The best boss I ever had

I knew I was going to get fired.

I tend to be a bit paranoid, especially after having been fired from a job, but this didn’t feel like paranoia.

This one, I felt like I had earned.

Sometimes, you make a mistake because you’re a human being, and human beings make mistakes.

Sometimes, you make a mistake because you get confused or don’t understand something properly.

And sometimes, you make a mistake because your brain decides to take a walk to Parts Unknown without warning you, leaving you nothing to work with when you need it.

This was all of those.

And it was a prominent person in town.

And he had already called my boss.

It’s the last one that was the problem.

My boss was a guy named Mark, who threaded the needle of being tough and demanding while being supportive and friendly. I liked working for him, but this was bad.

When angry people called, I could often deal with them right on the phone by fixing the problem, explaining the situation or just letting them yell. But if my boss had to be involved, I wanted it to come from me.

But instead, Mark was going to find out how much of an idiot I was before I could say anything.

What I learned from that incident was that if you’ve been doing something for more than five minutes, you’ve probably done something that could get you fired. A good boss, however, will know if you’re worth saving, and a smart employee will appreciate catching that break.

I took a walk around the building to try and clear my head — it didn’t help — and Mark was in the office by the time I got back.

He poked his head out his office door, saw I was at my desk and called me in.

”What happened?”

I told him all of it, including that I had no idea how it happened. (By the way, it’s more than 15 years later, and I still have no idea.)

When I was done, we talked about how I’d apologize — no problem with that, since I’m the one who messed up — and how we’d fix it.

And that was it. When the time came, we may have double-checked the details of how we fixed the problem, but other than that, we never discussed it again.

A couple years later, when he took over another office, he brought me in, with a promotion.

What I learned from that incident was that if you’ve been doing something for more than five minutes, you’ve probably done something that could get you fired. A good boss, however, will know if you’re worth saving, and a smart employee will appreciate catching that break.

Several years later, someone’s brains decided to take a walk to Parts Unknown and decided that letting Mark go would be a good idea.

During his going-away party, he and I happened to be in the break room at the same time when a woman I worked with hugged him and said, “Thanks for always having my back.”

Which pretty much summed it up.

I felt like the guy in the picture from SolGar on Pixabay.

One thought on “The best boss I ever had

  1. Pingback: The week gone by — June 21 – A Silly Place

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