An editorial response
I’ve been reading “10 Ways to Deal With Your Baby-Boomer, Man-Child Boss,” written by Gretchen Sprinkle at the Literally Darling site.
I think I understand where she’s coming from – it’s difficult to work in an office with a boss who doesn’t understand technology and today’s sensitivity. But I think she really misses the point.
Dear Ms. Sprinkle,
The very fact that you view your boss, a man with years of experience and education, as a child gives me pause. If you’re relating to your coworkers with a parental frame of mind, you’re already in a bad place. It’s not your place to pretend to be in the parent role with anyone except your own child.
I agree with you that you should be allowed to take a leave of absence during your pregnancy, but I would like to ask you to consider it from your boss’s point of view. He has to find someone to do your work, temporarily, with the same dedication that you offer. This person may not have your experience and education, and certainly won’t have the knowledge of your job that you do. This is going to slow the company down, and it’s his shoulders that will take on this added responsibility.
No, your boss may not be where he thought he would, but he still got to the place of managing a business and employees. If he’s a baby boomer, he’s lived through the civil rights era of the 60s, he might have even served in the military during the Vietnam War.
He’s experienced the history you’ve only read about.
I would like to suggest that you give your boss the respect that he is due. He may not speak the same language as you when it comes to technology, diversity and sensitivity. It is difficult to change years of conditioning, and you should know where you will draw the line and call him out on his outdated language and ideas.
Treating him like a toddler is not an appropriate response in business.
Please remember that in 40 years or so, you may be in his exact position of trying to merge your experience and education with today’s changing world and younger, hipper employees who believe they know everything.