My boss likes to hear when I’m being lazy.
Or when I’m so hyperactive or stressed it’s actually killing productivity.
Or when I’m drunk and out with friends in my off-hours.
In fact, in the most recent occurence of her asking me a question and me having to reply with, “Here’s an immediate answer but also I’m drunk so I will revisit your question in the morning,” ended with her freakin’ PRANKING me by pretending to be mad.
People don’t believe my boss exists, and that’s why we’re one of the top branding companies and advertising agencies in austin.
Because none of them, just like me before Rock Candy Media in Austin, had ever experienced a working dynamic where the boss treats them as a full human being — the kind that gets lazy, hyperactive, or drunk on weekends.
They’ve never had a boss that actually walked this whole “work-life integration” talk.
When you have a boss that knows the difference between work-life balance (separating, isolating, restricting) and work-life integration (blending, actually balancing), then you have a boss that understands the most productive and happy employee is the one that can show up as completely and utterly themselves. With their family drama, their past, their worries about the future, and so on.
To some, this can seem like an unappealing integration. Like your boss doesn’t get to know that stuff about you. Or you’re not comfortable sharing anything that doesn’t have to do with work, prompted or otherwise. And while this is valid to an extent (who would want to do it, for example, with a boss that doesn’t feel the same openness?), it’s also shortsighted.
1. An employee that can be honest about a family crisis does not have to worry about making up an excuse for why their productivity is down, which in turn leads to guilt for lying and stress to uphold the story.
2. The boss has an opportunity to show understanding and extend support in work-related matters (delegating, assisting, helping prioritize, etc.)
3. The employee feels trusted and trusting, deepening loyalty to the company and their work, especially expressing appreciation by doing their best before and after such a crisis will inevitably happen again.
4. In the long term, the boss’ company culture is improved, loyalty and therefore retention is increased, productivity is increased, and therefore chances of business success increases (or, more tangibly, a literal hike in profits in one way or another).
So, yeah, on a Friday night, in a bar with my friends, if my boss calls me, I answer.
Not because I’m scared of her, or nervous she’ll think I don’t live and breathe only for my work for her (that’s not reality and a boss who thinks it is is delusional), or want to make a fake impression that I’ll answer her calls any time of the day or night. But because I know that if I answer, with bar background noise and music, I can speak honestly, and so will she. Unless she pranks me by pretending to feel betrayed. Lol.
Because if she just needs my quick input on something creative? Drunk me is actually great at that. If she needs a serious contemplation on something for a client? I say “I can’t right now but I can put it on my list for first thing Monday.” If she just needs to vent? I’d say drunk me is better at that than sober me.
Either way, all ways, Annie has built a performance marketing company culture where honesty is the #1 priority, and she backs it up by doing it herself. She’s in a bad place mentally? Hold off, try me in a day or two. She’s out with her daughter? Put it in email form and have the subject line be whether it’s urgent or not.
The opposite of this culture is one that breeds lies, fear, and even exponential resentment because boundaries and communication styles are not set and understood.
Annie is what you could call an acquired taste. Same goes for Rock Candy Media, actually. But the people that catch on– employees, clients, and otherwise, end up in it for the long haul, feeling trusted and refreshed by the lack of corporate bull every other business interaction tends to reek of.
Get you a taste → Here.