1. Sometimes I HAVE to be your manager.
Even if we are friends in or outside of work. I'm sorry, but we both get paid to be here and it's our responsibility to do what we are being paid to do. My job here is to watch over you and make sure the jobs get done. So sure, sometimes we will have downtime and we can gossip and play around, but there are going to be times where I HAVE to tell you what to do and demand that you do it. It's not personal, so please don't take it that way.
2. When things go wrong, I get in trouble, not you.
That cash handling issue, where all that money went missing on my shift? I'm the one who takes the fall if we can't figure out where it went. The times when MY boss comes in and wonders why work wasn't done? I get blamed for it because I should have managed the team better. While you may be a great worker, you are only one member of the team, that I may or may not have held accountable for tasks. The point here is that when we're falling behind and you're texting and refusing to help pick up the slack, that probably wasn't even because of us, it hurts me.
3. I can't play favorites, even if we are close.
We've all done it, Went to work and made some friends. Some friends, closer than others. So how do you work with these friends without "making them your favorite employee"? Sometimes this can go in both directions; where people could give their favorites more work because they trust them to want to help out and do more. But also, it could look like because the manager favorites this person and lets them get away without doing anything. Is either fair? Not at all. With my employees, we are a very tight-knit group. From the day I started working there everybody was friends, and they all hung out and immediately took me in. And somehow, it seems that the staff is ever changing, but does the same. So I will draw the line. I will get mad when you're slacking and try to help you get back into it. I will tell somebody else to pick up the pace if I see them doing a lot less. Most times, I let the employees divide up work so they are all comfortable. No favoritism here.
4. I am rooting for you. And I am rooting for you hard.
Many times, my boss pulls me aside to ask how the employees are doing. Or other times, he's concerned with an employee and wants an opinion when he wasn't around to see it. I route for you guys. Almost every single one of you. Obviously, none of us are perfect. But every employee has an area of work that they excel in. And I will always be the one to help that shine when upper management may not be able to see it. You're all rockstars, and I am very thankful to have a good staff because I know what it's like to have a bad one.
5. Despite all of this, it is our job. But I do want you to enjoy it.
There is nothing worse than coming to work and hating being there. We are stuck there for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. How can you hate it? So although I am going to enforce that you do your work, I want you to have fun. I want you to be happy and to know you are in a safe place. We will find down time, and we will have meaningful conversations. And maybe, you won't hate having to close with me on that Friday night when your friends are all going out so much. Maybe I won't be the manager that just yells at you all night. Because I will respect you. And I will care.