today is the weirdest day of the year for workers

Today is officially Boss’s Day, and sensible workplaces should pretend it doesn’t exist.

At Slate today, I wrote about why this made-up holiday is downright offensive, shared some of the most ridiculous accounts I’ve heard from workers about how their offices handle it, and advised managers on how they can stop the practice in their offices. You can read it here.

{ 182 comments… read them below }

    1. Aphrodite*

      Oh well, that’s a mandatory holiday for everyone! Cash or time donations welcome to your local shelter. Or if you can’t do that, how about finding the best cat story ever and sharing it.

      1. Prrrrrrrr*

        I don’t have a cat story on hand but is this a good time to mention there is a game called Cat Cafe Manager? Admittedly it is about a human who manages a cat cafe and not about a cat who is a cafe manager, but to a certain extent you do take orders from a cat quite literally.

        1. Frickityfrack*

          Ooh I got that in a humble bundle recently and it’s so cute! I’m like, “do I need more staff and chairs? No I need more litterboxes and toys!” so I’m kind of bad at it, but my cats are happy.

    2. AnonInCanada*

      Cats are bosses. You adhere to their every command in return for their love and affection. But at least they can’t fire you.

        1. AnonInCanada*

          I can just see that conversation now:
          Boss: “You’re fired! Now clean out your office, and my litterbox, immediately!”
          You: “You can’t boss me around! You fired me!”
          Boss: (hisses) “Oh yeah??” Extracts claws.
          You: “Yes, Boss! I’ll do whatever you say.”
          Boss: “And make sure you don’t forget to order my Blue Wilderness Premium boss food. None of that Purina crap!”

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        Well, if my boss showed displeasure by leaping at me at 5am and trying to claw my leg off I think I’d be going to HR.

    3. Rachel 2: Electric Boogaloo*

      I wonder if my boyfriend knows this. I’m sure his snoozepurrvisor would appreciate some extra treats!

      1. Jaydee*

        When I bought a new desk for my home office, I splurged on an L-shaped desk because a I needed enough room for my laptop, monitor(s), papers, etc. and my cat needed an equal amount of room for himself.

      1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

        As an English major, a former librarian, and all around word nerd, this hits all my sweet spots, so thanks!

    4. Some people’s children!*

      As a former boss I’d rather people celebrate this! If they bought my cats treats I’d rather that than buying me treats. I worked in a place where they basically treated management like crap but decided to celebrate bosses day. Most bizarre day of my life. People called corporate to complain they were forced to buy us treats!

    5. Catabouda*

      I wish we could post photos. One of my favorites is the two cats towards the top of our stairs and my poor dog at the bottom, looking up at me with hopeless eyes, knowing she can’t come upstairs until they move. lol

  1. Choggy*

    I never remember these “days” unless they come up when I’m reading AAM. I just ignore them all.

    1. Filthy Vulgar Mercenary*

      Same here and it’s nice. I feel for the people who don’t have an option to ignore because of the ever-increasingly [passive] aggressive emails and reminders to contribute.

      1. rollyex*

        Some of us – who are privileged to not need our jobs – have not just the option to ignore, but the responsibility to do so. Or even to speak up and point out how problematic this one is.

      1. I Have RBF*

        Heh. That’s the only one I celebrate, because I am a sysadmin. It lets me appreciate my fellow sysadmins.

    2. zuzu*

      I found out about it years ago when I worked for a law firm and my secretary handed me a gift. The firm was very big on gifts for (what was then known as) Secretary’s Day, so the associate with whom I shared her and I had pooled our money for a gift for her earlier in the year. Awkward enough, given that Maria was a Jehovah’s witness* and did not do holidays, but she was a good sport about it, given the firm culture. She knew the expectations.

      But I was completely taken aback by getting a gift from her out of the blue (as did my colleague). Only to find out that a thing known as Boss’s Day existed. We told her she did NOT have to do that the following year.

      *She did not lie as part of her religion, and it took a while to convince her that she didn’t have to say “zuzu/colleague is not in yet” but could instead say, “zuzu/colleague is not in her/his office” and it would be the truth.

    3. Frickityfrack*

      I try, but one of my coworkers on our small team pays attention and always wants to get our boss something. I love my boss, she’s great, but I’d be a lot happier if we could just ignore all of these fake holidays. At least my coworker usually deals with the logistics and we just give her money, because I hate shopping for stuff I actually want, let alone gifts for, again, MADE UP HOLIDAYS.


