It has to be said

Four years ago, I accepted the offer of an insightful, driven, clever man.... I went to work for him. I'd only met him twice and one of those occasions was his wedding reception. I was so impressed with him however that when opportunity knocked, I quit my job to work for him.

In the years since, we've enjoyed a complex yet simple relationship. He's given me goals and the tools to achieve them and stepped out of the way. He's famous for leaving me alone for weeks (not even coming in to work) and then calling to see where I am with my projects. He's coached me, mentored me, supported me and driven me crazy with his "stuff". [editor's note: No, I don't know if your order from Amazon is in, but you have three cases of wine here.... and what looks like a bookcase. No, I will not drop it off at your house, it won't fit in my car.] He's famous for taking me to the worst places for lunch and then telling me about the fine meals he has enjoyed while dining out with other folks (that are clearly more important than me). He's a talented cook that has generously shared multiple recipes and cooking tips and always offers fabulous food and wine when I go to his house to pull his computer back from the brink of hell do tech work.

Aside from his many quirks and they are legion, he is amazingly compassionate. More than once, he took major steps to reduce the stigma of my asthma in the work place. From memos to staff to 'no scent' policies to green cleaning products to HEPA filters in my office to allowing me to work from home when part of the building was remodeled for 6 weeks. He helped me to feel like I could make a contribution in spite of my asthma. Because of his efforts, my environment at work is so good, I not only miss fewer days, I sometimes forget how bad my asthma can be.

The next few months will bring transition however. He's leaving to do other very important things and I'll be staying. In January he will hand me over to the new Exec, a delightful person who is looking forward to working with me. It's mutual.

But everything will change. I will miss him. I will miss the occasional "Good Job, Blondie" as well as his constant demands for new technology, his perpetual need for updates  (because he didn't read the first five) and the hysterical [and occasionally inappropriate] jokes that he sends me. His wife once told me over a glass of wine that it "takes a village to support his needs". It's hard to dispute. But he's one of those rare individuals that takes care of everyone that enters his orbit while encouraging them to do more than they think they can. He's an architect, an orchestrator of life, a builder of goals.... my friend the CEO. Thanks for everything, Sir...