Fate, Kismet and Finality

Once upon a time, I was living in Atlanta. I was an accounting clerk with a small but successful company. My boss was one hell of a mentor, and I owe my level of functioning in my field to him.  Then WH managed to wrangle a transfer to Asheville. I resigned, and in doing so, I turned down a counter offer- a delicious salary, tuition reimbursement, and a practically guaranteed career path. Most people in my life never heard about that. I was ashamed to admit that I turned down such an opportunity to live somewhere we had always dreamed of living.

We were here for a week or two when I took a temporary position in civil service. The position had the potential to go permanent, but I couldn’t stand it. A week into it I was calling recruiters on my breaks, begging them to find me something else.

My recruiter called my current employer on the day that the Accounting Manager put her notice in. They used the same software I used back in Atlanta. I interviewed. They hired me. The payables clerk was promoted to accounting manager, and I became the new payables clerk. Not ninety days later, the new Accounting Manager put her notice in. The owner of the company found and hired a replacement.

She never showed up. I did both jobs for two or three months. WH told me that I was about to get the mother of all promotions. So did my parents. So did anyone who knew what was going on. No, no, I assured them- I don’t have an education. He can’t promote me. He just can’t. He needs someone with a Bachelor’s degree. Shut. up. already. At one point, the owner came right out and admitted that he would love to promote me, but that he just couldn’t.

He changed his mind. He did promote me. He and his partner took a huge risk and bet on me. They hired a payables clerk and sent me to school. They believed in me, and in doing so, they reversed the course of my life. They gave me the opportunity to be more than a girl with a knack for bookkeeping, a GED, and a serious case of shame. They gave me the opportunity I lost out on- to further my education. To prove that I am Someone. They gave me a second chance at life. They gave me raises, raises that made my dream of owning a home a reality.

I’m sure they doubted their decision now and then, especially in the beginning. Hell, I doubted their decision sometimes. They raised me, in a business sense. Taught me how to stand up for myself without being disrespectful. Guided me into finding myself professionally. Served up hard and painful lessons I did not want to learn.

Today, the former owner of the company is retiring. I will still see him periodically. Our relationship changed when he sold us over a year ago. But today is the end of knowing that he is here, around, accessible. Today is his last day of work in the traditional sense.

He will be missed. To some degree, his authority, his presence, his nagging about this or that will not be missed, not in the least, and to that end, there is some relief in the totality of the transition. His nature, though, his guidance and his personality- those things I will miss dearly.

A year after he rocked my world from top to bottom, I’ve found my place in the new company. I’ve proven my mettle to the extent that they’ve retained me in my position and continue to invest in my education and pay my mortgage. One might say I’ve outgrown him now. He’s outgrown us, that’s a surety. He’s ready for sunny afternoons on the golf course and giving his lovely wife back some of the hours she sacrificed to make this company what it was- what it is.

I’d like to think that I taught him some things too. Like not to judge a book by its cover. Or that determination is more important, sometimes, than maturity or education.  I guess maybe that’s the guilt speaking; if I brought something to the table, perhaps I have in some sense repaid him, in part, for what he’s given me. Because the enormity of the opportunity he laid at my feet brings tears to my eyes and steals my breath.

I believe in fate. I believe that people are brought into our lives. We are brought to them. To learn something. To experience something. To be enriched. I can only hope that I have returned to him what he’s brought me, in some small measure.

Congratulations, farewell, and thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

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7 Responses

  1. You’re a very lucky woman, and the fact that you know that and that you acknowledge this man for what he did already puts you miles ahead of any “educated” worker.

    What’s an “education” after all but realizing why you are where you are, not that you have some letters after your name.

    Oh, and it’s not early-onset Parkinsons– it’s Tourettes.

    🙂

  2. He sounds amazing. It is so rare to find someone who should actually be in a situation of management. Most managers are just good at their jobs, not at supervising people. But when you find someone who can supervise and encourage growth as well as do their jobs, it’s amazing.

  3. Aww, this is so sweet. I definitely believe we are guided to certain people in our lives, for better or for worse… but you learn, all the same.

  4. Don’t ever forget that you earned everything you have. You never gave up, even when you felt incapable of handling things, or that you were drowning. You’ve always taken on more and learned about things you didn’t know. You made your fate! You could have sat at your desk and not been eager for something better, but instead you want more, so you’re willing to put yourself out there to get it. It’s one of the things I admire about you the most.
    Not to diminish your former employers affect on both of our lives, but the best thing he did was realize who was standing in front of him and what she was capable of doing. You are SOMEONE!
    I’m not really sure what I did to get such a intelligent, beautiful, sexy woman, but you are by far the best decision I ever made!

  5. This post honestly gave me chills. I totally agree with your sentiments on how people are brought into our lives for a reason — it’s not always forever, final or for what we may think, but when that clarification comes in our heart, it’s special.

    Congratulations on following your gut! I believe it always takes you where you need to go 🙂

  6. WH is right! Your old boss gave you a chance but YOU proved yourself and earned that promotion and showed how valuable you were to the new company too. 🙂 You ROCK my friend!

  7. f’n stellar post.

    this reminds me of all the videos i was watching today doing research on us, Gen Y, and how we are about to inherit the workforce. this post totally solidifies my firm optimism, that because people like your old boss are mentoring good people like you, that the workforce just might be better than okay.

    slow clap, verybadcat. slow. clap.

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