    4. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Except pi(e) day– THAT came from the ground up, so I run with it. (And that one day a year dinner becomes an easy decision because I make a mean chicken pie.)

  2. I'm just here for the cats!*

    I think it’s fine to say “thanks for everything you do” especially if your boss goes above and beyond for you. But you shouldn’t feel like (or be forced to) you have to do some big showmanship and present a gift, card, etc.

    1. Anonymask*

      Yes, this! My ex-manager (she left for better opportunities) was AMAZING. Not having her has been a real rough time =[ I send her texts occasionally to chat (she asked me to, on her last day) and tell her I appreciated her lol

    2. Not So Evil HR Lady*

      I did just that, sent my manager a Teams message (a brief one) saying three things I appreciate about her as a boss. No need to go overboard ($25/per employee?! I don’t even spend that much on a Christmas gift for some family members.).

    3. TootsNYC*

      speaking from my time of being a boss:

      What I would appreciate most is a detailed, specific thank-you. Tell me what I do that makes you think I’m a decent boss. It’s hard to get feedback about how you directly manage someone; subordinates don’t feel that can give it, and my bosses are never in a position to see it.

      So if someone says: “It meant a lot that you went to bat for me and were mad on my behalf when the other team was pushing me to stay late. I felt really backed up. Thanks.” It would mean the world to me.

      If someone said, “I appreciate the way you dealt with telling me not to be late. I’m glad not to be yelled at, and you’re right, I’m needed. Lots of bosses would have been angry and you were respectful.” I can’t imagine someone saying that, but if they could bring themself to?

      One of my proudest moments as a boss was when someone came to me and said, “You’ve always said you want open communication, and that we shouldn’t worry about telling you things you might not want to hear, so I’m going to take you up on that. I didn’t like when you specifically named me in that email about who caught the error. I’m sure you meant it as a compliment, but I felt it set up a blamey and gloatey atmosphere.” To think that I’d behaved in a way that made him think he could actually say that to me and not be made to suffer for it.

  3. Nuke*

    My job sent out an email about a week ago asking us to send in… “nice messages” of appreciation for our bosses. Which I guess isn’t the worst thing they could’ve done for Boss’s Day but still very awkward and weird. I didn’t send in anything. Especially lately since our workload has been astronomical and our bosses keep throwing their hands up saying they’re powerless about it. Don’t “appreciate” that very much!

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      Dear Boss,

      Thank you for not being a raging bananapants kind of boss like some of the ones I’ve read about on Ask A Manager.

      E.M. Ployee

      1. Decidedly Me*

        I’m a boss and I’m out today…gift to myself I guess? I think my bosses are also out. I’m pretty sure we’ll all survive.

      2. Irish Teacher.*

        I’m now imagining a boss getting a message of appreciation:

        “Dear Boss,

        Thank you for never asking for my liver, emptying a cup of pee into the sink where I wash my dishes, making adults write lines, making people put tape on their mouths…”

        1. sparkle emoji*

          For a moment I forgot a boss on here asked for someone’s liver and thought this was a Prometheus joke

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          “Making me sit through a three hour presentation from your therapist about how put upon you are…”

    2. TootsNYC*

      I made a longer post just above.
      But feedback would be very useful, and the more specific, the better. I never felt like I got good feedback on how I supervised. My own bosses didn’t see it; only my subordinates did.

      And positive feedback can be positive reinforcement. So if you like that your manager is respectful of time-off requests, or you feel like your manager treats mistakes like something to learn from rather than character flaws—say that! If only to encourage them to keep it up, and to call out good values so that corporate notices it.

      Don’t think of it as praise. Think of it as feedback and positive reinforcement.

  4. Pastor Petty Labelle*

    Potlucks for the bosses? I don’t even cook for myself if I can help it, I’m sure as not cooking for the boss. Nor am I making a store run for the boss.

    Most of this stuff is so cringy. But there is something extra cringey about being expected to take time out of your non-work time to make something for the boss to eat. I mean at least with a money collection its 1) at work and 2) over quickly. But still bad.

    1. Artemesia*

      What I found most shocking is that it wasn’t a potluck for the office, honoring the bosses, but a potluck to feed them and maybe you got leftovers. I am not a fan of the first idea — but at least you can understand how people would think everyone would enjoy an office potluck. The just feed the bosses thing — well I guess it is better than taking up the collection so the wealthy owners of the business can take a family ski vacation.

