One of the most important workplace relationships is the one between you and your direct supervisor. A good ‘boss’ will quickly sense your potential and connect your talents with work that challenges and enables professional growth. He/she employs personal experience to communicate the value of failure along with success. A good boss has a high EQ and a healthy dose of empathy for all.
For this week’s Friday Poem, a meditation on ‘The Boss’ through the eyes of poet Deborah Garrison.
A firecracker, even after middle age
set in, a prince of repression
in his coat and tie, with cynical words
for everything dear to him.
Once I saw a snapshot of the house
he lives in, its fence painted
white, the flowers a wife
had planted leaning into the frame
on skinny stalks, shaking little pom-poms
of color, the dazzle all
accidental, and I felt
a hot, corrective
sting: our lives would never
intersect. At some point
he got older, trimmer, became
the formidable man around the office.
His bearing upright, what hair he has
silver and smooth, he shadows my doorway,
jostling the change in his pocket –
milder now, and mildly vexed.
The other day he asked what on earth
was wrong with me, and sat me down
on his big couch, where I cried
for twenty minutes straight,
snuffling, my eyeliner
betraying itself in the stained
tears. Impossible to say I was crying
because he had asked. He passed
tissues, at ease with the fearsome
womanly squall that made me alien
even to myself. No, it didn’t make him
squirm. Across his seventy years,
over his glasses, he eyed me kindly,
and I thought what countless scenes
of tears, of love revealed
he must have known.
Deborah Garrison ‘A Working Girl Can’t Win’ 1998
Click on this link to hear the author read the poem as part of a 1999 interview with Bill Moyers.
“In this episode of Sounds of Poetry, Garrison tells Bill that poetry is about “trying to find a way to understand and describe the world that lifts you a little bit out of it, instead of just being in it and being lost.”