Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another Good-bye

Last week was another tough one. With emotions still running high after moving my son to college, I had to say good-bye to someone else who is very dear to me. My boss of 17 years retired on August 31.

Ken was easy to work with from the very beginning. His cheerful demeanor and mischievous grin put me at ease in my first ever temporary job. So much so that, after working with him for just over a week, I handed him my resume and insisted he forget all about his short list of job applicants and hire me full time.  Luckily, he agreed.

Ken has been the best boss I've ever had. He was easy to talk to and he always listened to what I had to say.  We didn't always agree on everything, but I never felt like I had to censor myself with him. He encouraged me to think things through and form my own opinions. 

Over the years we've faced many challenges together and had more than our fair share of successes. We've enjoyed the good times and weathered the bad times. Through it all, I've always felt secure in the knowledge that he was there supporting me.

We all expected Ken would retire soon. In fact, he had set a date - four years in the future. But things don't always go according to plan. An opportunity to retire earlier was presented and Ken accepted. We were all happy for him, but it was still hard to accept that he won't be around any more.

On his last day at work, I wasn't able to speak to anyone without the threat of tears. There were so many things that I wanted to say, so much I wanted to thank him for, so many memories to share.  But I couldn't get the words past the lump in my throat.

Now that he's gone, the office will never be the same. I will miss his smiling face and his silly little songs - often accompanied by graceful dance steps. I will miss his practice of "managing by walking around". I will miss his words of encouragement.

I hope Ken knows how much he means to me and how much I will miss him.

Thank you, Ken, for everything.