HR Strange But True!
October 26, 2006

We delight in bringing you tales of bad bosses (perhaps too much so, according to our bosses). As promised, we now bring you stories about some of the truly exemplary bosses out there.

Barbara Theobald wrote that Craig Smyth is an "amazing boss" at Clemleddy Construction Inc. in northeast Pennsylvania. Smyth has created a "family-style" atmosphere in which the 24 employees are genuinely interested in one another's well-being, she said.

"Craig empowers and challenges us to do our very best, but he also shows his appreciation for us in many ways," Theobald wrote. That empowerment helped the company continue to flourish when Smyth was out of work recovering from an illness, she said.

"I think that incident truly represents the type of boss he is, and we're very grateful for his continued health and leadership," Theobald wrote.

At Innovative Response Marketing Inc. in Mississauga, Ontario, Shobha Boodram said she is blessed with not one, but two great bosses - Mark Stephens and Linda Campbell.

"They are dedicated to helping us create a great, inspiring atmosphere," Boodram wrote. "Our ideas are always supported and we are given the autonomy to be as creative as we want.

"They also take the time to say good morning to everyone every day, to share funny stories with the staff, and take an interest in our personal lives," she wrote. "My bosses care very much about our employees and are always ensuring that staff are recognized for their achievements and hard work. The reason I wrote this entry was to recognize them for making this a great place to work!"

We have to admit that we're downright envious of the boss Irmgard Tatic got when she went to work as a secretary for a corporate attorney at a Fortune 500 company in Tulsa. Tatic's boss, Diane Noe, urged her to go back to school to get a paralegal degree and certification (which she did), and made sure the tuition was paid in full and up front.

"One year she gave me a Christmas present -- two round-trip tickets with 3 nights at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas for my spouse and me," Tatic wrote. "At another time, she found out that I had not visited Germany in over 25 years. She had accumulated a lot of [frequent] flyer mileage over the years, and she assigned her mileage over to me so that I was able to book a flight and visit my parents.

"But most of all, when she became general manager of a subsidiary, she felt confident enough to hire and promote me to human resources manager of the subsidiary," wrote Tatic, who is now safety manager for Tulsa Public Schools. "I hope you are able to publish this story. I owe all of my success to her, and now I am able to pay back what she has given me and help other people to succeed."

Our thanks to Barbara, Shobha, and Irmgard. (We hope our bosses took note, particularly of the Las Vegas and overseas junkets.) We know that there are a lot of other great bosses out there, and we'd be happy to share your stories about them in a future issue. Just e-mail, and be sure to include your name and your boss's name, so we can give credit where it is due.

TGIF - It's HR
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