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Shay loves her bosses. How about you?

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You can meet the neatest people and hear the best stories in the most unexpected places sometimes.

Take last Saturday, for example. My wife and I decided to go to Famous Dave's for dinner before heading to a movie and by pure chance were seated at a table being served by a waitress named Shay. (At least that's what her nametag said. I later learned it was a nickname.)

Shay immediately made us laugh, made us feel comfortable and treated us like old friends. She joked and traded barbs with us without ever making us feel we'd been insulted. Even when she correctly guessed I am a sloppy eater and brought, without being asked to, a bib for me I felt special, somehow. Then when she took it upon herself to attach that bib to me, I felt pampered.

I don't know how long Shay has been waitressing but she said "you're welcome" instead of "no problem," as much of the younger generation does, and she has the stuff that makes her customers want to chat her up and tip her big.

But what stood out even more to me was her overall attitude. It was tremendous, especially when she told us of her bosses, Steve Shaw and Ron Helms of Mercedes Restaurants. Usually when we eat at Famous Dave's one of them is there and we chat, so I asked Shay if either was there that night.

Neither was but there was something in the way she said it that bespoke of a certain admiration. So I asked if they were good bosses and she virtually gushed. She told us about an illness suffered by her sister who had to have major surgery in St. Louis and how she needed to be away from work longer than expected. She didn't know how Shaw and Helms would react when she requested additional time and feared it could cost her the job.

Instead, they told her to take as much time as she needed, that family was more important, and asked what else they could do. "They are absolutely the best," she said.

Now Shay did not know who I was when we walked in there. She didn't know I was on good terms with her bosses or that I write a column. But it was so refreshing to find somebody who likes and appreciates and respects her bosses, especially these days when it seems a lot of people hates their jobs and/or dislike their bosses – an era that brought us the film "Horrible Bosses."

There are good bosses out there. Are they the exception? I happen to think I have one and I'm not just sucking up. Julie is an upbeat person with a positive attitude about most things and that has rubbed off on me, at least a little. She doesn't micromanage but seems to keep abreast of what is happening here and lets me do my job.

We would like to hear from other people who like their bosses. Tell us what makes him, her or them a good boss. Whether you use names is up to you and you don't have to go into great detail. But those are the kinds of stories we like to hear.

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Paul Gordon is editor of The Peorian. He can be contacted at 692-7880 or at


About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).