6 Terrible Reasons Your Boss Might Love You

For anybody that works in a job where you have a boss, you want them to like you and be satisfied with you, right?  I know I always strive to be the best employee I can be, and while I know I’m not perfect, I have more often than not been considered an employee who contributes.

But, there are times when your boss might love you, for all the wrong reasons.  What does that mean?

Well, it’s simple.  You might be a sucker!

If your employer ‘loves you’ for any of the following reasons, then maybe it’s time to change your strategy a little bit.

  1. You don’t take all of your time off – If you don’t take all of your time off that’s given to you in the course of a year, you’re essentially working for your employer for free for the time you leave on the table.  They calculate your salary as part of a total benefits package which includes time off.  Unless your employer pays you dollar for dollar for time that you don’t use, you’re essentially giving them back part of your compensation package.  Good for them.  Not so good for you.
  2. You work during your time off – Some people might take time off but how many people do you know still check their e-mail or call into meetings?  Even if you’re on a cruise ship, the fact that you’re still doing work makes it beneficial for your employer and not you.
  3. You don’t contribute to your 401(k) match level – I’ll admit, this one doesn’t apply to me, because we had our match cancelled and have yet to have it re-instated, but if your company offers a match, and you’re not contributing to the level, you’re leaving money right on the table.  Again, that’s all calculated as part of your total compensation, so take what is coming to you.
  4. You always say yes – If your boss is always giving you the extra tasks that pop up, you might be getting taken advantage of.  If you’re not overly busy, then by all means, say yes when asked to do something.  But, if you’re totally swamped, it’s OK to say no some times.  I say that with some stipulations.  First, make sure that you are legitimately busy with tasks that your boss is aware of.  Second, don’t say ‘no’ and just leave it.  Bosses don’t like that.  Instead, lay out (very high level) the tasks that you’re working on.  Third, present options.  Again, bosses don’t like when you simply say that you can’t do something.  If you lay it out like “I’m really tied up with this project for the rest of the week and the customer is expecting me, but how about I look at this on Monday?” you’ll end up in a situation where your boss will be given options to choose from, and if they’re any good at their job, they’ll appreciate your commitment to your current tasks.
  5. You never offer suggestions or input – Companies and bosses don’t like loudmouths, so if you’re constantly piping up about problems you have or things you would do different if you were in charge, then chances are your boss has tuned you out long ago.  But, on the opposite end, if you say nothing, you’re missing out on a great opportunity, and a good boss will appreciate your input.  In fact, one thing I’ve found is that bosses hate when employees don’t provide input about something, then leave their job, offering their ‘input’ during their resignation.  Bosses aren’t mind readers, and if it’s eating you up on the inside that you haven’t been sent to a training class in three years, then go talk to them about it before you up and jump ship.

A lot of these things depend on the style of your boss.  Some bosses want employees who don’t say anything, and if that’s the case, then these suggestions probably won’t make much difference.  Personally, though, I’ve never worked well with these types of individuals.  These suggestions tie with bosses who are leaders and who actually take the time to realize that their success and happiness is tied to that of their employees.  If you have a boss like that, make sure you’re working with them and not falling into any of the traps above.

39 thoughts on “6 Terrible Reasons Your Boss Might Love You”

  1. I have never understood why so many do not take the time off given to them. I understand if you’re saving your time to take a bigger vacation, but if you do not take it you’re doing yourself nothing but a disservice.

      • A lot of companies have a non spoken policy where you are shamed into being less of an employee if you take your time off. They look down as if you arent as hard a worker. Nevermind that taking downtime to recharge and come back ready to put forth more efffort is probably a likely result.

        • I’ve always said that if a company has this type of policy, be it official or unofficial, it’s time to move on.

    • My boss doesn’t take time off because he is worried he will be fired and more unpaid PTO equals higher severance pay out.

  2. I have always been guilty of #1. I almost never call in sick and only take the required amount of days off each year. My boss has come to view me as one of the most reliable people in our work center.

