When bosses stand up for their subordinates

It all started with a simple, near mundane email.

See, one of my routine tasks is to upload reports relevant to various global firm rankings for my company’s Paris office. As long as I upload what my boss in Paris sends me, we’re good — no fuss, no frills.

Now, global rankings is relevant to the firm’s marketing. So someone from the Marketing department emailed me, telling me to make sure that I send them a copy of reports when I upload them. While I’m aware that a lot of emotion is stripped from the written form, there are ways of conveying tone — and the one that I got was condescending and entitled.

Of course, the decision is not of my own — it would be that of my boss. The thing that made me decide over the email’s tone was that she emailed me, and only put my boss in CC. Courtesy demands that you email the boss, then I should be the one in CC.

I didn’t reply to the email and waited. If I didn’t get a reply within half an hour, while I know that my boss is online and available, then I will send him an email first, asking for advice. But within 5 minutes, he sent a simple reply along the lines of: “I am the one in charge, and yes you may have a copy of those reports.”

It might seem insignificant in the grand scale of things, but I felt relieved to know that my boss has my back. He didn’t wait for me to email him, he didn’t figuratively shuffle on his feet, waiting for his name to be put in the “TO” field and tossed the ball into my court. He knows his job, and, while a part of me feels that I’m just romanticizing things in my head, he stood up for me.

It is typically expected of leaders to make sure that their subordinates are in line — my local manager is especially good at that. But in the case of adversity and client discontent, a leader is expected to strike a balance between “disciplining” their subordinate, and standing up for them so as not to humiliate them.

I have many reasons to be happy with my current company — besides, April 25 marked my third year, and I’m still excited for how I will grow here. I also have reasons to rage (Plurk has become very familiar with that — maybe I’ll make a post collecting those horror stories), but the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. This little episode of my boss standing up for me further tipped the scale to the favorable side, and as an employee, that means a lot to me.


About Cielo

I am a paper-pusher by day, a log by night, an aspiring singer-dancer and a wannabe artist in-between. I am also a Professional Space Cadet.
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