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Andy Newton

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January 18, 2014

Some simple steps for managing that manager of yours.

Perhaps it’s due purely to the humble levels of employment I’ve sought out - or maybe, more so than anything, it’s just indicative of my work ethic - but bosses seem to universally be a pain in the ass. There’s something about that bestowed title of manager that can render the kindest and most generous of hearts into a soiled, crumpled wad of passive aggressively worded emails and manifested resentment birthed from the creeping realization of the ultimate futility of the relentless ambition that has come to define his entire, regretfully finite existence.

Thankfully, when your boss is on the warpath, you don’t merely have to grin and bear it like the good little serf that you are. You have a whole catalogue of potential tactics at your disposal, which you can use to settle down that ornery supervisor of yours. Here are just a few simple things you can do to deal with your difficult boss.

1. If you come into the office and find your boss to be more irate than usual, be sure to approach him slowly. Hold your hands palm up, while keeping them at your sides and don’t make any sudden movements. Approach your boss from the front. If you come up to him while his back is facing you, you run the risk of spooking your boss. Remember first to stop and read the signs. If your boss’s nostrils aren’t flared, his ears not pinned, and his eyes aren’t angry, then it is safe to enter his office. If you are unsure of your boss’s mood, do not force your boss to make contact. Merely coax him toward you with your hand held out, palm facing you, and let him be the first to make contact (this tactic should be taken especially if your boss is a neglect case).

2. Feed your boss little tidbits throughout the day, like carrots, sugar cubes, and other treats. This will aid in gaining your boss’s trust. Give your boss treats only if he is calm. This will communicate to your boss that you approve of his behavior. Feeding your boss healthier fare, especially roughage and other quality sources of fiber, will help maintain regular digestion and even bolster good tooth development.

3. If you can get your boss to hold his head still, carefully place your face close to his nose and exhale out of your mouth in time with your boss’s breathing pattern. This will have a soothing effect on your boss. Remember, exhale. Do not blow. If you blow, your boss may find it ticklish and bite you.

4. Unless your boss is thrashing about too violently, you may try to pet his neck or scratch the area around his hairline. You can also rub your boss below his ears. Another proven method is the “T-Touch,” which involves moving your middle and pointer fingers in small circles around your boss’s body (this will help ease the tension in your boss’s muscles). Many bosses, too, have a gentle spot right in the middle of their forehead. Rubbing that spot while soothingly talking or singing to your boss may help calm him down. Try different techniques until you find the one that works best for you.

5. If your boss is running away, pull his nose to your knee to disengage his hindquarters, since that is where all his power comes from. This will make him go into a circle and keep circling until he stops.

6. Finally, sometimes you just have to let your boss be a boss. Take him to a wide open field and let your boss be hot. Have him straight out run the whole span of the field. Make him jump some logs. Have fun. Allow your boss to be who he is once in a while, and he will learn that if he is good, he gets to run and play.

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