all this week i've had early inspections. normally this would bother me, because it means much more work and boredom for me throughout the day. i can make excellent use of my time waiting for inspectors, and a PM inspection instead of an AM inspection means hours of sitting at my computer deciding whether anything on my desk really matters enough to take the initiative to handle it.
not this week though. they showed up within an hour of my arrival, every time. and what is my response?
do you know how difficult it is to go through caffeine withdrawals and stay awake for several hours, doing nothing, after getting up too early after not getting enough sleep? i'm telling you it's rough. any withdrawals are rough, whether you're waiting on someone else or not, whether you're on the clock or off.
and that's sort of what this post is about. i am really getting sick of goodbyes.
during my first few months with this company, i met a man named Chad Pricolo. he is one of the hardest workers and funniest persons i've ever met. he stresses too much about most things, loves his family to death, and always finds a way through difficult circumstances. he began as an installer, but soon rose to the position of Construction Manager overseeing several installation crews. he built that department from a handful of people to ten hard-working, loyal crews.
and he deserved much better than he got. during the transition from hourly wage to salary, things didn't work out so well (possibly because of tax brackets, a dumb bonus system, and the economy), and even though he asked many times for some help, overall he was shut down. and that's the company's mistake, because the next person they hire for his position can't possibly measure up to him.
he put in his two weeks' notice today, and i am not okay with that.
when i myself was an installer, he always worked as part of our team, the way the best leaders do. he always helped the person next to him, always made sure every person felt valuable, always did whatever he could to boost not only productivity and efficiency but also morale. when i was still an installer, and he became construction manager, i told my co-workers that if he ever left, i would leave too.
things didn't work out that way, because i changed positions also, eventually leaving the installation department to work in operations instead. even so, i find myself once again feeling the way i felt back then, wondering what i would do without him. he & i work in different departments now, but he has always been on my side. he's always been my ally: dependable and resourceful, encouraging and motivating. he goes out of his way to make my work easier, even if he doesn't directly benefit from that.
basically i owe him a very large portion of the credit for my success at this company, and for the quality of my life overall (even outside of work). over & over he's proven himself a genuine friend. i haven't opened up to him very often, haven't asked him for advice on personal matters very often... but i always felt welcome to do so, and i always knew that if i did, he would 1) truly listen, and 2) have something positive and helpful to say. actually, it's more likely he would offer to act on my behalf any way he could, and that's effing priceless. you just don't see that in every manager you work for / with. in fact, it's rare enough that people don't even understand what i'm saying, when i tell them how great my bosses are.
it's just really stupid... i can't fault him for his decision. i know he's doing the right thing, especially because it's for his family, and that makes me happy because i know a family has to share their dad with his work life, so they should get more back for their sacrifice (even though no amount of money would be enough to cover that).
i know he's making the right call, as usual. but, i can be happy and selfish at the same time. so i will.
i will not be the same person when he is gone.
[shade readings - 02/23/11]
~ ~ ~
yup. today sucked. in addition to Chad quitting, i got hung up on a couple problems that refused to be solved... the thing i was looking forward to this evening got cancelled... and, i missed people hard (but that's become a normality in this chapter).
all these goodbyes lately have me thinking about the way i'm shaped by my friendships. my vocabulary (formal & otherwise), my sense of humor, even the way other people feel around me after i've been with such-and-such a person. it's like they colour me, slightly but noticeably. they change the way others feel about me. Valerie often said she could tell when i had just finished hanging out with Caleb. sometimes people notice i'm smiling a lot more after i've been talking to some of the rays of sunshine or bright stars in my dark life. some people even change the way i smell after i've spent time with them!
it's just not fair. i want to surround myself on all sides with my favorite people... but i am not at liberty to do so. not yet.
so i daydream and moon-bathe instead, and open myself to new (or restored) friendships. and i love those. but they are not enough, and though i respect the necessary limitations of this chapter, i also grit my teeth with determination and impatience as i await the freedom of the next.
i just now realized that i am not only healing... i am gathering energy for a massive leap forward.
i will be a witness for... uhm, myself?... in Fresno and in Malibu, in Utah and Nebraska, to Northern Europe, to the ends of the earth, to infinity... and beyond!!