29 November 2007

Tonight, we have a really big shoe...

I had a great day at work today. I finished a report (for the most part – there's still some tweaking that needs to be finished) that has been hanging over my head for a while now. I had tuna with sweet relish for lunch (yum!) and ran a bit. And the afternoon flew by but was exceptionally fabulous.

Toward the end of the day I ran across the street to deliver a certificate and stopped in to say hello to one of the head dudes (WS). This guy has been so fabulous since I came on board. He's light year's above me in rank and status but he talks to me like I'm an equal. For the last few months he has teased me about cookies – in fact, Wednesday at our meeting he asked when I was going to bring in Christmas cookies. I had said soon, and he said he'd bring in spritz cookies (his specialty). Another guy in the meeting started teasing us that we were going to have a cookie exchange at our next meeting and WS immediately said that I was a good cook and when he asks I usually bring in a bucket full.

Anyway, today I stopped in just to say hello on my way back to my office and we ended up talking for about 15 minutes (seems short but 15 minutes of this man's time is like hours in the real world) about everything: checklists he has to complete (and the few my boss has to in comparison), the elk head on his wall, his little Christmas tree (so he can get presents) to which I promised I'd bring in krumkake for him, which led to his discussion about spritz cookies he makes with his granddaughter, which led to family, my father, holidays and children and nieces and nephews and dating and 'the right guy is out there' and then back full circle to my job and how much I love it. He complimented me over and over again on what a great job I'm doing and how it's so nice to have me in that office.

Compliments coming from this man mean so much. He is such the person I want to be (though maybe a little less intense). He genuinely cares about his job and our company and its future. He is constantly looking ahead and wanting to make sure we're on the cutting edge and getting out there in front to set the pace for others. He's one to follow. And he truly, honest-to-God, cares about the people who work for him. When they get screwed over or are told bad information, he gets upset and does his best to correct the situation or to at least explain to his people why what happened happened. For him to see the basic work I do as doing it well, means so much. And he said that others say the same thing. At least he says it to me in person. I was very humbled when I walked out the door.

Then I went back and we had a retirement party for a man who has been a cornerstone of our company since 1969. It was very touching all the things people had to say about him and how many lives he has touched over the years. I got in the line at the end to congratulate him and he gave me a big hug and said, “Moe, I am so glad you are in that corner office now. You are going to really help keep this company going strong. You are so smart and outgoing and a great asset. Take care of that guy [my boss]. I'm really looking forward to see where you head. You're going to go far here.” I was very humbled and said we were here for him, not me. And he hugged me again and said, “You are going to be great here, Moe. Love ya! Keep it going.”

Again, fabulous words from someone I have respected and followed for so many years. And he's leaving. At least WS will still be around, but I have some big shoes to fill. And it's a little scary because I really, really, really don't want to let these men down. God help me.


Kat said...

So nice to hear that you like your job and are working with good people. SO many people only have bad things to say when talking about their work. I'd rather eat top ramen and live in my mohter's basement than work at a job I hated...its such a waste of life!

Cate Ross said...

That is soooo great! It's so important to love what you do and to have a positive role model to show you who you want to be when you grow up.

The way you describe WS is a lot like I see Mr. Sweetie in his work life. A leader who doesn't try to throw blame around, and makes a point of helping people to become all that they can be, and treats them like human beings and not like some subspecies called "employees."

You are a very lucky person! You are bound to thrive and succeed in such a great environment.