Thursday, October 13, 2011

Watching them Occupy Wall Street I remember…

“You shouldn’t work for other people,” my father did tell me. “Always work for yourself. When you work for other people, you got to put up with all kinda t’ings. And you only filling their pocket.”

I been younger then, so, of course, I did know more than he.  I been working in The Island, full o’ experience and stories about handling prima donna camera crews, about travels to expensive places and interviewing important men.  When I take holiday-leave, I always come back home.  And somehow, me and my father used to talk about business.

“That’s not true y’know, daddy,” I say. “Working for other people can give you good experience, you can learn a lot.  Besides, you ain’t doing anybody a favour, you getting paid for your skills.”

He insist on being right, and though I didn’t agree I quell meself; don’t remember how or why, maybe we did both agree to disagree.

Over the years, I hear he life story.  He was a country-boy learning a trade from a man who take them village boys’ labour for almost free.  

The meaning of he experience finally mesh itself with mine many pay-cheques later. 
Back-stabbers in The Island offices did completely shred the rosy film from me eyes. 

Through we eyes now, and through the eyes of plenty people in me homeland, I can feel, I can see, how right my father was. 

But for all that, I know that I too was right.  Plenty people don’t have the discipline or the budgeting ability, or maybe the imagination, to create jobs for themselves. Working for others, people can learn all kinda skills. Then, maybe, they can take this home to develop their own business.

This get me wondering though...if we start we very own business, and want to get bigger and better, and need to employ staff, what kinda boss we would be? 


john.g. said...

Where's The Island? And you'd be a good boss!

Mr. Nighttime said...

How a person could act as a boss is shaped early in their working life. It's also a product of their own personality. I was very fortunate that when I worked at my hospital in Brooklyn, I had two bosses that were actual leaders. Calling them simply a "boss" would be something of an insult. They taught me how people needed to be treated, and how that leads to loyalty, amongst other things, including trust.

They both were the type that would lead by example, not afraid to get their hands dirty, and ready to stand by their people unequivocally - unless of course, their people gave them good reason not to stand by them.

My one one boss, the department head that I would eventually take over for, would go to the wall for his people. He demonstrated that time and time again. Of course, if that trust were betrayed, he'd nail you to that same wall, and rightfully so. It was something that I continued to do during my tenure as Director of Emergency Medical Services.

Treat people like human beings, kindly and fairly, but don't let them walk all over you either. Lead by example, and show your pride in their work. After all, when they do well, it makes you look good. It's all very simple but it's amazing how so few bosses really get those concepts, a prime example being where I currently work.

Which is why I'm revisiting building up my own freelance writing business...

kwesi said...

I'm with Mr. Nighttime on this. He said all I wanted to say. Just dropping in to say hi. Haven't forgotten you.

Daddy Papersurfer said...

Luckily I'm very good at being told what to do ...

Guyana-Gyal said...

DaddyP, haha, I wonder *who* the boss is in your home :-D

Kwesi, HI. Every now and then you pass through my mind, I hope life's treating you and Mrs. Kwesi.
What Mr. N. says should be used in all offices / text-books.

Mr. N, I would love to copy what you've said here and send it to every single boss around the world!
I hope your free-lance writing takes off. You've had some darn good experiences that you can use in your writing.

JohnG, The Island is *somewhere in the Caribbean*. heh.
Do you really think I'd make a good boss?
I wonder why you're being so nice to me today and not teasing! :-) x x

Nelson said...

Hello! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I'm at
Thanks for sharing!

CG said...

I have a good boss. She is always smiling and happy. Very fastidious about her surroundings. Everything has to be very clean and cheerful so her clients feel very relax and comfortable and ready for a great yoga class. Yes I am very proud of her and her achievements. I do get her flowers sometimes which she proudly displays in her studio.
She is me and I am so happy to have my own studio. I won't give it up to work for anyone.

Pat said...