      1. UKDancer*

        Definitely not a thing here thankfully. I’ve never celebrated that and I don’t get gifts from my team. I also don’t give my bosses gifts.

      2. Ellis Bell*

        Definitely not, I can imagine people falling over in fits of laughter at the idea of getting their bosses gifts and cards just for doing their jobs. Which made me wonder how it got started, because surely it was an odd idea anywhere in the beginning and I googled the following: “Boss’ Day was created by Patricia Bays Haroski in 1958 when she registered it with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce while working as a secretary at State Farm Insurance. The date she selected was her father’s birthday, due in no small part to the fact that she was working for him at the time.” Well thanks for that one Patricia, just because you were a nepotism hire doesn’t mean everyone has the same feelings for their boss…

        1. fanciestcat*

          Yeah, she basically thought the underlings weren’t appreciating her dad enough, and then Hallmark got ahold of it and here we are.

      3. Dust Bunny*

        I’m in the US but I wouldn’t know about it if AAM hadn’t said anything. I’ve never seen it in real life.

    1. Honey Badger just don't care*

      My bosses (I have three) will be acknowledged tonight with a special chicken dinner. And belly rubs.

  5. Decidedly Me*

    I’m a boss and I’m out today…gift to myself I guess? I think my bosses are also out. I’m pretty sure we’ll all survive.

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      I may have to edit that article later and add a “See Also” link to Stockholm Syndrome. Because the justification in that article for this holiday if pretty damn cringe-inducing.

      1. Elsa*

        Stockholm’s syndrome was named by a phycologist who never met the victims of the hostage situation and totally ignored that the police were actively making shit decisions that threatened the hostages so following the robbers were the less dangerous choice.

        1. Peanut Hamper*

          I’m not quite sure why every time someone mentions Stockholm Syndrome, someone else has to come out of the woodwork to mention this.

          I mean, sure it’s true, but it doesn’t change the fact that now it refers to a situation where somebody has an unhealthy emotional bond with someone in power over them.

      2. rollyex*

        OMG “Haroski believed young employees sometimes did not understand the hard work and dedication that their supervisors put into their work and the challenges they faced.”

    2. TootsNYC*

      of course it was the boss’s daughter
      “Haroski believed that young employees sometimes did not understand the hard work and dedication that their supervisors put into their work and the challenges they faced.”

    3. MikeM_inMD*

      The wiki page currently includes the line “It is worth noting than Salvador did not show any appreciation to his amazing boss in 10/16/2023.”

      1. Zarniwoop*

        Previous entry “my new manager is someone I slept with years ago … and he doesn’t know we have a child” new manager is “Jacob.”

        1. Phony Genius*

          If it turns out that Maxine has actually read the earlier entry and the double question marks are a callback to letter #2, then that a next-level comment.

    1. Database Developer Dude*

      Okay, you owe me a new package of paper towels, Pete. I’m cleaning coffee off my monitor!

  6. Heffalump*

    A lot of bosses clearly missed the “gifts flow down, not up” memo. My manager, who’s an all-around good guy, takes the team out to lunch quarterly, no connection to a particular day.

    1. Champagne Cocktail*

      I had a boss who was very firm on gifts flowing down. The only exception was I took her to lunch on her last day.

  7. Prrrrrrrr*

    My boss is very magnanimous and occasionally even allows me to sleep in my (his) bed.

    The fact that this less than 10 pound ball of fur also decides my bedtime is completely beside the point.

    For real though, today I learned Boss Day is a thing.

    1. Juicebox Hero*

      I’ve got four bosses with contradictory ideas about bedtimes and chow times. They’re lucky they’re cute.

    2. Honey Badger just don't care*

      My main boss not only determines my bedtime but what time I will turn my lights out. I think that’s a gross overstepping of authority but I’ve been unable to get her to change. She’s also convinced my other two bosses to follow suit and back her up.

    3. Contracts Killer*

      My bosses were gifted baths yesterday. That’s what they get for playing in the mud and tracking it through my (home) office.

  8. Shynosaur*

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this day, so I guess I’ve always worked in sensible places!

  9. Anonymask*

    It may be Boss’s Day, but it’s also my work anniversary. I think my bosses should celebrate that by giving me a raise (they won’t though).

