I posted, on Facebook, a couple of photos of Plant and Service Operations…where I spent 32 year and 2 months and 3 weeks…or my total career at Southern Illinois University.
Not that I was counting.
I was overwhelmed with the people that liked the posting and a couple who commented. My friend, Michelle, who is the SIU Alumni Association Executive Director, wrote a comment that, ‘It was a pleasure to know and have worked with you’, and it just made my day!
I was honored that Michelle remembered me and pleased that she had a favorable impression of me…as I had of her.
I was, highly impressed with her ability and I hoped that she would advance in the University System…and I am so pleased that she has.
How nice of her to take the time to say a kind word to an old and retired acquaintance and to lift my spirits and cause me to reflect on some lovely conversations that we had during the days that Building Services assumed the custodial duties of the, sports venue for SIUC, the Arena.
And, then, my old boss, Brent, and my friend of many years wrote a, very, kind comment to me, ‘My only regret is that we did’t meet until 15 years into our 32 year tenure. You were a great example to so many employee! It was a pleasure and an honor to work with you!’
Now, Brent, was one of the nicest people that I ever reported to. I regularly met with him once or more times per day…and he never seemed to not have time for me. He was so gracious, as a member of his staff, that I felt like he was my colleague.
Brent had some of the best people skills that I had ever witnessed…and I am honored to call him my friend.
I noticed…with some amusement…that once I announced that I was retiring at the conclusion of 2010…and my replacement was named two months prior to my final day…that many seemed to not be so interested in interacting with me…or to seek my opinion.
I suspected that this would be the case…but it was a little disappointing.
However, I could see, in the eyes, of those who came to my retirement reception and the weeks prior to it….that they were going to miss me…and I knew that I would miss them…desperately.
I was so honored when my friend, Winton, wanted to be my Facebook friend. He and I continue to communicate…through that venue…and I value his opinion, very much.
My friend, Steven, recently became my Facebook friend…and I was honored.
And, then, of course, there is Jamie and Chris and Tish…and I think of them regularly.
I hear from Bill V….and I am always delighted!
My friends, Ryan and Elizabeth, stay in touch with me on a regular basis…and it is an elixir to my retirement years.
And there is dear Cyndy, who has so much ability, and at times, is under-appreciated, and she has such a beautiful and open heart!
During my years of service to SIUC…I was so involved with the needs of my staff…that when I retired…I felt that I had let them down.
I remember, Casey, and how I worried about her success…and the evening that I got her an Oreck vacuum…and her surprise and delight…and she hugged me in the joy of the moment.
Jonathon told me that, recently, he had been talking with, AntonyF., and Anthony had told him that his laugh reminded him of someone else, me, that laughed that way. I remember what a gentleman that Anthony was and how I enjoyed our conversations.
And, then, there is my old friend, Brad Dillard, who I admire. Brad is a director that cares for his employees and works, tirelessly, to make them all feel an, integral, part of the organization. During Brad’s, short tenure as director, he has inherited significant budgetary challenges and yet he meets them with care and concern and a focus on his staff.
I often, examine, if I understand how much, ancillary, influence that I have on others lives?
How often does a kind word of remembrance or reflection…lift the spirits of another…and we do not, fully, realize the affect that we have on our fellow human family members…as we travel this winding and circuitous road of life?