Today is my publisher's last day. He's off to bigger and better things in another state.
It's a sad day for the company, only they're too wrapped up in their own petty little corporate world to realize it, yet. I'm sure once the final year numbers come in they will be forced to face it, although, even then, they will dismiss it and go about their daily business of penny-pinching and soul sucking.
I've been here for nearly five years and he is the third publisher I've worked under, which in itself speaks volumes.
Granted, I thought him to be a complete ass when I first met him. He came in; naive of the unscrupulous character of the people he worked for and towed the company line like a good little soldier.
It only took about six months for him to really come to understand what the company was all about, but unlike the others, he neither packed up his office and left or allowed himself to become a puppet. No, this man did the unthinkable.
Not only did he stay, but did so with grace and dignity, placing himself in the line of fire between his people and his bosses. Don't get me wrong, he was careful to tiptoe along the line of decorum and propriety, but he always stopped short of kissing anyone's ass, an admirable thing in itself, although I'm certain he tolerated much more than he would have liked.
A natural-born salesman and leader, he drove the numbers of his papers. While at times I not so lovingly referred to him as the "special section Nazi", I was constantly reminded that he was not asking the impossible. He knew it could be done and he knew we could do it. He had enough respect for us to listen to our suggestions and concerns and make concessions where necessary.
Over the years I came to view him not as a boss, but as a friend and mentor. He taught me the subtle art of knowing when and how to challenge authority, managed to explain why I should give a shit about an EBITDA and showed me that every now and then, numbers driven salesmen really could be good guys.
Meanwhile, I taught him how the Brownie point system worked, proved that southern girls could drink a Yankee under the table and showed him that even nice girls with no head for numbers could be ruthless.
We're a lot alike and I can't help but chuckle at the thought of the good ol' boys referring to me as the "news Nazi".
Best of luck to the best damn boss I ever had. He will be sorely missed.