08 July, 2009

That Man

He stood in my office door…

6 plus feet of attractive, intelligent, witty manliness. 

I smiled as I turned to talk to him – hearing him criticize the bags of stuff on my office floor waiting for me to find the time to take them to the shredder. 

“I can’t believe you are leaving me…” I smiled and winged… and yet it is possible to do both at the same time.  “Everyone is leaving me…”

“I thought you were out of here a while ago.”  He comments referring to changing, great professional changes, that were on the horizon last year.  The changes that didn’t transpire due to changes in staffing and work loads.  The changes in my life that I anticipated only to have other parts of my life change instead.  I explain this to him and that right now, professional stability is required, but I am okay with changes in the future… maybe even a move from the area?  Who knows.  

As he talks about the position he has secured and his future plans to move to Texas, my thoughts drift back to a meeting years prior where I first laid eyes upon this tall Texan with the bad boy attitude.  I remember the meeting.  I remember the topic as it is my specialization.  I remember this smart mouth Texan sitting there with that “grin” on his face poking holes in the argument set forth by the presenter. 

I remember knowing that this man was someone I would enjoy having around the office!! 

It isn’t often that one finds the passionate person in an office setting.  I don’t mean that office workers and executives aren’t passionate, as they often are.  I mean the workers with the sarcasm and the wit – the men and women who are just a tad “different” in that they are the square pegs in the office.  They are those that think just a bit differently, dress just a tad off, and have an energy about them that sets them a part. 

It takes one to know one – right? 

“You are taking a lot of business with you.  There is no one that can replace you.”  I tell him with great honesty.  He is one of a kind in the office, his work, and in spirit.  He is the one man in the office that I trust completely to do a quality job and consider all options – and not to fall under the thumb of politics.  He says it like it is.  “You’re one of a kind.”

“I don’t know if that is a good thing…” he smiles.  “I am not sure the world could handle more than one of me.”

“Oh… I could handle *pause*  *did I say that out loud*… “  and then I turned red.

People, we aren’t talking light pink.  We aren’t even talking slightly red.  We are talking crimson.  We are talking the kid of red that cartoon characters turn when they eat something hot just before steam comes out their ears and their head explodes. 

“I can’t believe I just said that!”  I buried my face in my hands.  I am so accustomed, right now, to thinking and not speaking that I think I have started thinking aloud…

Given my relationship with this man – this man with whom I have spent many hours over the past years – the comment was not out of line or truly out of character.  We have often gone toe-to-toe to see just how close we can get to that line… that line of no return.  That line that we have never crossed though we have ventured close from time-to-time.

So my comment didn’t phase him.  It might have surprised him but it didn’t phase him. 

The truth is – I will miss him.  I will miss this man who has lightened my spirits and proven to be a worthy  opponent in the game of banter – both political and flirtation. 

I will miss this man who leaves me feeling that much more feminine simply by being in the room – and I will miss his respect for my mind and his belief in my abilities as well.

The office just won’t be the same without him!

1 comment:

Mariposa said...

When there is a positive, motivating force in the workplace, it certainly makes every day something to aniticipate. That is one detail I do so miss about teaching at the uni. Although I love my students now, professionally I am a loner at a time in my life that I don't feel that being "alone" is all a good thing for my self-esteem. Perhaps, counter-intuitively, it is the best.

I am certain not only you but many others will miss his presence. How delightful you have had such a lovely relationship with a coworker! Congratulations!