My father says that the best thing you can hope for out of a career is the legacy you leave behind. He says people will tell you they’re working for the money, and money is nice – particularly in today’s economy. But at the end of the day, or the year or on that last day as you're driving home from work the greatest thing you can expect from it all is to look back and feel like you made a difference in people’s lives. Today we trekked to Blacksburg for my old boss Harry's retirement party. He has been at Virginia Tech since 1980 or so and the director of the Interlibrary Loan department since 1996. He was my boss from late in 1997 until June of 2000 when I moved back to Norfolk to work full time for Bossman.
Harry has become a part of my own vernacular. Every time my friends and family lament “what do stupid people do?” when confronted with something that should be so simple and proves to be so daunting, it always makes me smile. Even at the reception this afternoon we were looking for a place to set our empty plates and I said we could start a trend by using a side table we found. Harry just shrugged and said, "Well, somebody has to do something first." Everyone at the reception seemed to have a Harryism to share.
I’ve only had two bosses for any significant amount of time. But Harry touched all of our lives, and in particular my own life as one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. I’m glad his friend convinced him to go to library school, I’m grateful he took took a chance on me and had faith in me, and I’m proud to call him my friend.