Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ode to a Good Boss

With me in a mighty battle with my employer over my next vehicle, mixed with the confusion associated with the recent Italy non-adventure, I had forgotten how blessed I am to work for the man.

The fact that I am battling at all, is testament to how his mentoring has helped shape me into the confident person that writes this here blog, as in the past I woulda just grinned, bared, and resented it. I must admit it took me sometime to realize that I would not get fired for stating my opinion . . .said "no" to a heck of a lot, but still employed. The "no"'s I hear are from a person who has been in my industry for over thirty years, and as much as I hate to admit it, he is almost always right!

That "always being right" thing took me a while to get used to, because naturally I thought that moniker belonged to me, but in the end is the main reason I am known to say that "I respect my boss more than anyone I have ever worked for". It wasn't because he was my pal, but completely out of sincere respect for him as a businessman.

Respecting, and even liking, the boss dude, on a personal level didn't happen until 2 years ago this very weekend. His son and I were checking out my new apartment in DC, and on the ride home, J told me that his father had just donated almost half a million to a church in Turkey, something I still remind myself when I need a little motivation (our biggest competitor is a big sponsor of Planned Parenthood). Later that weekend, while trying to move into the new place, I managed to threw my back out (I tried to move solo, as friends are scarce on a holiday weekend when manual labor is involved . . .and I have a lot of stuff!). When I called on Tuesday to say I damaged my back, bossman than replied, "O.K., I'll call you back in a bit", which confused me just a tad. When he does call back, it's to say that "they'll be right up", which also confused me. Seems my boss organized his own workers and delivery trucks, to come up to my old place in Baltimore, to finish moving me . . .and he paid them!!!!

Since then, during a particularly bad cold season, I watched a pallet of juicers arrive at our warehouse, one for each employee (granted I have never used mine, but the sentiment is what's truly important). On any of our desks, you are apt to find vitamins and Cod Liver oil, that my employer constantly provides (whatever you think about Cod Liver oil, you have to at least agree it is a very generous thing), as well as books on health and nutrition. Once, he had me run out to the CVS for aloe, because one of my coworkers had gotten a very bad sunburn over the weekend. I am also quite sure that he does a lot more than I see, as he never does any of these things for personal glory, but just because they are the right things to do.

After last year's "engagement folly", it was both comforting, and a little annoying, how my boss seemed to keep an eye on me , even taking me to Utah for a couple a days to get me away from everything. He had even previously offered to send the lovely redhead and myself to Capri for our honeymoon.

Professionally, he constantly asks my opinion on important decisions (me thinks, more out of respect for me, than the genuine need for help), and not the least of which are my ideas for new designs for our moulding . This being a big factor in my personal growth, especially in the area of self confidence (which is even starting to drift into "cocky" land, so me needs to be reading the lives of the Saints more).

So when all is said and done, and whether next week I am driving a Jeep or a CRV, I know that I have been very blessed to work for, and with, the person who I sometimes call "sir".

um, now can I have a raise? (O:

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