Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saying Sorry to Your Boss

Sorry to boss In a working environment, unfortunately, we all end up having a Boss on our neck, whom majority of the subordinates do not like and call him names, mimic him to reduce the grudge that they have for him, but the despise/ rage and anger doesn’t subsides, rather it never ends as its an eternal feeling. For once in his life time, the boss is referred as “pain in the ass" by every subordinate. Employees often associate their routine life issues to the characteristics of their boss, like:
A Bad Boss is like an itch in your private parts the more you scratch the more itchier it gets. 
Another version of it goes like “a bad boss is like a diaper… always stuck on to your butt and full of _hit”

The fact of the matter, unfortunately, remains stagnant… “he is your boss”. and will continue to occupy the same position unless he dies :) or switches to another job :) or get closely associated to you :)  [hint: his beloved unmarried daughter] or you get to know a secret of him [e.g. a naughty picture taken at a party ] etc etc etc but …SHIT… luck doesn’t favor us all when it comes to getting your dream, of seeing your boss on your knees, come true.
Since, now that i have your attention, let me come to the topic “Saying Sorry to Your Boss”. Majority of the bosses that we have an amalgamation of the following:
1. They think they are right and want things to happen their way (e.g. we faced the similar issue in XYZ and “I” had the solution….
2. They want results there and then (they mail you first and then call you after 5 minutes, move in at you asking “is it done?” :)
3. They want their subordinates to face the same / similar difficulties what they faced …[why should he be spared, when my boss didn’t spare me]
4. Fear of Loosing his job, to his hired subordinate or lack of knowledge and aptitude make the boss a beast.
In my opinion, Office relationship with colleagues and boss is just like being in a marriage; “every other person is an ‘in-law’ till divorce”
Office discussion, (with internal team or external teams) especially when not planned well or carried out with an intention to insult a particular person / group, often ends up leaving a sour taste in everybody’s mouth.Majority of the time bosses close the conversation by giving a shut up call but sometimes its the other way round as well :)
After the sitting is over; a generic employee thinks, “Shit! my boss is gonna take it personal and will ruin my stay / compensation / bonus round etc, i wish i would have stayed mum”. It may be right in many cases, after all Bosses are human and germs of biasness may make them act unethical in future, but why to take a chance even if your boss deserves a right to be tagged as a “Best Boss in the World”.
My friend, what is done is done, but remember there is always room to say sorry to your boss and mend your ways,…… the quicker the better. The tip to remember is that “you can start the next day with a new beginning”.The only difficulty to overcome in saying sorry to any one is how to start the conversation.
Usually i practice the following after treating my Boss with due contempt of the honor he deserves ;)
1. Do not talk to him the same day, no matter what happens even if he calls you in his room and yells at you… stay quiet.
2. Go home, relax and later in the night just figure out the pain point, because that is what you need to eliminate :)
3. The plan====> you will have to over come that pain point or quit taking responsibility of it from future onwards.
4. Good boy… i think you need some sleep now… the steps below are for the next day.
 Next Day
5. Remember the art to get forgiveness or sooth the pain that you caused begins with a a humble tone and treating your boss with respect.
6. Now, seek an appointment from your boss either by e-mail or calling him  (sounds weird but that is how i do it). I believe that this mostly makes bosses think about what will the employee  state to him… is he going to resign or say sorry or … etc … let him plan accordingly.
7. Approach him in a confident manner and submit your apology in a professional manner… start with the prologue i.e how things went wrong
8.  State why are you sorry and why things went wrong and how can it not happen in future… just remember that the you need to assure your boss that he is running the affairs of the department smoothly and the mistake you made has a remedy.
e.g. “Sir, I am sorry about what happened yesterday… some how i fail to understand how i couldn’t deliver on the deadline…  but i assure that i will perform on my optimum to avoid such instances in future. :-)”
Do not go in to details such as why, where, because… and please do not state that you took a statement of your boss’s  personally and
Plus never say “it will never happen again”… because it will :)…   [in the example above i used “avoid” not “never” ]
That is it… 
now let him talk to you… he will talk about his past experiences, the bosses he faced and will surely end on notes that he is always approachable and willing teach what ever he has learnt in his life and bla bla bla…
See my friend, its so simple to say sorry to your boss for your own benefits… Frankly speaking its better to say sorry to your boss then to be sorry that why didn’t you apologize to him earlier.

