Stuck for a Boss’s Day Gift? 5 Suggestions If You Just Can’t Ignore It

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Note: Some Fridays, we like to illuminate some of the funnier aspects of HR. Sometimes it will be a video, a picture, a story or satire but we hope it will lighten up the end of the week.

When I was reading John Hollon’s post about National Boss Day (which is today by the way), I couldn’t get over the fact that I never received a gift for the occasion. Now, I’m not bitter about it and certainly if I were, I’d be called a hypocrite since I never got my boss anything.

Although our reasons are different, I do agree with John that the holiday is fairly worthless unless you are the type that allows your boss to win at golf even if they didn’t deserve it. I always lost fair and square.

If you are that type of employee or some other poor employee that has been pulled in by co-worker peer pressure or perhaps the boss’s guilt trip, you’re going to need some advice and quick. You’ve only got a few hours to convince your boss that you just didn’t read about Boss’s Day on a website but instead have been planning for the occasion for months. Here are five gift suggestions for all of you last minute Boss’s Day shoppers out there.

1. For the boss who is like a father to you — A tie

Think back to your childhood days and think about what your father loved to receive for Father’s Day. Why wouldn’t the boss who is like a father to you not want the same type of gift? Sure, my dad worked a blue collar job and only wore ties to weddings or funerals, but his mock enthusiasm over the gift was certainly better than when I gave him a coupon book for chores around the house or a drawing that looked like Picasso on some kind of mind altering medication. A tie is typically easy to find as I see them at the convenience store I grab my coffee from most mornings so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one.

2. For the boss you need to sweeten up — A gift card

Sure, giving your boss cash may look bad to folks in your legal or HR departments, but it is much easier than going to the store and picking up a gift card. Still, I would prefer just to not deal with the hassle of having a serious conversation with our corporate attorney and just grab a gift card. This may raise some ethical red flags for some but I heard something similar worked for the guys at Enron.

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3. For the female boss in your life — A box of chocolates

Have you ever given your wife a box of chocolates for her special day, only to be stared at until you drove to the store and brought home her real present? I’ve heard this works better then that. And not only will she be appreciative of all of the little fat and sugar bombs in a box you’ve given her, it will also be a subtle reminder about the stereotypes she still has to confront at work.

4. For the boss you don’t like — A gift card to their least favorite coffee shop

Your boss walks into work each morning with a cup of coffee from the same coffee shop. To show that you are aware of their habit, you go and buy a gift card to another coffee shop down the street. Sure, you may have overheard the boss say how much they didn’t like that shop but getting this gift shows both that you knew of the preferred place but chose not to get the obvious. And every time they have to go out of their way to use your gift, they’ll think of you.

5. For the incompetent boss with a sense of humor — A “World’s Best Boss” mug

This may require a trip to your local mall, and hopefully Spencer’s isn’t out of business yet. If your boss is both incompetent yet has a sense of humor (and a taste for irony), this gift works on two levels. The first being the sheer humor that any one of his or her employees would get him this mug clearly means he or she has the wrong people working for them and the second being the clear irony of someone who is so far away from being the world’s best boss owning a mug proudly proclaiming it. It’s a deep gift for under $10.

Try any one of these gift suggestions. If they don’t work out the way you intended, perhaps you should just stick with not recognizing the day next year like everyone else.


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