[EepyBird's Sticky Note experiment. Credit to Urban Bohemian for spotlighting this gem.]
The first boss--of seven and counting*--I had in my current organization was the kind of person who left multiple stickies on your door, a voice-mail message, and an e-mail for you, all on the same topic and all before 7 A.M. Then he'd catch you in the hall before you got to any of these things in order to talk to you about the topic that was burning a hole in his brain.
It was different, to say the least.
This is the same boss I had this conversation with:
Me: I feel like I've got way too much on my plate for the next few weeks and I need your help to know what the top priorities are.
Me, showing list: Okay, here's all the things I'm working on. Which one would you say is priority A, which is priority B, ...
Boss, scanning list of over a dozen things: They're all priority A.
Me: *blink* Let's start over...
Despite this kind of stuff, he turned out to be one of the better bosses I've had.
Long before the priority conversation, after only a few months on the job, I went to Boss and knocked on his door.
Boss: Hi, LA. What's up?
Me: I just wanted to thank you. You and [coworkers names] have been really great. I feel like my transition into this organization has been pretty easy because you've taken the time to really help me understand what I need to know and not that many people would do that. I know you're my boss and that's technically your job but I've been other places where that didn't really happen. You've clearly taken a lot of time to show me how things work around here and I just wanted to say that I appreciate it. A lot. ...So, thank you.
Boss, looking horrified: Oh my god, are you leaving?
Apparently, the only time Boss got a thank you was when people were on their way out the door. Sad, no?
So let me say first, I have no plans to leave.**
Second, thank you! Thanks for taking the time to listen to my rambling stories and to help me understand what I need to know. You've been swell.
That's all. Carry on. Oh, and you can disregard the four stickies I left on your door.
* I will outlast them all! *insert evil genius laugh here* followed by *sigh of depressed realization here*
** Doesn't mean I won't get booted. Say La Vee.***
*** Go on. Say it. You know you want to.