Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Flash From The Past

I have recently re-connected with my first boss. I found her husbands email address while looking looking at our cities website. We have set up lunch twice and we both had to reschedule. When she canceled the first time she sent me an email and I didn't respond quickly enough and she called my cell and said "you did not answer my email". The tone really sent me back and I felt like I still worked for her.

She was not easy to work for, she is one of us, and grew up in an environment that made her have serious trust issues and she was possibly the most controlling person I ever met. When I first got in the program, I used what I learned, to face her every day. I learned that her anger and mistrust had nothing to do with me and that I should not take it personally. Sometimes that was very difficult. Working for her also taught me that you can easily lose sight of how others perceive you and when your caught up in your own sickness to use caution when dealing with others.

My first year on the job, she picked me out of a department of 30 to start and new department. I was promoted by her twice that same year and later when she left I became the manager over that same department. It had grown to 70 employees over a ten year period. So she was pivotal to my career and I give her credit for seeing the possibilities in me.

I also give myself credit for the hard work and long hours I put in to become a good manager. It was really Al-Anon that gave me the tools to work with her and to also be a firm but compassionate manager. Before the program I managed more with an iron fist than with understanding.

I left the industry and I am doing what I love. I still manage, but now it is projects and customers. She has retired and we are scheduled for dinner tomorrow night. I will keep you posted.

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