    But I will honor the day by giving my tiny furry overlords some treats and scritches. They may not pay rent, but they’ve earned it!

  10. Friday me*

    How interesting that it was started by a woman whose boss was her dad! I totally ignore it unless someone shoves a card in front of me to sign.

  11. DivineMissL*

    I agree with everyone that Boss’s Day shouldn’t be a thing. However, I have two former bosses who have been great mentors and unselfishly helped me to advance in my career (I’m a boss now). Even though I no longer work with them, I admit that on October 16 every year I send them each a card to let them know how much I appreciate all the guidance they have given me over the years.

  12. Juicebox Hero*

    Thankfully, we don’t do anything for Boss’s Day. The Christmas gifts for the bosses are bad enough >:(

    1. MassMatt*

      I’ve heard of boss’s day but never worked anywhere where it was a thing. I HAVE gotten some strong-arm requests for a birthday thing for a couple of bosses. In both cases the person behind it was a random coworker, not an admin or anyone working more closely with the boss than anyone else. Perhaps it’s a brown-nosing opportunity?

      I agree with the “gifts should flow down, not up” idea, with the possible exception of retirement parties. In that case, the recipient is no longer your boss.

  13. Amber Rose*

    I am so grateful nobody mentions it here. I have negative respect for my boss these days so I’d struggle.

  14. Wolfie*

    Last Friday, my Teams suddenly erupted in a conversation about people wanting to gather money for my grandboss. So my coworker pinged me and the other guy on my team separately, suggesting we get something for our boss. (Wait, we have to get 2 gifts?!) I posted them the link to your classic article about Boss’s Day being a crock of shit. And I was also having my 1:1 on Zoom while this was happening, and I told my boss I will not participate in Boss’s Day for her or my grandboss. I felt really awkward (and rude), but I’m also glad I said something. I’m still kinda worried that it upset her, but… oh well.

  15. GladGirl*

    Yep. Office manager sent out the email a couple of weeks ago requesting $5 from staff toward today’s gift. Weirdly, the $5 will be divided toward gift cards for two grandbosses. There are fewer than 15 potential contributors, which means each gift card could be a max of like $30-ish each. We’re basically buying fancy coffee for two people who make six figures, LOL. One grandboss just had a birthday recently, and there was a collection for that, too. Oh, and you’re not allowed to sign the card if you don’t contribute, so in an office this small it’s completely obvious to the grandbosses which staff did not give them money for their gift. Next up: Christmas gifts for the grandbosses.

  16. Reluctant boss lady*

    I’m a manager and I hope to God none of my team does anything to commemorate this ridiculous, made up “holiday”.

  17. SereneScientist*

    My wife had to deal with a coworker sending an email LAST NIGHT that basically said, “Oh hey, Boss’s Day is tomorrow, I think we should come up with a gift for the two of them!! Anyone have ideas??” When my wife pushed back offering to buy a card but nudged that gifts shouldn’t flow upward, this coworker kind of flipped and deadnamed my wife in the process. It’s just nuts.

    1. Kelly*

      I had a coworker who had been at the small business we worked for for 20+ years. She had a screaming meltdown when I politely pushed back on buying our boss a birthday gift because of “everything he does for us.” By everything I don’t think she was including gaslighting, micromanaging and underpaying the whole staff substantially.

    2. rollyex*

      “Oh hey, Boss’s Day is tomorrow, I think we should come up with a gift for the two of them!! Anyone have ideas??”

      “Yes – I have an idea. Read this article on Slate: URL. Thanks!”

      1. SereneScientist*

        Honestly, I might send the Slate article to my wife, like “In case your coworker is being silly about this…..” lol

  18. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

    Also Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day. Which made it a good day for my every-couple-months reminder to my coworkers that all that crap you put on your desktop is not backed up by our IT services, put it in your OneDrive or you will lose it when your computer crashes.

    Related, a thing I learned here: If, like me, you hate having stuff on your desktop, and if, like me, your IT team has a process that puts all manner of nonsense on your desktop that you may or may not ever use but cannot remove — right-click on your Windows desktop, select View, and uncheck “Show Desktop Icons”. You can still get to them from a flyover menu on your taskbar for the once-in-a-blue-moon that you do need them, but they are not making a mess of your desktop.

