Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Irony of It All

Remember that young boss I had last year – the one I thought might not give me my promotion? I had an interesting talk with her on Monday that confirmed how much I miss her.
She had been brought in when my boss of 12 years had decided to retire last year. At 34 she was 20 years younger than any of us senior people whom she was supervising. I worried that she might judge me to be "over the hill" and pick someone much younger for the promotion that I was applying for. She did everything by the book completely, but in the end I got the job (that I had been doing forever).
Then last fall when the position she was acting in was converted to an SES position, we all thought she would be selected, since she had been doing such a good job. But in their infinite wisdom the powers that be brought in an outsider (my current boss) and shipped the young one off for a 4-month rotation in another agency.
That was the point at which my job world started to change. I can trace it almost to the day.
The young one has kept touch through e-mail, offering me encouragement and support. I was so touched because it was entirely unnecessary.
She was here just for Monday afternoon. Late in the day we had a heart-to-heart talk in her office with the door closed. She first offered me her congratulations and then her eyes welled up as she told me how very sorry she was that my saga had ended as it did. She recognized the fact that I seemed to be the only one left who would speak the truth if it went against the party line. She confided that the retired boss had been feeding her all sorts of ammunition to use in support of me. She revealed that she had independently offered the same solution I was pushing to the current boss – the solution that was rejected. She expressed concern for her own future in this agency that seems to be changing before our very eyes.
She offered a hug and then asked how my party plans were coming along.
I find it so ironic that this person who is young enough to be my daughter could be so incredibly supportive, even in her absence. This is the sort of reassurance I have been so desperate for that no one else has offered. I’m so glad our paths crossed this week.


Blogger Kate said...

Wisdom and empathy don't necessarily come with age....for some they are innate and developed while others could live to be 100 and still lack these qualities.


2:18 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm glad that you're still finding wonder in your job and your coworkers. Who would have guessed?

4:16 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

We get what we need when we need it. We only have to recognize it. I'm glad you were able to talk to this young woman and find some validation after all.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

That is so incredibly validating for you! I hope she does well with the company.

9:18 PM  

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