Reason as the Leading Motive

Meaningful Value and Evaluation

Posted by Jerry on February 17, 2006

Today was the last day of my boss in my company. We had a little gathering in the conference room where everybody brought in little somethings to eat and share, and express our immense appreciation to her for being a great person to work for. I brought in tasty tasty samosas that everybody loved and devoured eagerly!

So, just a few minutes ago, as I was saying my last goodbye’s to her privately, I was almost moved to tears by the imminence of the fact; the fact that she will not be here when I get back to work on Monday. She and I had shared a great working and friendly relationship. Somehow she just “got” me. She was also a woman of ideas. We spoke of Emerson and philosophies and our concept of what life and living should be. Over her brief time at the company, she had endeared herself to almost everybody that she came in contact with. She had the loudest and free-est laughter I have heard from anybody – let alone from a lady in the upper echelons of a Corporation. Her sense of life is truly benevolent.

I was not the only one shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news of her leaving. Even the VP of the company, who is an ardent Cubs fan and even has his email address referencing his loyalty to the team, while my boss is an exuberant South-sider Sox fan, attempted to bribe her to not leave by saying he would convert into a fan for her team if she decided to stay!

Needless to say, I deeply valued our work relationship because it fueled my work ethic and integrity – it was my obligation to offer the best of my efforts to someone who recognized the best in me.

One of the last things she said to me in our parting conversation was: “Jerry, I know that you will have a very interesting and rewarding life. You are very passionate and unique person. You will definitely succeed in life, but I wish I could see how you do it, because I know it will be different.”

That was it. I was quiet, because I was afraid if I said anything, a tear might escape my eyes. After a moment, I said thank you for saying that, and I hope you have fun working where you go. Then we said our goodbyes and I walked out.

Felt like a funeral! Ugh.

My own reaction surprises me. I didn;t expect to be so affected by it. I guess, this is what it means to deem someone or something so valuable that losing it necessarily should be hard and difficult. This is what it means to value with discretion because only then will the valuation have any meaning. This is why I don’t bother with niceties… don’t bother being “nice” to people I really don’t care about or people I actually despise. Because then that which I value or those that I do like and value, their estimation in my eyes and the praises I offer them retains some meaning and worth. Praises are meaningless if the grotesque is esteemed on an equal level as that which is truly beautiful. Be generous with your condemnation and disdain for that which deserves it, and be equally generous with your praise and upliftment for that which is good, moral, benevolent and beautiful. Toleration of mediocrity or the downright evil is no different from sanctioning it. In practical life, no private business with the motive to compete and succeed will tolerate the mediocre – that would hasten the demise of the company and everyone else who works there. The same attitude should apply to relatiships.

This Monday will be strange.

2 Responses to “Meaningful Value and Evaluation”

  1. This was a beautifully written post. Working for a boss that you truly admire makes coming to work a joy. Couldn’t agree more about giving as much praise as possible when a person has deserved it. Too often, especially in the corporate world, nothing is said when a person does a good job, but they are criticised heavily when a mistake is made.

  2. Ergo Sum said

    Yes, thanks Phoenix for the nice words. Today, I’m at work.. and it’s awfully silent. It just so happens that my ex-boss’s office is directly in front of my cube, and it’s so unmotivating to watch an empty, dark office there.

    Oh well.. gotta move on.

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