A daughter’s loving tribute to the man who was more than her father, he was also her boss – and the lessons she was privileged to learn.
I’ve been told over and over again since your passing, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” “When one door closes, another one opens.” “Don’t give up hope.” “Hang in there. You’re tough!” All things that people try to say to make someone feel better when they’re going through a hard time in life. At least they care enough to say anything at all which is appreciated and helps, but what makes me feel better about everything that has happened and is going on since your passing, is knowing that I was privileged enough to have you as my own boss for several years of my life.
You were an incredible boss! You cared about people as people, not just as numbers. You allowed us to have fun and even made us have it by having monthly luncheons, so as to not allow the departments to be separate for we were all one team. You held us accountable and expected the best from us, and we wanted to work even harder for you because you did care so much. We wanted you to be proud of us. You were not fake and you told it like it was, a quality that is becoming so rare in this life. You believed in providing the best of what you did, and doing it the best way you knew how was an unyielding absolute.
Even as your daughter, I would come into your office to complain about something that at the time felt so colossal and difficult to me, yet you would simply say, “This isn’t that big of a deal! Figure out how to fix it and get thicker skin!” The same thing you would say to anyone else that worked for you. You would take time out of your day to stop and listen to us completely and would give us your advice. You always made us leave the day feeling appreciated for our hard work and happy that we worked for you.
That is what I have striven for in my career in my different roles, and most importantly in my last role as a General Manager. Because of you and the way you raised me, you’ve taught me that making your team feel appreciated and respected is the most important part of the day. You’ve taught me that being consistently positive in my mood is the only fair way to be to my team. You’ve taught me that my team also includes my guests and customers and that building relationships with them is so important. You’ve taught me that simply saying thank you for a small task, being approachable and available, and being honest and open, are all important things to possess as a leader.
You’ve taught me that life is too short to not do what I love every day and that I love people and love making them happy. You’ve taught me that having pride in what I do and loving what I’m doing is utterly important and a major necessity in life. You’ve taught me that paying attention to details, no matter how small or insignificant they might be to others, is still incredibly important; whether we’re designing and building a house for them, or making them a hot meal to eat, it’s all equally important because they chose us to provide them with that service. You’ve taught me to appreciate that.
You’ve taught me that being able to have those tough conversations which can be difficult for most, are very necessary when you’re a boss. You’ve taught me that every day I will face a new situation or challenge, but to always do what I think is the right thing. You’ve taught me that sometimes what I think is right, might not be, but you’ve also taught me that taking that chance and making a decision is important. You’ve taught me that if I do make a mistake, to learn from it and to keep going, yet also how important it is to not make the same mistake twice!
You’ve taught me that the “Golden Rule” is one to live by and that even though not everyone practices it, to not let their faults taint my own integrity and honor. You’ve taught me that everyone is someone’s child, parent, wife, husband, friend, and you can never judge someone’s life or situation because everyone has a back story that we all know nothing about. You’ve taught me to hold on to the good in people, even when they seem to not have anything to grasp onto. You’ve taught me that there are going to be evil people who do not have scruples and integrity, but to not let that penetrate who I am. You’ve taught me that I still have so much more to learn, but I am grateful and appreciate what you were able to teach me in the short time you were here.
You’ve taught me how to be an amazing boss and I know that because of the phenomenal team I have built, and how much they appreciate me.
If having any of these traits is a fault, then it is what it is, but I’m alright with it. I know when it is my time to go on, like it was sadly yours last week, that I will have lived my life with valor and virtue. I know to always stay true to my values and core characteristics and to not bend my integrity or allow my morals to tarnish. I know that I have built great teams that all enjoyed walking into work each day. I know that I cared for all of those people, the same way they cared for me and we respected each other equally. I know that I was open and honest with them all. I know that because of that mutual trust, we accomplished outstanding projects and successfully tackled outrageous challenges, all while smiling and supporting each other. I know that as a team we were productive and amazing at what we did!
Although I will cry, I will grieve, and I will miss you, I know that you are with me every day and still helping to guide me, just only in more subtle ways from now on. I know that I have been blessed in this life by God with having the characteristic of resilience and perseverance. I know I have been blessed with many great mentors and wonderful parents, family and friends along the way. I know that with your continued silent guidance and their consistent words of encouragement and advice, that I will be the best boss at whatever I chose to do for the rest of my life. I know that I will not let you down. Even in the face of adversity and unexpectedness, I know to hold my head up high and keep smiling, even though I want to break down and crumble, but that’s not what you would want; that’s not having “thicker skin!”
Life does go on, but it will be different, and I will always be different because of being privileged to have you as my boss and my dad. Rest in Peace.