Suppressing your gag reflex while writing something benignly pleasant on your boss’s “Happy Boss’s Day” card isn’t easy, but at least it’s only a once-a-year ruse. Any of these comments sound familiar to you?

Dear Boss,
It’s your special day! Boss’s Day… a day dedicated to All Things You, which isn’t really different from every other day around here where everything revolves around you, but whatever. Today’s the day you get a card that proves you’re the center of the universe!

thanks for trusting I could handle all that work this summer that you didn’t want to do since it got in the way of your golf game. My kids missed me on their vacation but I sure got a lot of experience doing both my work and yours. Hope it pays off when I get your job!

Hey Boss!
When you leave early tonight for the swanky client dinner (while we’re here toiling on the Pensky file for the ninth night in a row), we’ll raise our water bottles to you in light of this auspicious occasion. Thanks for all the support. Cheers!

I owe you so much because if I didn’t have you as a leader, it wouldn’t have become so crystal clear to me what not to do as a boss. Now that I’m a manager, I’m better prepared by doing pretty much the opposite of whatever you’d do. Heaps of thanks!

Hello Boss,
I know you won’t know who this is because even though we’ve worked together for almost four years, you still don’t use my name or know anything about me outside of my cubicle… so this is kind of a two-for-one “surprise!” and “Happy Boss’s Day” card. Bonus!

I must begin this greeting by apologizing for not getting that big PowerPoint deck done by 7 a.m. today; I was working on the emergency budget re-forecasting assignment you gave to me on Tuesday, and since I was still finishing the urgent cost-benefit analysis project you gave me yesterday at 4 p.m., I didn’t know when to fit it in. I hope you understand. Actually, I know you won’t, so I’ll just do us both a favor and resign. I don’t want to trouble you by having to fire me on Boss’s Day. Happy Boss’s Day!

Dear Boss,
Maybe you could leave early tonight to celebrate Boss’s Day with your family? Remember them? Your spouse and two kids? You have an alarmingly outdated picture of them on your desk? Yeah, they probably don’t remember you either.

I guess because you’re busy today (with all the cards and cake and stuff) you won’t be making our regularly scheduled one-on-one meeting, again. Maybe when the celebration dies down we can meet for the first time this year. So excited!

Hey Boss,
I see you got a pat on the back from the CEO for that idea I came up with last week. That must have felt really good for you. Maybe one day you can tell me what that feels like. Happy Boss’s Day!

Given the jovial mood in the air today, what with it being Boss’s Day, maybe you’ll remember to approve my compensation increase that’s been sitting in your inbox? I know you’re busy but we did talk about it three weeks ago and all. Happy festive day to you!

Hi Boss,
Wow, I’m really glad I’m here to be able to sign this card – something I wouldn’t have been able to do if you’d let me work from home this morning to meet the plumber for that urgent service call. Having a flexible workplace just doesn’t work when cards need signing. This worked out so well for you!

If you’re signing a card for a boss this year, you might want to seek more appropriate inspiration for what to write elsewhere, unless you’re looking to get fired. If you’re receiving a card this year, consider clueing into the missteps behind the comments above. Be the boss that people don’t dread saying “Happy Boss’s Day” to.

Jodi Wellman

Jodi is a co-founder of Happy Work Spectacular Life, loves red Skittles (maybe too much) and finally got a Happy Spectacular logo tattoo.