My Boss My Friend

 

It seems like just the other day that I came to your office and interviewed for a “caller” position. The truth is that nearly 8 years have passed since then. Your job posting came to my ears through a friend, even though the job didn’t sound very glamorous it sounded like the most bountiful feast to a near starving unemployed full-time student carrying loads of adult responsibilities.

The national housing market was in the midst of a crash.  Without any warning the national mortgage company I worked for as an account executive vanished like a mirage in a scorching desert. With unemployment at an all-time high the best option for me was to go back to school. After nearly 2 years into my studies I could no longer afford to be a full-time student. I had to put it on hold in order to survive.

These were the circumstances that put me on the path to meet you.

The Interview and the Pity Hire

It was a hot summer day in the Old Pueblo about this time of year.  I primped myself to look my best as I wandered around the palm tree landscaped, brick office complex in search of suite 100. I wore an in-season crisp white, sleeveless, business appropriate dress and nude colored high heels. Alas! I found the office and pushed the glass door open to enter. I was pleasantly greeted by both a rush of cool refrigerated air as well as a delightful smile by the office manager.

As instructed I sat down in a chair at a round table in the office as I waited for the interview to begin. She stepped out to let Curt know his interview had arrived as my eyes perused the big office. A large dry erase board hung on a wall with property addresses and prices. There were lots of purchase contracts lined neatly on a big desk, dual monitored computers and ringing phones. The environment felt alive, productive and the awards that hung on the walls spoke of success.

My attention was soon diverted from trying to understand the new surroundings to the doorway from which a happy, semi boisterous voice was heard. A fraction of a second after hearing the voice a man in a Tommy Bahama shirt and blue jeans was quickly approaching me. I was confused trying to decide whether to stay seated for this man passing through on his way to a party or stand to shake his hand, smile and pretend like I knew him too. He moved so quickly that before I had the chance make up my mind; he took seat  in the chair across from me, held out his hand and said “Hi! I’m Curt!”.

I reciprocated the introduction and declined the offer to drink a shot of tequila that he had just brought back from Cancun. He asked me to tell him about myself but as soon as I started to roll into it he started to tell me how wonderful Cancun was! Once he was finished telling me about his vacation he stood up and said “Yeah, come in tomorrow and we’ll try it out for a couple of weeks”.

I arrived on time the following day and got straight to work making phone calls to garner new business.  A short while into the workday Curt poked his head into the cubicle where he heard the mysterious voice coming from. He just had to see for himself who was setting the appointments for him because he could not believe it was the same person he had interviewed the day before. “You were a pity hire! I really didn’t think you would work out” he said as I smiled and finished my phone call. The two of us joke about it to this day.

You’re off to Nepal!

A couple of years ago I discovered a trip in which one can trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. It didn’t cost a fortune, wasn’t as dangerous as attempting to reach the summit and you get to see Mount Everest! From the moment I told Curt about it he was determined to make it a reality. We had originally planned to do it as a team as a reward for accomplished goals but over the course of 2 years lives got hectic and business  boomed. There was hardly any time to think about the Himalayan adventure therefore the Everest Base Camp idea wasn’t talked about again until one day a few months ago he came into my office to tell me he was going to trek to base camp in just a few months!

Although this wasn’t the original plan, I had nothing but pure excitement for him. I also made sure to tell him how crazy he was for only allowing a couple of months to prepare.

As I write this he is somewhere over the Arctic aboard a 777 on his way to Dubai then Kathmandu. We exchanged some important work texts while he was at the Seattle airport then he settled into normalcy knowing his team has everything covered.

Last night after a bunch of us said goodbye, I switched the lights off to the office as we all walked out to the parking lot. We conversed and joked a bit more before parting ways. I’m never good with expressing what I feel in person so I’m writing what I wanted to tell him here.

He may not know this but the truth is he’s already succeeded because he’s truly chasing his dream when most never attempt what they dream about. Dreams are what make life worth living.

Curt has turned this trip into something bigger with greater meaning than I could have ever imagined doing so myself. He’s always had a big heart and huge soft spot for children. A couple of weeks ago he met the most darling brother and sister named Noah and MeiLi. Noah is currently receiving treatment for leukemia and MeiLi has brain tumors as she suffers from neurofibromatosis. With the help of modern technology he is going to keep in contact with the children and include both of them on his journey through face time, photos and messages. A fundraising campaign will launch soon and he is personally matching up to $5000 in donations. 100% of donations earned will go to the family to assist with the medical costs.

This is my thank you letter to my friend for being an exceptional human being in this moment. I wish you well and I wish you safe travels.

M

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