PART THREE: MANAGING EMPLOYEES
It’s not easy being the boss. But nor is it easy being cheesy, and goddamn if that cheetah doesn’t get up every morning and give it his all.
Being a boss means having employees. Having employees is not unlike having command over a serf of a slave (my publisher wants me to note here that it is very much unlike those things). It, in essence, is having control over a person whose livelihood depends on your every whim.
You say jump? They ask how high. You say you need that report? They ask when you want it. You ask them to send a fax? They ask you what a fax is. You explain that it is a way to send documents over a landline connection. They give you a confused look, which makes you feel old, so you go home early and watch Home Improvement reruns on the Country Music Channel.
All this to say, establishing a clear line of communication with your subordinates can be difficult. But it is not impossible.
The first step is making a connection. Remember, your employees shouldn’t see you as just a boss, but rather as a close friend with a considerable imbalance of power.
In fact, the vast majority of my adult relationships have had this dynamic. You might think this is sad; I’ve heard this before, but let me assure you: it isn’t.
What’s the good of having friends who don’t feel compelled by fear of unemployment to laugh at your jokes or attend your weekend karaoke nights? Of course, I know that I don’t sound like Steve Perry. Nor can I remember about 35 percent of the words to “Separate Ways.” But, ask my employees? They’ll tell you that I’m “not half bad.”
I am. I’m full bad.
In fact, it’s gotten to the point now where I don’t even know how to truly engage with a person who isn’t on my payroll. I don’t need to! And if you think that’s sad, well, then I don’t know what to tell you.
A good employee/employer relationship is like a good marriage. A great deal of money is exchanged and sex is rare to non-existent.
Although I briefly touched on this topic in my last chapter, it’s worth mentioning again, especially in light of the “Pound-Sign-Me-Too” movement. These days, you can’t be too careful.
Gone are the days of smiling at a female coworker. Goodbye to friendly, flirtatious jokes. Farewell to dropping ‘ludes into your secretary’s vitamin water and watching her get all “loopy” at the Christmas party.
Yes, things have changed — arguably for the better. “Arguably,” as in, you could make an argument. If so, I’d love to hear it.
Another topic people are often curious about when it comes to running a business is nepotism. How appropriate is it to hire those close to you over other, more qualified candidates? To answer this question, I have enlisted my nephew Jason, who currently serves as the Social Media Manager for the Progressive Conservative Party:
“All right, so, I don’t think that nephewism is a good thing because, like, why you gotta be racist about nephews?
Before I had this position, I was just a normal dude. Chillin’, you know? But then my mom was all like, ‘You gotta get a job,’ which is fucked, because the economy is super dumb right now. But then she was like, ‘You can work for your uncle Blaine,’ and I was all like okay, because I know he’s not going to be all on my ass like Dairy Queen.
So, uh…in conclusion, nephewism is bad. We have civil rights, too, fam. It’s 2019.”
Now that you know how to effectively run a tight ship and keep your workers in check, I think that I can safely say that you are on the slow-track to success-ish.
Don’t get too cocky, smart-guy — there is still much to learn. After all my years of experience, I still find myself learning new things every day. Like, did you know that hummingbirds are the only animal that can fly backwards? It’s true — Google it!
For my final thoughts on succeeding in business, join me in our last chapter of Staying in Your Blaine.