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Sometimes telling off the boss is a good thing

I should preface this piece by saying that I have only told off two of my employers in my 10-year history of working … wait, that’s actually three times although I don’t think the first time really counts because I got all teary while doing it. While I feel like I have a strong personality, I still realize that there are certain people who a) sign my paycheck and that there are certain situations where you b) you have to pick your battles. If I got cocky and insolent every time I felt like a boss was waving a red flag in my face, I’d be a real pill to employ. I have a spine, I like to flex it every once in awhile but deep down I’m a worker bee who has a job to do and does it better when no one is bothering me because I’m a troublesome employee.

However, the Daily Beast featured a blog piece today about a situation where it has been profitable for a few individuals to tell their boss off and by “individuals” I’m talking about the late night dramedy between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. For the record, I am totally Team O’Brien, but I’m embarrassed for both men who are hard workers and good comedians.

One of the things I’ve learned from this debacle? Know your worth and stick to your guns when it is time to flex your spine. It would be so easy (never mind the money) for Mr. O’Brien to just have said “sure, NBC peeps, I will take the “Tonight Show” and go quietly into the 12:05 spot.” But O’Brien knows that he’s better than that. He also knows that it’s going to hurt the “Late Night” franchise with Jimmy Fallon (never mind what it would do to Carson Daly – husband is rolling his eyes. “For what that’s worth,” he said).

Sure – there are more important things going on in this world (Haiti anyone?), but it’s interesting to predict what the ending will be and when I see how Leno’s and O’Brien’s ratings have boosted over the past week, it’s interesting to see how telling your boss off can be profitable.

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