Please Sir, Don’t Be A Good Boss- Wrote The Payroll Manager To His CEO!

Dear sir,

Thanks for being a good boss all these years, but no more.

I have been your payroll manager for many years. 12 years to be precise.
Now I wish to go.

As I am writing this, I can imagine you calling me in your cabin and wanting to yell at me. I know you won’t yell at me, being clever enough to know when to keep your voice under control. You are so good at managing people, understanding their pains and limitations. That’s why I am here at your company for the last 12 years.

I know what you will do…

You will look at me with those wide, victim eyes and ask–you too!

And then when I nod my head in agreement you will ask me to sit in the new leather chair across your table. The chair meant not for us but the clients. And the investors.

And then…In the softest of your voices, you will ask me if everything is fine at home. You will enquire about my daughter’s college admission, my son’s football club activities.

Your concerns are genuine. You want all your employees to do well. That’s what kept me here for the last 12 years. You have been good in many ways!

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I still remember the days when we used to collate data from different registers and manually update things. And you sat with us through the night. So nice of you, sir.

And then, the business grew, you hired some senior sales people at fat salaries. And we grew even more. I still remember the day when you called me in your room and announced–we are going for a desktop payroll system.

That made my life simple. But in these past 8 years, the world has changed. I know you have also changed a lot. Earlier you scoffed when my payroll team ordered pizzas. Now you approve that, at least for some days of the month.

Then why am I writing this to you?

Here is why…

The business has grown from 50 people to 500. You don’t sit with us through the night, but you still call me Sharma Ji. From time to time you have updated the computers and their capacity. Your new consultant suggested training and development for the employees and you arranged for us, the payroll people, a trainer to teach us how to use Excel sheets better.

Another good thing that you do, which other employees are often jealous of, is you give us a compensatory off for the overtime that we do for generating the payroll. And in our month end meetings you often praised us for doing a heroic task.

Again I would say, so nice of you sir. But not any more.

Because the world has changed, and we don’t need those niceties. We don’t want a compensatory off sweating for the work which could be done just with a single click!

We don’t want to be heroic, and keep on compiling and merging those Excel sheets when cloud software can do it for us with no effort. In fact, it doesn’t need us to work with those Excel sheets in the first place.

We don’t want those–what other employees see as–late night pizza parties. We call for pizza because there is no time to eat our lunch during ‘those seven days.’

And, I don’t want to beg and whimper in front of the regulatory inspectors because the latest compliance isn’t updated in the desktop payroll program. Those compliances are inbuilt and updated regularly in the best online payroll software.

Sir, I don’t want your appreciation!


Appreciation that you shower on us for staying late at work, sometimes working on Sundays, correcting and checking the manual entries. And I can do without those tiffs with your CA pointing out the inaccuracies that creep in the salaries in spite of our best efforts.

I don’t want you to take my side in these instances. Because those inaccuracies can be avoided with effective and affordable payroll automation solutions. Which you didn’t opt for even after my continuous requests.

Your reasoning is…a desktop software is good enough. When a virus attacks–backups can be retrieved, when people don’t mark their attendance–it can be entered manually, when the Excel sheet data is garbled–it can be cleaned again.

At what cost? My kids waiting for me and going to sleep? My rising BP reading because the employees don’t register their attendance and then fight with me over minor things?

Sir, you have been nice all these years. But being nice isn’t enough. You must care for us. Help the team by upgrading to the latest technology. I have seen the demos of cloud based online solutions. So easy. Payroll isn’t a challenge for them. And…

I am offered a job as a senior payroll manager. By a company that believes in automation and runs one of the best payroll software on the cloud. Go and see the website of the payroll software I am going to use:

Don’t call me in your room to offer a better remuneration. I am not going to change my mind. It’s not just about money, it is about better work culture, and futuristic business practices. If you wish to change something, change your mindset and help my colleagues who are still here.

Thanks for all the nice things over the years. Hope your daughter is doing well and son is excelling at studies. Pranam to madam.

Your well-wisher forever,

The Ex-Payroll Manager

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