  19. Just Me*

    Once again, grateful to have some excellent bosses. The extent of our celebration is an increasingly irreverent Teams chat chain of gifs.

  20. desk platypus*

    In my workplace of endless potlucks and celebrations it was no surprise that my department wanted to have one for Boss’s Day. Every year since I’ve been here we’ve had one. Every year we get a gift. I’m one of the highest paid in my department by quite a bit and since it’s the less paid workers organizing it I would feel really bad not contributing. I love my boss and she’s great but unfortunately she loves the potlucks, especially the Boss’s Day one, so I would be the fly in the punchbowl for suggesting we don’t gift up.

    The people in other departments also celebrate it but they always stress out about what will be enough of a gift for their managers. It’s awful.

    1. Artemesia*

      You can have the potluck without buying a gift. If potlucks are a thing at the office — well what’s one more. Have the person who makes the cake, put the boss’s name on it. But collecting for a gift. Just no.

  21. Dawn*

    Nobody I’ve ever met in Canada has even heard of this, I’m glad we as a society elected not to adopt this one from the Americans.

  22. AnonInCanada*

    Thankfully, I work in an office which, if I haven’t read about this being “Boss’s” day here on AAM, I wouldn’t have known this day existed. Boo! to all companies who make a big deal out of it, and a bigger BOOO! to those who “strongly suggest” employees give gifts to celebrate.

  23. Vio*

    Really glad we don’t have that here. I’m fairly sure my current boss would tell us all to ignore it if we did anyway, but there’s so many workplaces where this would be so badly abused. Hopefully it’ll never make it onto our calendars, although it would be far from the first American ‘holiday’ to cross the pond, we’ve been suffering Black Friday the last few years (even though we don’t even have Thanksgiving!).

  24. Anon for Now*

    I immediately send the slate article to a former coworker.

    We worked for a company that gave increasingly lavish gifts to our boss for Christmas (the last one I was there for had an expected contribution of $40 – we were not paid well and had no benefits).

    The boss finally stamped it out – only for a new employee to decide that just meant they needed to do something special for Boss’s Day.

    I told my friend she should “accidentally” print the article and leave it around the office.

  25. matt r*

    the whole thing is really distasteful, particularly the “not expected but expected” donations for gift cards.

    the slate piece calls out the hazards of telling a team “don’t get me anything,” which i felt, keenly…so, last year, when i got a $100 card from my team last year i immediately sent a group email telling everyone that i was a) thankful but quite embarrassed about the whole thing, b) to never, EVER do it again, and c) taking them out to a really nice lunch with the gift card. it wasn’t perfect – they were still out the $20 – but everyone thanked me for the gesture and the fact that they were off the hook for this year.

    1. Squish*

      Yeahhhh, I didn’t know this was a thing until I walked into my office this morning and there was a candle, a card, and a Starbucks gift card. It was so thoughtful but I will 100% be buying my team coffee and letting them know not to going forward!

  26. mango chiffon*

    I’m an administrative associate at my organization and often do catering orders. I have been getting several advertising emails for Boss’s Day the last couple weeks. Frankly, I don’t see why I would want to get anyone who earns more than me a bunch of cookies when they can’t even keep the admin team reasonably staffed

    1. KTB2*

      I’m guessing that’s why the new admin in my department suddenly decided that Boss’s Day was a thing. I don’t work in a company that ever does that, but she took it upon herself to send our boss a treat (on a business trip to Europe no less–we’re based in the PNW) and wish him Happy Boss’s Day.

      He was as surprised as the rest of us. I hope she didn’t pay for it herself…

  27. Anonymous here*

    Completely unaware of Boss’s Day, I gave my boss the best gift last week…I thanked them for shielding me from their boss. :)

  28. Management sucks*

    I guest if this is Boss Day then I shouldn’t push my boss’ buttons as much as I normally do.

  29. Typing All The Time*

    When I was a teen, I worked after school in an office co-owned by two women and with an office manager. I had a catty coworker do something like this for our bosses and didn’t tell me of her plans or include me in them. She was praised and I was looked at like I wasn’t supportive. I said something to the coworker and she was like well, you’re not here often enough. I was 16 or 17 then.

  30. Silicon Valley Girl*

    I’ve worked at a few terrible offices with really bad bosses over the years, but thankfully none had heard of “Bosses Day” to add to their repertoire. I think I might only have seen it randomly on a printed calendar before reading about it here. Whew, dodged that one.

