Saturday, January 24, 2009

This Space for Rent

Actually, the space in the picture - the Kilauea Point Lighthouse in Kauai - is very much not for rent ... though, if it were, I'd be interested. Actually, this post isn't about rentals at all ... or Kauai ...

I've been quite fortunate with the bosses to whom I've reported in my professional life. One in particular ... the last one to whom I reported before becoming self-employed, is probably the most special to me (don't tell the others!). I often think fondly of her when I'm working, because I can't just pick up the phone (we worked in different states) and run an issue by her or chat with her to ease the stresses of the day. It makes me appreciate the role she played in my professional life all the more!

This week, she sent me a lovely e-mail message with birthday wishes. Her message was filled with the wonderfully clever and subtle humor that I miss experiencing on a daily basis. And, it reminded me of one of my favorite stories about her.

We were in the midst of a very large audit (even when things are functioning fine, audits still manage to bring an immeasurable amount of tension to your work life!). The auditor (a lovely individual, don't get me wrong!) assigned to our division would send us e-mails signed with her name followed by every acronym you could possibly imagine, e.g. Mary Smith, MBA, CPA, CISA.

This was a few years ago, and - at about this same time - many people in the company had taken to adding inspirational phrases to the end of their e-mails. Something like ‘Laugh and the whole world laughs with you’ . . . or maybe something a bit more eloquent and moving. Our auditor had one of those inspirational phrases too.

On one particularly grueling, never-ending day, my boss sent me an e-mail late in the afternoon. Normally, she would just sign her first name. But, on this particular e-mail, she included her first name, middle initial, last name, followed by MBA, SPHR, ABC, FBI, CIA. That alone was enough to make me smile. What made me laugh out loud, was the "inspirational" quote that followed all the acronyms: “THIS SPACE FOR RENT.”

Even in the midst of an audit, she could be counted on to bring a smile to my face and joy to my work. How's that for the best kind of boss?

Have a wonderful weekend -
Kelly S. Hoeckelberg, BBA (even as a joke, it feels silly adding that!)
"If your ship hasn't come in, swim out to it." :-)


PJ Hoover said...

It's awesome! She sounds great. And she brought a smile to your face which is priceless!

Kelly H-Y said...

So true, PJ! Have a great day!

CC said...

Sounds like a great boss!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

How funny! I love it when people lighten things up like that!

Kelly H-Y said...

CC - Most definitely!

Rebecca - Me too ... and in such a subtle way ... so great!

Cari Johnson said...

Great post and I LOVED the picture. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it because we vacationed in Kauai a couple years ago and I recognized that lighthouse immediately. I have some really cool pics of it. Brings back fond memories... especially when it's 20 degrees and snowing here right now!
Cari L. Johnson, CNE

Kelly H-Y said...

Cari ... yes, Kauai would be a VERY nice place to be right now! :-) Isn't it beautiful there?!