Today is National Boss Day, so I guess I should pay some sort of tribute to my boss. Only problem is, I don't know much about him. All I know is that when I send in my column, he usually replies with "Thank you, Susan."
Not like Mr. Pisano, my first boss. He was really old school and constantly criticized all my dumb ideas. In 1972, when I had my kids conduct their own Olympics, they had to measure distances, use a stopwatch, compute speed, rank and compare scores, and use all kinds of real-life math skills. Mr. Pisano advised me of how many more math problems the kids could do if I would just give them worksheets.
Later that year, the kids got this brainstorm that they wanted to perform a musical based on Sesame Street. I let their imaginations fly. In the back of the room, after they finished their daily assignments, they worked on transforming a refrigerator box into a yellow submarine and constructing a Big Bird costume out of shredded sheets.
One day, Mr. Pisano stormed into my room. He said the art teacher had a student teacher and he didn't want to be embarrassed by having her see my mess. I assured him we'd have it cleaned up as soon as we could.
The following week when we performed our play, one of the mothers brought a friend who worked at the local television station. A few days later she called to ask if I could bring my kids to the station so they could film their play for broadcasting.
When I asked Mr. Pisano, he said he couldn't think of a bigger waste of time. But since word had already traveled through the parents' grapevine about our big chance to be TV stars, he reluctantly said yes.
Mr. Pisano never said a word to me about it, but the school secretary, who happened to like me, told me that county administrators had called to commend Mr. Pisano for making our school system look so good.
Actually, he never spoke to me until early April when he entered my room with a magazine tucked under his arm. He opened it up to an Earth Day article that suggested having the kids gather up all the school yard trash in clear plastic bags and display them in the front yard.
"This is the dumbest thing I ever read," he said, "but it looks like something you would do, so if you want to do it, you have my blessing."
I never actually did that activity because I already had enough dumb ideas of my own planned. But after recovering from my shock, I did say "Thank you."
In my years of writing, I suppose there might have been a time when Daily Post editor Todd Cline opened my column and thought, "This is the dumbest thing I ever read." But he never said so. He lets me do my thing and emails back with "Thank you, Susan."
How totally boss.
Susan Larson is a writer who lives in Lilburn. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.