Monday, December 11, 2017

Thinking about a former manager who has passed on

Over a decade ago, I moved to the States. It was one of those bold leaps of faith. I didn't know anyone. My skills matched a position as a technical writer.

I was a contractor at Big Blue. My mentor was a gentle soul. He was also my manager. He was helpful in making sure that I was okay and was confident in my abilities.

At the beginning, I thought that I was slow at learning everything. He was encouraging, stating that it was the contrary -- that I was a quick learner.

When I look back, I was a decent writer. I made my deadlines either early or on time. I managed to pitch in and help others, often working extra hours to pick up the slack left by others.

I recall working 12-hour days for 12 days. A student had left the company and didn't do a great job on his deliverables. 

A colleague and I were there on the weekend. We were both contractors. Our manager was also there. We chatted around my office. He was grateful that we were there, pitching in.

When I got laid off, my manager waited till around 16:45 that Tuesday. My office door was three-quarters closed. He knocked and let himself in.
"I am sorry that you got laid off," he said sincerely. "It should have been me and not you."
I can still hear his voice telling me that. It was moving. He was nearly sixty years old and was about to retire.
"It's a business decision and I don't take it personally," I tried to comfort him. "I go home to Winnipeg and there's nothing wrong with that at all."
He smiled and seemed at ease. He let me know that he would be arranging my farewell luncheon. He also got a parting gift for me. It was a Java mug. I worked on the Java team. It was fitting, even though I am not a coffee drinker.

He was generous and sweet. I just learned that he had passed away two years ago from Parkinson's Disease. May he rest in peace.


  1. It's a blessing to have good memories of the people that have touched our lives. Better fond memories that ones you'd prefer to forget.

    I'm sorry to hear about his passing. *hugs*

    1. I'm glad to have such warm memories of him, too. I am so glad to have worked with such a gentle soul.

  2. Awww CB...thank you for sharing such a bittersweet memory.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

    1. It's the least I can do to show how humble and genuine he was.