I agree with John: you would be a good boss.
I don't regret the years of nursing - it instilled a self discipline which I still have. Modelling was useful for preparing oneself for going it alone - with just an agent reining one in occasionally.
I loved having my own business and building it from nothing but as the business develops and you have more staff you don't switch off when the shop is closed. If things are going well all is hunky dory but when there are staff problems or Trouble fro m rivals there are a few sleepless nights.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Pat. I used to 'sweet-talk' the crew into doing what I worked
I thought of you and your business while writing this. I hope you put more in your book. 'Trouble from rivals' sounds interesting, ooooh.

CG, I love the way you led up to the fact that you're your own boss. You're one of those Guyanese women who do us all proud! Do you have a website? I get the feeling you don't want to be in the limelight though.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hello Nelson, vem vindo...welcome [my Portuguese is so rusty] e obrigada...thank you.

blackgirlsurvival said...

Your Dad was right and I am sure you would be a fair boss becaue you know what it means to work for someone and value fairness.

cadiz12 said...

my first boss was amazing. we worked hard so she'd be proud of us. i can only hope to be half as good.

Jihan said...

If I had the money I would open my own business too. I think you would be a kool boss..

Guyana-Gyal said...

Jihan, what business would you have? Sometimes, you don't even need $$ to work for yourself.
Private tutoring doesn't need one spare $, phewww.

Cadiz, you're so lucky. My first boss was weird. The others were faily okay, another was a real meeeeean witch. My boss in advertising was real cool though. It's the personnel manager who was horrible, not to me, but to others.

Blackgirlsurvival, welcome to Guyana. I'm fortunate in that I don't need to employ anyone...private tutoring. Not so long ago, I did some freelance writing. It's great to NOT have to employ anyone!

- Yvonaut -
Das sind Raphael und Yvonne

Very clever man your dad..
In Switzerland even bosses do not work for themselves.. they all work for their shareholders and so on. This is what they tell us, when we ask for more salary or a free day..
However, thanks for visiting and commenting our blog that kindly!
Greetings from Switzerland

Rosaliene Bacchus said...

I've had some good and bad bosses over the years. We are not all meant to be entrepreneurs.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Rosaliene, exactly :-) That's why I say 'maybe'.

Raphael & Yvonne, mm-hm, yes, in the end, we all work for someone...when I tutor, I'm working for those I teach.
I enjoy your animal tales / photos by the way.

Kim Ayres said...

I've been my own boss for over 14 years, and talking with other self employed people I know, we're all agreed that we are now completely unemployable - we could never comfortably work for someone else again - we are too used to being the decision maker and would baulk at others making decisions for us which we would have to carry out whether we agreed with them or not.

I've never employed anyone though, so I have no idea what it would be like to be a boss.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Kim, I think I'm unemployable too, I can't imagine going to an office every day, oh choke, suffocate. I don't want to employ anyone either. I want to go back to writing for a living [rather than tutoring].

Kim Ayres said...

I thought I wanted to be a writer. In fact I wanted it so much I sold my web design business and moved to a different area.

Looking back now, I realise the great appeal of being a writer was that it wasn't being a web designer.

What I understand now is I'm a people person. I need to interact and connect with people frequently - which my portrait photography allows me to do. But writing is one of the most solitary practices about.

Blogs are different - you can write something and get a response within hours. But writing a book takes months or years. Then finding an agent or publisher can take months or years. The getting it printed can take months or years. So by the time you find out whether people like what you've written, you've grown older and become a different person to the one who wrote the book.

However, if everyone felt as I do, there would be no books written, so ignore me and write if that is your heart's desire :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Kim, here's the thing that writers know...we don't only write books...we don't have to write books to be writers. We'd write anything because we get to play with words.

I've been a writer all my life, getting paid in another place...I've written for tv, I've written ad campaigns, I've freelanced for newspapers.
A former co-worker, another writer, used to write shows that worked with under-privileged children, a sort of Broadway type thing, she'd write the songs, the story.

Here, in Guyana, it's not that easy to get seriously PAID for my work...most people don't understand that writing IS a business, they want the material for free!

Writing itself is a solitary act but many writers are very much into people, hanging out, being with, talking to strangers.

I can go on...writing is my passion...