  31. Phony Genius*

    This whole discussion reminds me of a story I saw on TV years ago about Valentine’s Day in Japan. One of their traditions (at least at that time) is that women give chocolates to their male bosses. This was explained as expected behavior in almost every office. The bosses hated it as much as the women did, as they felt a social obligation to accept (and eat) ridiculously large amounts of gift chocolates that they didn’t even want. Apparently, even the bosses felt pressure against pushing back (possibly from their own bosses?).

    1. I Talk About Motorcycles Too Much*

      It is also worth noting that one month later, March 14th, is White Day and all the men who received gifts from the women in their lives are to return a thank you gift worth three times the original gift. Japanese gift giving can be a challenge due to the rigid expectations but, personally, I appreciate them compared to having to guess what I am supposed to do. :)

  32. Sara without an H*

    It was never a thing in all my years in Higher Ed. For once, The Groves of Academe get something right.

    1. Her hawk*

      The thought of my faculty boss having even a clue, let alone a care, that it’s bosses day is truly funny.

  33. SpecialSpecialist*

    I worked for a team once where Boss’s Day was *A Thing*. There was this lady (Tina) on the team who went all out. On second Boss’s Day that I was with that team, she sent her annual solicitation email to the whole team and I ignored her. I tried to appeal to our director that it was a dumb idea, but it didn’t go anywhere (unsurprising since this same director said that she was actually doing worse than me salary-wise because she had a mortgage and three kids and I just had my spouse to support…mmhmm…sure Jan). The celebration was so cringy. I recall she wanted us to bring food, but then also picked up lunch from Panera just for the two supervisors. She’d made massive poster board cards with candy bars glued on in place of some of the words and made them both read the cards out loud. She bought them so many presents and made them open them for everybody to see. There’s no way our small team donated enough to fund all that. One year she suggested everybody save up a dollar each month so that it wouldn’t be a hardship to donate when the time came around.

    On the first Boss’s Day that rolled around after I became a boss, one of my folks sent me a lovely email and made me cry. :) I don’t think Boss’s Day crosses anybody’s mind now and rightly so. It’s so dumb.

    1. Stuckinacrazyjob*

      ( I also saw several people who technically are my boss but they didn’t mention anything weird)

  34. pwl*

    Not specifically for Boss’s Day, but at one place I worked in college, they tried to show boss appreciation at the annual Staff Training Day. Each year, they would do something increasingly show-y (and cringey) for the directors and top managers. One year, we had a public scandal at the highest levels, and several directors resigned or were fired. The theme of the following Staff Training Day was something like “Accountability, Transparency, and Supporting our Frontline Employees.” Except that, once again, all the directors (including those who were close to the scandal and whose negligence allowed it to happen) sat at linened tables with centerpieces and handmade place cards, while the rest of us sat at plain old folding tables with nothing on them and random/unassigned seating. The arrangement was not received well, to say the least. The frontline workers had been dealing with angry customer questions on the scandal for months, and these negligent directors were wined and dined in front of all us lowly peasants. I got a new job that year.

  35. WhyBoss'sDay*

    One of my staff members told me it was Boss’s day earlier today. I thanked them but let them know that there was no reason for this “day” to exist. My role is to support them, not the other way around.

  36. The public posting of the thank you card*

    Me and a colleague dropped off a card for Boss’s day for my boss about fifteen years ago when I had just been in the workforce briefly. We also included a little $5 coffee gift card to the nearby local place. This boss was a former colleague who had promoted just a few months before. In the card we each left a little message. I had missed a bunch of work when I miscarried and I thanked her for being so understanding and helpful during a difficult time. I know any decent person would be understanding…but it felt like such a kindness during a difficult time. I am a very private person so nobody at the office even knew I had been pregnant.

    The next day she had pinned our thank cards and notes to the staff bulletin board-effectively letting the entire office know I had lost a pregnancy. I was mortified. And decided to never participate in a boss’s day thank you again.

  37. Victoria, Please*

    Okay, well, I just sent a nice appreciative email to my boss. She’s great, so I’m glad for the reminder to tell her.

  38. Inkognyto*

    I report to a Director, and they were promoted this spring from a position below.

    A great Boss. Does all the right things, but the people reporting to him send him a gift every year despite him telling them “please stop”.
    He also takes the amounts and donates it to Charity, and tells everyone he did it.