  3. Other than 3 & 5 (Learning #5 took some time though), I used to be all of these. The problem is I couldn’t really fix it even after I learned not to do these things. At that point, it was “expected” that I will handle any problems even during my vacation and I will fix things even after hours. So if I didn’t it, it was not considered “meeting expectations” but “below expectations”. I had to struggle really really hard to establish boundaries.

    • I think I would have worked to try to point out how that was unreasonable. A good boss would understand that. If not, I’d probably start looking elsewhere.

  4. If you can find a boss who would like you for those things, his/her reign will end quickly! When I was a CFO, I had the task of increasing 401K participation. Further, Everyone has to take vacation or in many cases they lose it. Even if they don’t, everyone must take vacation.

  5. Wow, I guess my boss must hate me then! 😉

    I will never understand working during off time, but maybe it’s because I value my family more than my job. Cell phone goes silent and I don’t check work email when I am on vacation, and I take ALL my days off, every year.

    • One of the best perks of my job is that it is low enough pressure that I’m always able to have a good work-family balance.

  6. My husband usually ends up selling some of his time off if I don’t take the effort to arrange a vacation–and I have to arrange ALL of it, every detail, and I end up doing 90% of the work herding kids during it, too, so a lot of times, it’s not such a vacation to me. :/

    • We can’t do anything like that, otherwise I would probably willingly take a week less of time for some extra dough.

  7. None of those reasons apply to me so I guess I’m ok. Most of the jobs I’ve worked at my co-workers set the bar pretty low so just showing up made me one of the better employees.

    • Very true. If you don’t take rest, it will catch up with you in the long run and not in a good way.

  8. They may surely love you for those reasons but I doubt they truly respect you. Heck if I earn the days I should take them off unless you get to turn them in and get paid or carry them over to the next year for an even bigger vacation.

  9. Great list!

    The State of Arizona pays exiting employees for unused vacation time, within limits. There’s a use-it-or-lose-it rule, but it takes a long time to reach the lose-it stage. And — get this! — after you’ve accumulated 500 hours of unused sick leave, when you retire they pay you 30% of your present hourly wage for each unused sick-leave hour. After you reach an even higher number — nine hundred and something, I think –they pay you half of your current hourly wage per unused sick-leave hour. This can rack up to quite a lot of money if you’ve been in state employ for a fair amount of time — I ended up netting a little over $18,000, after taxes.

    LOL! As for #4, in academia you learn to keep your head below the level of the trench. Unless one loves nasty, petty political squabbles, one keeps one’s mouth shut. I tend to be entrepreneurial and so occasionally generated fine headaches for myself in that department.

    • Yeah, I’ve seen so many instances of situations and loopholes like this, I am amazed that they still exist.

  10. I did experience having a boss which is abusive to the point of not giving me enough compensation for the time I am supposed to be off. He was taking advantage of every situation and in the end I told him he is not fair anymore.

  11. My boss isn’t so concerned about the matching, because it doesn’t come out of her budget. And she doesn’t like when we dont’ take our vacation time, because then it has to be paid out. BUT – she probably loves when I answer email at 7PM!

    • The only time we get anything paid out is when we leave the company, then some is eligible for payout. Other than that, it’s use it or lose it.

  12. Excellent list of why these are the wrong reasons the boss might love you. I actually fall into a couple of these categories -never taking time off and saying yes way too much. Maybe I need to change my ways. 😉

  13. I agree, that won’t work with me as well. I won’t mind working over tie from time to time. And I know those who love their job but this is just too much, workaholic much that you’re being abused already.

  14. At one of my jobs my boss told me “you get 25 paid days as a holiday, but of course, most people around the office don’t take them”. WHAT? Who does that? It was a brown nosing strategy that eventually led me to be considered as the slacker who takes all her holidays, but come on, you shouldn’t give them if you don’t want people to take them!

    • I think I would have asked why the days are given if there’s an expectation that they’re not used. Crazy!

  15. I’m so glad I don’t have ”office politics” to deal with at my job! I work for a small family dental practice and we’re all friendly and helpful with each other. I’m a hard worker and rewarded for it. There’s no BS at my job and I love it.

    • You’re lucky! In every company I’ve worked for, from 15 people to 50,000, there’s eventually been politics involved.

Comments are closed.