[[groovy musics: ]]

12:47 a.m. // 07 October 2005

My boss died last week. He was a good boss and a good guy. Loud, funny, demanding, deeply opinionated, passionate as hell about his life's work. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in March; he hoped to be one of those people who manages to live with their tumors for years, and he was driven enough to do it.

The day I took him out to lunch at his favorite Japanese place in town (the other Japanese place in town was also his favorite place to eat) was one of the last days he came in to the office. It was a lunch meeting, where he order his usual sushi combo, with the staff always happy to see him and to sub out the California rolls for something meatier.

He had not been able to drive since his seizure, so when he was able to come into the office, he had to bring a sandwich with him in a brown paper gift bag, to be eaten alone in his office. He who loved dining out so much.

He offered me a job promotion that surprised and flattered me, and that scared me, a little. I admitted to him that I had never been through a real job interview before, even to get my current job; I was surprised when he said that this was an interview of sorts.

He presented it in his usual brusque, painfully honest matter -- something like "I don't think you'd be the best candidate for the job, but..." -- yet he also backed it up with a vow to be there to help me out.

I was obviously reluctant -- I didn't even care to talk about the money -- and I'm sure my lack of ambition disappointed him a little. But he also said he didn't want my choice to disrupt my personal life, to mess things up with Dwayne. I said something maybe a little cutting: "It shouldn't be up to me to be the one to save the newsroom." But he agreed, and gave me the weekend to decide.

This was a Thursday. He gave me the weekend to decide. I saw him through the doorway of his office on Friday but I still hadn't made my choice yet, so I didn't talk to him.

I decided to turn down the offer. Because I was reluctant. Because I didn't want that burden on my shoulders. Because the office has been off-kilter of late. Because I didn't want to stay at work until midnight every single night, only to come home to find Dwayne fast asleep and myself upset about his, his, his being asleep.

Barry didn't come back to work that week, or the next. I had to turn down the promotion by proxy, even though I really wanted him to be there to challenge my decision.

There's a blog here.


previous // next