    I explained the first year they tried to get me to do this to the current Director that you don’t do it. It can be considered a bribe, and gifts flow DOWN not up. But no, let’s keep doing it every year.
    I question their ability to think logically despite most of them being in jobs that require logic.

  39. Off Plumb*

    Very awkward Teams group chat last month in which a coworker said “Remember, Boss’s Day is coming up!” and I explained that I personally am uncomfortable with the concept and linked to one of the AAM entries about it. None of my other coworkers weighed in (there’s only half a dozen people on my team), but I haven’t heard anything about it since, so either the topic got dropped or they left me out of future discussions.

    My current boss is fantastic, and this is the best work environment I’ve ever had. And I have told her that, and given her specific feedback on the things I’ve noticed she does really well. She has six employees who are motivated, work hard, help each other out, and are happy to step up in a crisis. This is both the result of her good management practices and the reward for it. She doesn’t also need a scarf or a gift card or something.

  40. Orsoneko*

    Once, as a child, I asked my mom why there was a Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but no Kid’s Day. She was like “lol that’s every day.” I’m reminded of that every time I read something about Boss’s Day (fortunately, I’ve never encountered it in real life).

  41. No thanks*

    Ugh. A coworker collected money for a gift for our boss.

    The same boss who denied a long time coworker time off to spend with their dying father. Dad had been given two weeks to live. And the same coworker’s mother had just died. Lost both parents in the span of two weeks. But they had to work the morning of the dad’s rosary (the rosary was in the evening, but a few hours away). And boss commented “well, we’re all going through *something*”. Coworker had to apply for FMLA, in spite of having hundreds of leave hours.

    No thanks. I’d rather donate to a worthy cause.

  42. A Tired Queer*

    My workplace decided to collect money to give a gift card to our new manager who just moved up to the area. I was fine to just ignore the email, but it got real awkward when half the office replied to the email saying that they had contributed.

  43. Helen_of_the_Midwest*

    I voted early today, and there was a note about Boss’s Day on the whiteboard at the polling place. I’ve never heard about it at my workplace, luckily.

  44. MikeM_inMD*

    Boss’s Day? Mmmm …. WHO is my boss in this context and who would I “honor”? Alex, the project lead who is just as much a worker bee as me but sometimes gives me assignments? Ben, who is the guy who checks my time sheets and handles my quarterly performance review, but only as a side job to his technical work? Or maybe Carl, who was my Ben until Oct. 1 when he got reassigned? How about Dave, who is the Program Manager that Ben reports to, and who probably has most of the impact on my pay raises, etc.? Or maybe – hah! – one or more of those faceless suits upstream from Dave who I have seen once or twice in 4+ years, who probably don’t know my name (I don’t bother remembering theirs – so we’re even on that)?

    Thankfully, there is no mention of Boss’s Day at my work.

  45. Hush42*

    I typically, if I remember, text or message my boss with a “Happy Boss’s day” but that’s about it. Last year I think one of my employees texted me a Happy Boss’s day as well. But I don’t need or want any recognition for Boss’s day- that would be kind of weird.
    Technically though, I *did* give my boss a thank you card this year. But the fact that I gave it to him on Boss’s day was entirely coincidental. Our company had their annual kick off party on Friday night and I put together snack and candy bags for each member of my team with a handwritten thank you note to each of my team members. I made one for my boss too and put a thank you note in his as well. But I wasn’t able to get his to him Friday night so I brought it to work this morning.

  46. Doc McCracken*

    My first year owning my business my office manager/right hand woman gave me the sweetest card with a lovely handwritten note. Actually made me tear up since that first year was a rollercoaster!

  47. PsychicMuppet*

    Today, oddly enough, is also my boss’s last day. He’s retiring. He wasn’t always perfect but he hired me, paid me much more than he had to and more than once stood up for me. Most importantly he gave me a job that I really do love after years of working for people who were so awful to me I had to devise methods to cope with my anxiety about going into work every day. Quitting that job was one of the best moments of my life, and he was one of the people that made it possible. I hope he has an amazing retirement.

  48. HereToday*

    At a new job and our office manager said we could bring in treats today for bosses day if we want, but to keep our receipts so we could be reimbursed. Thoughts on that? Never had an office acknowledge the day before.

