What sort of things do you remember best?
Alice ventured to ask. Oh, things that happened the week after next. First of all, check again. Are you sure his birthday is late January or early February?
Are you absolutely positive your boss is an Aquarian? Uranus-ruled executives are as rare as albino pandas. If you have one for a boss, you can’t very well sell him to a zoo, but consider him a collector’s item, anyway. Someday, he may be extremely valuable.
Seriously, the typical Aquarian would just about prefer starvation to the usual nine to-five office routine. Most Aquarians dislike making decisions, they are uncomfortable giving orders, they have no particular desire to direct others and they’re totally incompatible with stuffy board meetings, let alone stuffy vice presidents. This doesn’t mean Aquarians are not competent bosses. Uranus is full of surprises, and the totally unqualified Aquarian boss who turns out to be absolutely indispensable is one of them.
When an occasional Aquarian wanders into an executive position, burdened by all the above negative qualifications, he simply pulls a couple of new tricks out of his bag. He may be absent-minded and forgetful, eccentric and unpredictable, by turns shy and then bold, but he also has a mind like a bear trap hidden behind those strange, vague eyes and that detached, distant attitude. Add to that a highly tuned, perceptive intuitiveness which makes you think he has a crystal ball tucked in a pocket. Throw in his uncanny ability to analyze, dissect and weigh the facts with insight as keen as a razor blade-and for good measure-his sure instinct in making a warm friend of everyone from the office boy to the firm’s biggest customer. Back it up with the broad, liberal Uranus philosophy which sees miles into tomorrow, and catches the big picture in all its scope while others are floundering over details-and you see what I mean by surprises. Unfitted as the average Aquarian is for an executive role, he tosses off the job as casually as if he had been born to it, which he definitely was not.
There’s the other side of the coin, too. He may possibly refer to you as My secretary, Miss … ah … ah … Miss … uh … what was your name again? He can be maddening when he plans complicated programs behind your back and springs them on you at the last minute. And I’m sure you’ve chafed under his frustrating habit of giving you a completely new and unexpected job to do, blithely neglecting to explain the reason behind the change. But confess now, under it all he really is rather a lovable old dear, isn’t he? Most Aquarians are, once you get used to their peculiar ways, sudden changes and unexpected surprises. Also, I might add, their fixed opinions when they’ve made up their mind.
If I were you, I wouldn’t try to borrow money from an Aquarian boss. If he’s a typical Aquarian, he doesn’t approve of people living beyond their income. Some Aquarians, of course, live in comfortable luxurious surroundings -but most of them are quite capable of living in one shabby room while they spend twenty hours a day promoting better housing for the poor. He won’t be impulsive about giving raises, but then, he won’t be stingy either. You’ll get just about what you deserve with your Aquarian boss. No more and no less. He can be most generous when he thinks someone has done a top job beyond the call of duty. Make no mistake. He’ll expect your best-your very best. Anything less brings the danger of being politely and kindly, but firmly dropped. Kerplunk-like that. An Aquarian has no use for people who goof off or give half a day’s work for a full day’s pay. To him, that’s a form of dishonesty, and he hates dishonesty in approximately the same degree that a cat hates the water.
When it comes to your personal life, the Aquarian boss hasn’t the slightest desire either to judge you or advise you. He does have a desire to know about it, however, and you may find it hard to escape that probing Uranus curiosity when it comes to your private affairs. But you can tell him anything at all without worrying that he’ll be shocked. Nothing shocks him. He’s the best student of human nature in the zodiac, and he’ll never look down on you (anymore than he’ll look up to you). Both your vices and your virtues blend into an interesting and colorful pattern, as far as he’s concerned. He takes it all in stride, and it doesn’t make a ripple in his opinion of you. The town drunk and the silly, giggling teenager are as much his friends and as close to him as the president of the local university and the state senator. You’ll find literally no prejudice or discrimination if he’s a true Aquarian. In other words, you’re in danger of being fired if he catches you stealing stamps or hiding an unfinished report in your desk-but if he discovers you’re a bigamist, that your father served two terms in prison, your son smokes pot or your wife practices yoga on the back porch in her birthday suit, he’ll just shrug, figure it’s your life and probably defend you to your critics. The Aquarian boss won’t be bothered one whit if you’re a conservative politically and you paste a picture of Calvin Coolidge next to his painting of Franklin Roosevelt. He won’t bat an eye at the news that you had to be poured into a taxi after the last office party. Just don’t cheat him, lie to him or-heaven forbid break your word to him. Promises and ethics and such are where he falls into the narrow-minded category.