Office Sutras: Exercises for Your Soul at Work    Office Sutras

Work can be an arena that challenges you spiritually as well as professionally.
With humor and wit, Marcia Menter helps readers recognize that the things that drive them craziest at work can be doorways to growth and understanding in their lives, if they are approached with an open mind and heart. Chapters like "The Slough of Suckiness," "Are They Paying Me Enough?," and "The Dream That Got Away," share practical tehniques, exercises, and mantras for finding divinity in the resentments that can make anyone's job miserable. Each chapter includes inspiring Mantras for the Bad Days, such as "If God had wanted me to spend my whole life in my office, he would have given me a nicer office."


  1. the tips are good as i can co-relate many of them in my boss. may i have your comment on what do you think how to tackle a boss who trash talks about your performance and knowledge among your office mates.

  2. @Hellz Bellz: brother no need to worry.

    first evaluate your self... is he right or is he not?
    if he is wrong: the solution is to relax, perform effectively and efficiently with one trick that is to make him and other realize that you work... for instance do not give him a report immediately when he asks... delay it.. and when he is in a company ... then is the right time to tell him... "sir have e-mailed it to you (with other in cc) ..or the report is on your desk for review"... a subliminal creation of your image to negate what he draws :)

    the art is to play the same game with same rules but from the opposite side.

    and if he is right: u need to change

  3. Well written text, i really loved readin the line
    " treating my Boss with due contempt of the honor he deserves"

    I have went back to check your other posts in office life but no update, i hope u read my comment and write some lively piece regarding Corporate Politics and how to go about it smartly.


    1. Hi Sarah
      i will am writing a piece over Corp Politics, since the topic has many dimensions and colors.. it will take a while...
      Thanks for reading and your comment

  4. My former manager doesn't want any contact with me moving forward even after I apologized for my misunderstanding. How do I continue on with my new manager & get rid of my depression over this issue.

    1. Mate... Turn over a new leaf
      do not let your past haunt you... it will only have a negative impact on your future
      -learn to say i am sorry, i made a mistake, think rationally and not with aggression b4 u do any thing
      - Work hard and smart, stay focused, do not be shy to say i do not know however i have an attitude to learn and improve my learning curve and prove it.... plus you should say what you mean....

    2. How do I turn over a new leaf & not let it affect my future if I'm so depressed? I find my former manager is being really hard on me no matter what I say. I'm a really nice person or at least I thought I was. Some days I can't wait to go to sleep at night because then your checked out & I don't have to feel you know.

    3. My Friend,
      - Be a new you, forget the past
      - know what you do... do not let him point mistakes... document every work
      - if you have time, talk to the person, tell him that you have "professionaly" left the past behind to move on... so should he.
      - do not be afraid of question him in public

      In my opinion you have taken too much.... have gone in to depression... this will only make you and your family suffer...
      1. Take time off ... go on vacation
      2. talk to a friend... good friends are a blessing
      3. Run away and start fresh on a new job
      4. Go to the shrink
      5. Talk to your HR..with evidence
      6. Get and internal transfer

    4. My family is suffering & I'm afraid, I've been depressed for some time now & want it all to go away! I have a husband & 2 kids. I talked to my human resources & they just say we have no employee support programs at the moment you should just move on. I don't understand that. I am looking for a new job at the moment as well. If I talk to one of my friends about this I'm just afraid they'll think less of me, you know. Maybe a vacation, you had some good suggestions, thank you the way. I appreciate your time or I honestly don't know where I would be right now. Can't talk to my husband about it either, afraid he'll think less of me to. All I know is I'm done feeling this way & can't handle it any longer. I just want to work things out with my former manager & it's the only thing that will help me feel better about myself. She just won't talk to me, I never been treated this way before. Or is it worth it all or I don't know, I'm just so confused. Never been depressed before either. I really appreciate all your time. Thanks once again.

    5. If you do not talk to family / friends you are killing your self.... believe me no one will think low about you...
      if you think it is surmounting terror to work... leave the job... frankly speaking if you think you will not win over sitations like this..and it is also affecting your mental peace... F it :) you will find a better job. God-willing

    6. I took your advice & after discussions with my husband I gave my notice to my employer. 8 other employees left this company in the past 3 months. I suppose that says a lot right there. I feel I'm moving on & feel much better these days. It was very scary, never experienced depression before! I feel I'm past that as well as my way of thinking these days is, "it's not me that has a problem it's probably them". I will eventually find a good job somewhere else. I will keep you posted. Thanks again for your time.

    7. Good to hear that, God willing you will find a better job and much more friendly team to groom and grow. Just be postive and positive will happen. Spend quality time with family.

      Zaheer Waheed