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The nicest thing your boss has ever done

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It’s easy to nit-pick negative traits and stories about your boss, but what about the good employers? The ones who go the extra mile for their staff?

Thanks to a thread on Reddit, we came across stories of some of the best bosses we have ever heard of.

Ranging from the simple and sweet to the tear-jerking (enough to wish you worked with them) these stories remind us that sometimes, all it takes it a heartfelt gesture from the boss to make an employee’s day – or life.

Here are some of our favourites. For more warm fuzzies, click here.

The boss we all wish for

“I’ve worked all of 5 days for him, he hired me to be the GM of one of his small stores. Bummed a smoke off him and went outside to call my wife. We were stressing because we have no savings after moving from Alaska to Cali, payday isn’t till the 25th, and my 6mo daughter needed formula.

“Apparently he had come out to smoke with me and over heard the problem, I needed gas to get to work but she needed formula and we had money for neither. Boss didn’t say anything, but later in the day he asked to borrow the truck I’m driving for a delivery since his wife had theirs. Told him I didn’t have any gas he said he’d put in what he used.

“When he brought the truck back there were 5 of the large containers of formula on the back seat, a full tank of gas, and $500 on the center console. He told me to consider it a hiring bonus and if it wasn’t enough just tell him and he’ll take care of it and that as long as I worked for him he that offer stands. First time working for a small privately owned company (only like 10 employees) and I absolutely am floored by this.”

The boss who advocates work-life balance

“Moved to new office and was called into the office by boss and was told the following. 1. Don’t ever be on time. Get here whenever is good for you. 2. If you need to take a day off just tell me so I can cover for you. 3. If you have personal errands to do like a doctor’s appointment or grocery shopping or whatever do it on our time. 4. Take a nice long lunch.

“I thought he was joking till I saw nobody was coming in at 7am. And when they did get there they would go to breakfast then lunch. Everyone would do whatever they needed to do. Somehow we still got work done and morale was so high.”

The boss who walked the talk

“My boss buys us lunch once a week, and pays for happy hour once a month. The only thing she asks in return is that no employee squabbles make it to her desk or to HR. The one problem in 3 years that made it to her, both employees were fired for being childish. They were told to reapply when they grew up and could work on a team like a mature adult.”

The boss who appreciates a good wedding

“When my sister got married, her and her husband didn’t exactly have much money. They didn’t have anything awesome planned for their honeymoon. His boss heard him discussing cheap options with a coworker and pulled him aside.

“His boss was like ‘Hey, you only get married for the first time once. I’ve got a house in Hawaii, the company is paying for your tickets, you’re going there for a week. Shut up and let me get the keys’.”

The boss with a heart of gold

“I just started a new job and my wife was due with our first daughter in 3 months. Well, my daughter came about 1.5 months early and due to several medical problems on top of being premature ended up being helicoptered to the NICU in a city about 3 hrs away. Because I was so new, I couldn’t use any vacation time and I had only earned around 2.5 days of sick leave.

“I was an emotional wreck to say the least when I called my boss and told him the situation. I somehow tried to convince him that I would just drive to and from the NICU 3 hrs each way to work every day so I could be with my daughter after I used up my sick time. He said, “f*** that”, marched down to HR and told them to take all the sick leave that I was going to need and donate it from his account so I could be with my daughter. It ended up being 2 weeks and I’ll respect that guy for the rest of my life. Best boss ever.”

The boss who gives very sound advice

“A few weeks ago, my boss called me up to his office and said, ‘Just wanted you to know, I heard you’re kicking ass on your project. You’re getting pulled from that one and I’m shifting you to a place where they need someone stronger. You’ll have three people working under your supervision.’

“I was extremely flattered– I thanked him and told him that I appreciated the faith he placed in me. He smiled and said, “Wow… you aren’t even going to ask, are you? This is coming with a bump in pay as well. Never accept an increase in responsibility without an equal increase in pay– if anyone ever does that to you, they’re blowing smoke up your ass so that you’ll do more work for free’.”

The boss who understood less is more

“Didn’t get an iPad or a gym membership or a big bonus, but one year I was pretty strapped for cash right before the holidays and was working through some debts and my boss lent me 500 bucks out of his own pocket and just said to pay him back whenever I could.”

The boss who played Santa

“My boss knew that a coworker, Imari, was poor. She had just gotten the job and had not yet gotten ‘back up on her feet’. She had also just moved and had no furniture, besides beds and a rubbish loveseat.

“Last Christmas, she organised a secret santa, and chose Imari. She and I found a sofa, nice loveseat, and chaise lounge off craigslist, she bought it for $600, and we picked it up and put in on her porch at 2am.

“We sped across the car park and killed the lights. We blocked our number and called her restricted. ‘Look on the porch’. Click. She walked out in her robe and immediately began crying tears of joy.”

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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