short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Make Amends with Your Boss

The hardest people to forgive are often one's bosses. After all, bosses can make or break the careers of employees. They hold the power of reward or punishment, promotions or firings. An uncomfortable word or act, even when not intended to be harsh or negative, can create instant and long-term hostility. A mistake in judgment can remain an irritant forever. But can we realistically hold bosses to a level of error-free performance? I think not. However, when bosses stumble, few employees will hold out a helping hand. Most will become angry and turn their backs on the boss -- to the detriment of both boss and employee.

I have forgiven friends, colleagues, employees, and bosses. The most difficult have been the bosses because somehow it meant admitting that I could err, too, and I didn't want to admit that. I have seen the same thing among my colleagues.

One instance will always remain a fragrant memory for a colleague of mine. He had an especially difficult boss who held up his promotion because the boss felt that my colleague had more to learn. At first, my colleague was very angry and refused even to look at the boss for several months. In fact, he would go to another elevator or cross the street to avoid having to greet her. He considered his performance outstanding and had little respect for the boss's "standards."

After some time, he did make amends with his boss. He just came in one day, stated that he wanted to have a positive relationship with her, and asked if that were possible, considering his recent behavior. She told him that it certainly was. (He should not have been concerned about her reaction. Most bosses do want to have a positive relationship with their employees.) In return, the boss went out of her way to help my colleague not only to match his performance to her standards and receive his promotion but also to receive other awards and accolades.

These two will probably never become close friends. However, the day that my colleague forgave his boss he got an immense psychic reward, and most days thereafter he continued to get small psychic rewards. The best reward was when his boss moved on to a better position -- and recommended my colleague for her position.


Excerpted and adapted from a collection of vignettes, copyright 2003.


  1. Forgiveness can be a great gift. Be careful on your travels!


  2. It can, indeed, Jane. Thanks for your good wishes. I have returned safely from Afghanistan.


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.