Now, the truth of the matter was, as we well knew, that this young man, while serious-minded and efficient, had a keen sense of humor, appreciated a good joke, and was at times very merry with his own companions. He had in his mind, however, a certain ideal conduct for a business man. And to the best of his ability, he lived up to this ideal, no matter what the personality of his employer.
“FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT”
Many employees make the mistake of attempting familiarity with employers whose dignity is largely developed and whose sociability and sense of humor are only moderate or even deficient. The man whose head shows its longest line from point of chin to crown, who has a long face with long, vertical lines, whose lips are rather thin, whose forehead is rather narrow and somewhat retreating, and whose back-head is only moderately developed or even deficient, is not a man to slap on the back. He will resent any familiarity or any jocular attempt to draw him down on a plane of equality with his employees. If such a man is also fine-textured, he is very sensitive and must be treated with deference and respect. If he has a short upper lip, he is amenable to flattery, but the flattery must be delicate and deferential.
Even when these characteristics are not extreme and the habitual attitude of an employer is one of geniality, with a certain amount of jocularity, employees should be on their guard, especially if the executive has a square head behind. Such a man, like Cousin Egbert, in Harry Leon Wilson’s story, “Ruggles of Red Gap,” “can be pushed just so far.” It is dangerous to try to push him any further. He has a very true and proper sense of dignity and, while he is perfectly willing to be sociable and to live with his employees upon terms of friendliness, he knows well how to check any exuberance which tends to trench upon familiarity.
THE “NAPOLEONIC” EXECUTIVE
There is a type of employer who has a high, well-rounded, long head; his head is also wide above the ears, but rather narrow back of the ears. He is usually light in complexion, fine textured—a good combination of the bony and muscular type and the fat man type. This man’s eyes are the neither round, wide-open eyes of simple credulity nor the long, narrow, somewhat oblique slits of secretiveness, avarice, shrewdness and suspicion. His face tends to roundness, curves and dimples, and his lips are rather full. His head is especially high and dome-shaped just above the temples and behind the hair line. His chin may be fairly well formed or it may be narrow and retreating. If it is of the narrow and retreating variety, then some of the characteristics are accentuated.