    1. Elizabeth Proctor*

      You get to pick out treats you like for the whole office and the company pays for them. What’s not to like?

  49. Catabouda*

    Well now I have to go berate my direct reports that I didn’t get anything. Not even a Happy Bosses Day! greeting.

  50. Haven’t picked a username yet*

    A few of my team pinged or texted me (and it was kind) but I didn’t even know and don’t want to acknowledge! It is super awkward, I am your boss, being a good leader is my job.

  51. Claw*

    My office once asked everyone to contribute $100 to buy a GUN for a retirement gift for our VP. I did not respond to any of the repeated emails since I had little interest in donating around 10% of one of my pay checks to our VP’s gun collection, especially while I was battling some serious health issues that no one in my office acknowledged, even though they were aware, call me a Scrooge. They engraved everyone’s name who did contribute on the gun case. So obnoxious.

    1. SB*

      A gun? I wouldn’t care if I had the extra cash. I would not be contributing to the purchase of a gun.

    2. Iconic Bloomingdale*

      This is one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard of occurring in the workplace. There is no way in hell I’m contributing to the purchase of a gun as a gift for my boss.

  52. Epilogue*

    I got a form email from my organization today, thanking us for the excellent work and important mentoring we do.

    All I could think was “I hope they have an alternate version of this that they send to the bad managers”.

    1. Aggretsuko*

      Hah, I got some email today thanking me for the feedback I gave and can I give some more. I didn’t give anyone feedback!

  53. SB*

    As a “boss” I could never! I would be so embarrassed if my reports did this & any boss or manager who expects a fuss is not doing their job!!

    We make a fuss over milestone events for staff if they are comfortable with it, but not managers. Managers make enough to buy their own cake/breakfast/whatever.

  54. Greg*

    This wasn’t Boss’ Day, but at Old Job the person who was effectively head of operations/HR and his wife, who also worked there, became grandparents, and they threw some kind of a shower, which I found super weird. I mean, the point of showers and baby gifts and such is that you’re giving presents to your coworker, but the baby’s parents weren’t our coworkers (as a thought experiment, imagine throwing them a shower when their kid was first getting married). The fact that this guy was in such a high position made it worse because of the implicit pressure. Fortunately, I didn’t like the guy and he knew it, which perversely lessened my need to suck up to him.

    Incidentally, the office admin who organized that later tried to do the same when the contractor who cleaned the office also became a grandmother, but I think someone spoke to her and she dropped the idea

  55. Trip*

    Where I worked they saran wrapped the boss’s chair and power cords and taped off his desk area and filled it with balloons which was fun and more like a prank, they also got them a mug. It felt fun and the boss is a very good boss that’s easy to appreciate.

  56. mj*

    I got a bouquet. I have told my direct reports no gifts, but we have a new person who just doesn’t get it. I guess we need to have that talk again.

    Also, I am the HR manager, the same group bought one for the president of the company. They bought her a bouquet that is half the size of the one they got me. Talk about awkward.

  57. Mr. Katz*

    I got exactly what I wanted for Boss Day. Everyone came in and did their job no drama, lol. Well, no drama from MY team. it wouldn’t be work without drama.

  58. Your Mom*

    I’m a teacher and the faculty decided to embrace the awkwardness of the day by wearing T-shirts with funny pictures of our principal on them (we had previously made these shirts to wear on his birthday and wanted to wear them again). A good laugh was had by all!

  59. Ex boss*

    The best thing I ever got for bosses day was a heartfelt email from an employee telling me that I was a good boss and that she appreciated me. That’s it. That’s more than I would ever expect and all I needed. I printed it out and still have it to this day.

  60. rebelwithmouseyhair*

    Great article as usual.

    I would make one little change, to the last sentence:
    “I should be celebrating you, not the other way around”.
    “Shall” would be so much better than “should” ;-)

  61. Nancy*

    First time I’m hearing about it in all my years of working, and none of my calendars (including my work provided one) lists it. I tried to find out when it started, but everything seems to just repeat the wiki article with no good references.

  62. Semi-retired admin*

    I started a new job very recently. There has been zero mention of boss’ day. BUT, at our weekly staff meeting yesterday (10/16), the company owner was conspicuously drinking his coffee out of a “World’s Best Boss” mug. I haven’t been there long enough to know if this is a tongue-in-cheek thing, or if the mug was new from someone on the team. I’m very much hoping for the former.

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