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Paul Schmehl @PaulSchmehl
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Well, I guess I’m in a story telling mood tonight. I’ve gotta tell you about my boss, because I still have a warm spot in my heart for her.
Her name was Leah. I’ve never met anyone like her. She had every malady known to man. A pacemaker. Both shoulders replaced. Both knees replaced. Type 2 diabetes. Degenerative bone disease. Kidney disease. But, you know what? She could outwork ten people and never get tired.
I’ve never seen anything like it. She and I became very close. Best friends, you could say. I got to know her well enough that I could tell when she was hurting. I’d beg her to stop and go home, but she’d keep working. Gotta get the job done, she’d say.
Then she’d down another pill and dive right back in to the work. She and I spent many late nights at the office. I was her first hire, and for a long time, she and I had to pump out reports for the state. Since we couldn’t do it when we had other things to do, it always ended up
being late nights in her office pounding calculators and filling out forms. I’m talking 10, 11 o’clock at night before we finished. And the next day, at 8 AM, we were right back at it again. I was on salary, and I guarantee you I earned every penny. But so did she.
I never once out worked her. She was a machine. After many years working together, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. It was the shock of our lives. She was diagnosed with uterine cancer. While she waited for surgery, she was diagnosed with breast cancer too.
We were shocked, but we were unfazed. We knew God would take care of everything. She’s now 5 years cancer free, praise God. But, you can imagine what it was like, going to doctors, lots of tests, the surgeries, recuperation, it was a lot.
I went to Leah’s office one day and I said, Leah, I don’t know what to do. I’m running out of sick time and vacation time, and we’re not even close to being done. You know what she said? Paul, you take care of your wife. I’m torn up every leave request you gave me.
Take care of your wife and let me worry about the time off. You’ve earned it. And yeah, I knew she was right. She was repaying me for all those long nights we worked when it was just the two of us and there was so much to be done.
I would take a bullet for that woman. I love her in ways I can’t even describe. She is hands down two times over the best boss I ever had. She worked my ass off and never stopped expecting the best from me. But she also cared deeply about me and about my wife.
She was VERY demanding. But she was eminently fair-minded. And she never asked anything of me that she wasn’t already doing herself twice over. Money can’t buy a boss like that. God blessed me with her. And the last 20 years of my professional life were a great pleasure.
Some day I’ll tell you the story of how she was fired. And how it destroyed my desire to work at UTD any more. It’s the tale of a good woman who was treated more shabbily than you can imagine. I’ve been retired more than three years now. And I’ve never set foot on campus since.
I still haven’t forgiven them for what they did to her. I doubt I ever will. There are some things in life that can’t be forgiven.
Well this is an eyeopener. Share it widely.
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