nearly half (48.1%) of this week’s respondents said they wouldn’t do anything for Bosses’ Day – just like always.  Nearly a quarter (22.8%) offered a more succinct “nothing” response, while just over one-in-twenty (5.1%) said they would pretend they forgot.

On the other hand, 13.9% planned to acknowledge it with a “card or some smallish acknowledgement, 6.3% said they might go to lunch, while the rest either opted for “other” – or said they didn’t HAVE a boss to worry about.

We got a lot of interesting verbatims this week (yes, as we do every week).  Most of the responding bosses were about as disinterested in the day as were the most “incensed” staff members.   

One reader noted, “Card company conspiracy, just like Administrative Professionals Day, Grandparents Day, etc. I’m the boss for many, and a grandma, too.  But I still say card company conspiracy.”  Another said, “There are too many Hallmark occasions, and this is among the goofiest.”

And, aside from the situations where there didn’t seem to be a very high regard for their boss, there were other reasons; “I don’t think it’s appropriate (closing in on unethical) for subordinates to give gifts to bosses,” noted one reader.

“I have great bosses but I appreciate them everyday but I see no reason to give them a gift or acknowledgment that they are my boss.  My gifts to them are being loyal and honest every day as well as keeping my skills as current as possible so that they don’t have to feel responsible for my well being when economic events make them make decisions they might not want to make”, noted another.  “I think it’s another Hallmark holiday.  I like my boss, but can’t really see buying him a card or a gift – it would be awkward,” was another perspective.

That said, one reader noted, “With the fun our Boss has been having with the 403 b audits & 5500 filings this year, we bought him a gift card to a bar – so on October 15th he can go forget all about this place.  He has done an exceptional job & we just wanted to let him know how much we appreciate him.”

Some of my other favorites: 

My staff apparently has never heard of Bosses Day.  Could someone please send them an email? No, wait, never mind. I'm almost afraid of what they might come up with. 🙁 

I think it should be moved to the day after National Overworked and Underpaid Employee Day. Hence National Bosses Day should ALWAYS be "tomorrow." 

My boss is good...I like my boss...but I'm not spending money on getting her a gift. 

This may sound petty, but as soon as my boss recognizes the value of his subordinates, we might recognize that he provides some value to the department. Ouch! 

Really?  Do we need another reason to suck up to the boss?  If they are worthy of something, we might have the initiative to do something on our own whenever we feel the need. 

My staff will no doubt "surprise" me with some sort of celebratory shindig.  I just hope they're doing it because they really do like me, and not because they feel some sort of ridiculous need to suck up to me! 

I think it should be moved to the day after National Overworked and Underpaid Employee Day. Hence National Bosses Day should ALWAYS be "tomorrow." 

How ironic that it's on a Saturday. Did somebody not read the calendar. Who's in charge anyway?  No soup for you!

Nothing...but there'll be hell to pay is he misses secretary's day.

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said ,”Sorry Boss - your day just happens to fall on the same day as Sweetest Day.  The spouse always comes before the boss...”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!  Enjoy some more sample verbatims on the following pages!

My very first boss at age 23 was awesome--did exactly what I assumed a boss should do.  I thought that's how work was supposed to be run.  We WANTED to do a good job for her--to make her look good, and she appreciated it.  Unfortunately, she passed away and no other boss has EVER measured up to her since--and I've been disillusioned by bosses ever since.  I'm now 49.  Discouraging, because I've figured out she was the exception, not the rule.

I wish I had a boss that deserved to be acknowledged for Bosses Day.

As a boss myself, the day makes me uncomfortable.  My employees feel obligated to get me something, even though I tell them not to.  For anyone who is wondering what to do for their boss I'd suggest this: a genuine acknowledgement from them to their boss that he or she is appreciated or that they're doing an OK job as their boss.

How is it that many strive to be that which they currently dislike?

Another fake holiday to sell greeting cards.

Wish it would go away...we already do her birthday and Christmas

My boss has been in Hawaii for two weeks and will be returning on Bosses Day - I can't top that!

I won't do anything except perhaps mention it if I remember and I see him on Friday.  Hopefully, my staff will forget too.  I don't like the concept at all.  We are bosses - to some workers - everyday is boss's day. I think it's inappropriate.

Kinda silly on a Saturday........?

Not necessary!

This day is just something that was dreamed up by the card and flower industry. One more way to be forced to spend money.

Who thinks up all these "days"?  I can barely keep up with family birthdays and major holidays.

Bosses Day is just another Greeting Card holiday.  Most bosses I've had could care less.

National Bosses Day?  Really?  Who created this inane recognition?  Don't we work EVERY day to keep our boss happy?  Sounds like something the secretaries on Mad Men might "celebrate" in hopes of getting a little better treatment the other 364 days of the year.

Bosses are like can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

The management team consists of me and the manager, and both of us are new to the dept.  Our manager is 20 years younger than the average staff member.  We all giggle because his succession plan isn't for managerial staff, it's how to obtain experienced employees in a very specialized field when we all start to retire!

My boss is the owner. Since we haven't had any pay increases and only pay cuts and health care cost increases, nothing will be done this year. We'll see about next year...

Our company just had "employee appreciation week" last week, but it was "forced."  Our bosses handed out thank you cards or sent out e-mails (tacky; you can't even hand write a card??), with candy bars labeled "s_cess: we can have suceess without U."  WHAT?  If you appreciated me, you'd listen to our sugesstions and put money into the tools I need to do my job.

We won't be surprising our bosses, but have made arrangements to provide a waffle breakfast.  A few of us bring Belgian waffle makers, others chip in with fruits, syrups, etc. We did this a couple of years ago and it was great.  Plus when we are feeding the bosses, we get to eat and have a few minutes for "team building".

The boss is on vacation this week, so probably will do nothing.  I'm on vacation Friday, so I'll definitely do nothing.

Our boss prefers that we have a "team" lunch!

I sent an email to my teammates to see if they wanted to acknowledge our boss on Friday.  So far I have only received one lackluster response.  So I am not at all certain if anything will occur.

We are celebrating the following week with a potluck that includes our boss's boss.  But thanks for reminding me about the cards........

I'll be on vacation and leave it to the rest of her staff to come up with something on Friday.  I'll make sure they know about it before I go.