I am a boss, and I try really hard not to be an a-hole. In fact, I probably try too hard.
In 8 years, I’ve denied time off exactly one time, and that was because every other person on the team was already going to be off that day (around a holiday) and the person didn’t ask until the last minute.
The thing I have learned is that it’s not always your boss that’s the a-hole, it’s your boss’s boss, or someone higher up the chain.
My boss is a relatively okay guy, but when he’s boss gets pissed, I get it from my boss. I try to shield my people from it as much as I can because I think putting additional stress and pressure on people is counter-productive to them doing their job.
My personal philosophy is that I work to live, I don’t live to work. I take it very personally when my people need to put in extra time, and often find myself putting in as much or more than them to compensate.
Since this goes against my personal philosophy I end up very conflicted and start daydreaming of a job with no responsibilities. Then things get better and I forget about it.
It’s not that my job sucks every day, but there are stretches where it really does. Striking the balance between caring enough and caring too much is very difficult.
These inner conflicts manifest themselves as me being very protective of my people. If it’s something I don’t want to do, I feel horrible asking them to do it. The main priority in my life is not to make a public corporation richer.
Here I am complaining about a well paying job where I’m (too) busy and a key piece on a key team in a company that is doing pretty well.
I hear from people that got laid off and can’t find a job for months, so I should consider myself lucky. Can anyone else relate, or am I just being a huge wuss?