Unlike the Aries or Leo boss, he won’t exert energy trying to convince you that you’re making a mistake in voting for that man, dating that girl or wearing that color tie. And, unlike the Cancer, Capricorn or Libra boss, he won’t hint and use persuasive strategy to change your viewpoint. Live your life the way you choose and more power to you for being an individualist is his creed. On the other hand, don’t ever attempt to dictate his personal code to him, either. He won’t show any anger, or probably even feel any. He may even smile and nod thoughtfully, with that faraway look in his eyes, but you might as well talk to the wall. He’ll listen to almost anybody. Listen.
Although he forms his own code of ethics and keeps his own counsel in relation to his personal and private life, business decisions are another matter. He’s very likely, if he’s like the average Uranian man, to request everyone’s -opinion on projected procedures-and sometimes even ask a subordinate to make the final decision. There’s a method to this madness, and it’s not the same as with the indecisive Libran. Aquarius isn’t passing the buck. He enjoys sitting back with an I-told-you-so look when the decision you made (against his acutely accurate intuition) falls as, flat as a pancake-to teach you a lesson. You do have to watch that. Aquarian bosses are usually willing to give you all the rope you need to hang yourself with and another several yards besides, if you ask for it. You’re lucky if he explains even once just exactly why he thinks you’re on the wrong track. When he’s done that-which is unusual enough-he won’t explain a second time. You take it from there. Catch it clearly the first time or youll get some confusing double-talk to remind you to pay attention to what he says.
He expects you to be able to wiggle your antennae and pick up anything you’ve missed out of the atmosphere. He doesn’t realize that other people don’t have his Uranian gift for absorbing information from three people talking all at once while he peels an orange, dials a phone number and shuffles through a stack of inter-office memos.
Don’t get too set in your ways around an Aquarian executive. You’re liable to walk in some morning and find your office has been moved to another floor and he forgot to tell you. There’s always change in the air around this man. You may have the unsettling experience of having him sweep down unexpectedly one day with a big, warm, friendly grin and throw your entire system out the window -the system the office has been using since the Civil War. In its place he’ll substitute a new method, faster and less cluttered with detail. You say you can’t adjust that quickly? You need at least six months to make the change and the new system is Greek to you at this point? He can’t understand that. It’s perfectly clear to him. Don’t worry, you’ll catch on. Hell wait. He’s patient.
And that he is. The normal Uranus-ruled mind may be full of nervous curiosity just beneath the surface, but generally the Aquarian takes it fairly easy, and projects an image of calm and thoughtful deliberation. You’ll notice I said generally. Of course, there was the time he actually ran out of the office to catch those six fire trucks, the turtle race he staged on his carpet with real turtles, and the day he had those miniature TV sets delivered to each desk during the World Series. And of course there was that morning he took over the switchboard, just to see what it was like, mixed up all the calls, disconnected everyone, accidentally got a big TV network veep on a crossed wire and sold him a half a million dollar deal-then forgot the man’s name when he came in to sign the contract. But normally he’s placid and controlled.
So he’s a little eccentric now and then: he has the water cooler moved once a month so you can’t find it, and he likes to change your day off with no notice. What are a few minor annoyances like that when you work for a boss who’s sincerely fascinated by that book you’re writing on Kansas City jazz? And how can you stay mad at a boss who doesn’t mind if the bookkeeper grows a beard, his secretary wears white fur boots with rhinestone heels to work or the new filing clerk parks his bicycle in the reception room? He may spend one day talking your ear off, and the next week secluded inside his office, ignoring staff, customers and suppliers, deep in lonely thought. He’s resting his soul, and those periods of retreat are necessary. Regardless of how recently you joined the firm, he’ll consider you his friend. He’s even good friends with the competition. No matter what it says on your company letterhead, the real business of your Aquarian boss is friendship. Somebody discussing today’s corporate conformity recently said, Give me back the good old-time individualist executive with the gravy spots on his tie, who got things done without calling a committee meeting for every little snag. The poor man Was undoubtedly undergoing a rush of nostalgia for an Aquarian boss he had years ago.
Those of you who work for a Uranian probably don’t have the common problem of the boss’s wife dropping in unexpectedly while things are a mess and the painters are tearing the reception room apart. She’s lucky if she knows where he works, let alone has permission to drop in on him. Aquarians don’t confide every little activity to their wives. I used to live next door to the February-born executive of a research firm who once didn’t get around to telling his wife he had to fly to Europe on business until he arrived there and noticed he didn’t have any clean shirts. (He was quite put out about it, and he told her so when he phoned her from London. Somehow, it was all her fault. She should have anticipated he might make a trip.)
Funny how you kept remembering all the idiosyncrasies of your own Aquarian executive last week while you watched him get the Man of the Year award from the mayor at that big formal banquet. You had just decided that, regardless of his unpredictable ways and his dippy habits, he was actually one of the most distinguished bosses a person could have. Then you happened to look down under the table-and there were his feet tapping the rug impatiently, clad in neat black dress shoes, wearing one blue sock and one yellow sock.