A call to ‘arms’

Tomorrow is ‘Hug Your Boss’ Day. If you think hugging him/her is worth the risk, we take a look at different ‘boss’ types and what the pros and cons of extending those friendly arms could be...

By David Light

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Published: Thu 21 Aug 2008, 10:55 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:51 PM

AS NATIONAL Hug Your Boss Day looms ever nearer in Britain (August 22 for all those not clued in) City Times decided to take up the cause here in the UAE to promote a harmonious working environment and just a little bit of awkwardness to keep the office gossips busy in premium chat for weeks.

The hug is an undervalued medium of greeting.

Whilst gaining popularity in recent years with the characters in Friends grasping at each other at the drop of a hat, in the workplace it is often never seen. “For very good reason,”

I hear you cry. True, it may not be very professional and being approached by certain individuals would just be creepy but as a tool for breaking down social barriers it is second to none.

Hug someone and assuming they do not turn on the Kung Fu in a grave act of misunderstanding they cannot help but smile, possibly accompanied by a look of bemusement but definitely a smile.

Now the tricky part, it is all well and good marching up to co-workers and giving them a quick squeeze, but your boss? Your boss is a strange creature. In a roundabout way they control your life. They decide how much time you have to spend away from home, what you do when you are away from home and most importantly how much reward you get to take home. No matter how good your relationship is with your manager there is always going to be some degree of formality.

Nevertheless ladies and gentlemen this is hug your boss day and hug our bosses we shall... if you dare.

For your benefit we have compiled an essential guide for you to complete your mission successfully.

Boss Type: David Brent, The Office, irritating boss

Characteristics: Wants to be “a friend first, a boss second and probably an entertainer third.”

The Brent loves attention wherever he can find it. He tells far too many bad jokes but laugh along politely and you will get away with murder. More interested with being popular than running a successful business, Brent is a prime candidate for a hug anytime. He will be a willing recipient of one, unfortunately perhaps a little too willing.

Setbacks: He will probably think of you as his best mate as soon as you let go and the bad jokes and heart to hearts will increase ten-fold. There’s only so much polite laughter one can give without going insane. Kiss goodbye to that line that divides home and the workplace, he’ll be on the phone all the time.

Advantages: Like the teacher in school you used to distract away from the fact you had not done your homework by feigning interest in his passion for stamp collecting you will get away with turning up late, not doing anything and generally messing about secure in the knowledge that you will never get fired. You may even get that promotion, but would you like to explain to your wife/husband how it came about?

Hug rating: 2/10 Like carrying around a loaded gun, handle with extreme care.

You will not get rebuffed but you may get more than you bargained for.

Boss Type: Daniel Cleaver, Bridget Jones’ Diary, unscrupulous boss

Characteristics: One for the ladies, this office heartthrob will have women queuing round the corner to have a quick feel. He is a dastardly rogue who will make everyone he meets feel special until he moves on to his next victim. Again up for a hug any time but the offer would only really be exclusive to females.

Disadvantages: If you take his fancy it’s the end of life as you know it for a week.

Single or married there’s no stopping him so maybe best not give him the opportunity. If you are male he will most likely fire you.

Advantages: You get to hug a good-looking bloke, if you’re into that type of thing.

Hug Rating: Female 6/10 Male 1/10 Depends what you’re into. You will definitely get more than you bargained for.

Boss Type: Tony Soprano, The Sopranos, psychopathic boss

Characteristics: This mentally unstable, all round gangster can be your best friend one minute and burying you the next.

Prone to violent outbursts if he doesn’t get his own way, he thinks he is divine.

Disadvantages: Ladies will put the feminist movement back fifty years and open themselves up to being called ‘sweetheart’ and have their bottom pinched at every opportunity. Men will find themselves with a nice new pair of concrete boots.

Advantages: Ladies will be in his good books. Men, there just aren’t any.

Hug Rating: Ladies 3/10 Men 0/10. Lads if you’re short on sleep do this and you will be taking a permanent nap. Ladies, you’ll get away with it but you know gangsters, they are all about respect. Kiss goodbye to that.

Boss Type: Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada, aloof boss

Characteristics: Again a bit of a looker, get in quick because the Miranda will have a long line of willing participants outside her door. Quick witted and snide, the Miranda will eat you up and spit you out so watch out.

Disadvantages: She may like you a bit more but then analyse why you’re doing it and fire you for being conniving. She will never reveal her true emotions so don’t expect anything in return.

Advantages: There’s always an advantage to hugging a powerful woman.

Hug Rating: 4/10. Good chance it will never be spoken of again but equally good chance the boys will show you the door.

Boss Type: Bruce Springsteen AKA The Boss

Characteristics: This rock legend has seen it all.

Adored by millions he tours the world with a smile on his face and a song in his heart.

Disadvantages: None. He’s hugged adoring fans for generations. Is used to it from everyone.

Advantages: You can tell everyone you hugged Bruce Springsteen.

Hug Rating: 10/10 Consequence free, he is the only boss you can hug with ease.

So act with caution. If your boss falls into one of these categories (unless your boss is Bruce Springsteen in which case lucky you) you may want to steer clear of them. But in any case give it a go, who knows what might happen....gulp.


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