Tuesday, October 10, 2006

From the Trenches, Part III

So, I haven't told you about my Cool Boss (CB) yet.

CB, like AD, was one of the most interesting people I've met (only this time, in a good way). What I remember most clearly about her is that CB was 1) smart, 2) able to get along with everyone, even people who irritated the crap out of her, 3) wicked funny, 4) pretty darn cool, and 5) full of incredible stories.

If anyone is to be credited for keeping the company going, it is CB and the board, who managed to keep the money coming in despite all the craziness. It was not uncommon to get things like an eviction notice, or a final warning that the power would be turned off, or that sort of thing, on a weekly basis. The former business manager had, apparently, stuffed all of the bills she couldn't pay way far back under her desk and told no one, so CB was constantly finding out about new debt (and from very grumpy people, as you can imagine). Yet she was always professional and calm, and I enjoyed working with her more than I have any other boss. We became friends, and that is not something that is always easy for an employee and a boss to do.

As a boss, she was easy to work for. She made clear to me what she wanted me to do, and she never played power games. She got her own coffee. In fact, when she went up the street to the incredible bakery to get coffee, she'd often ask if I wanted to come along. We went shopping on our lunch hour. When she left early, she encouraged me to do the same. And she never made me stay late just because she had to.

CB gave me opportunities to be creative, and she encouraged me to take on new responsibilities. She made sure that I got to attend board meetings and treated me like a professional. After a while, I began to feel more confident in my abilities, and by the time I left Loony Rep, I was ready for another job in fundraising. I owe this confidence and boost in self-esteem to CB. We've lost touch, but I've never forgotten what she did for me.

I would like to share some of her incredible stories, but as many of them concern political figures and/or government security, I'm kind of afraid to. Let's just say that she knew some extremely interesting people, and that, should she ever write a book, I'll be first in line to buy it.

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