The Desk

January 27, 2007

Beaming

Filed under: Career Advancement — Yvonne LaRose @ 4:52 PM

My cell phone began insisting itself on me as I crossed a busy boulevard Friday. The noise level was high from all manner of metropolitan sounds. But the voice came through.

“Ms. LaRose? This is . . .,” and the caller gave his first and last name.

“I’m sorry, who is calling?” the boulevard noise was high.

His identification was repeated. But the noise level insisted on predominance and at that moment, I didn’t recognize the last name. The introduction was repeated. Finally, a qualifier was added; where we met.

“Ah! How are you?”

“I’m fine. I just wanted to tell you that,” [noise interference; speech is garbled], so I ask for the sentence to be repeated. “I graduated yesterday.”

“That’s wonderful! I’m so glad you called to tell me!”

I had been on blood pressure medication until just before we met. One of the negative effects it has is memory loss. Apparently this isn’t permanent and I had stopped taking it in time so that the effects were wearing off when we met. I could reclaim the meeting and everything that went with it. But Life bombards us and the more finite details eluded me.

“Now, let’s see. You were studying electronics or electronic engineering?” Actually, the memory was still working just fine. Part of his history was being promoted from the loading dock to the electronics department.

“No. Aviation. And I got my certificate and everything yesterday.”

Have you ever heard a grin? His was broad. I could hear it. He continued by describing who attended the ceremonies. Both sisters and brothers-in-law, mother, wife, children, nieces, and many others. Everyone was elated.

This was a phone call to relay a success story (not to boast — a success story to share in the joy) from the young man who just three years ago could not pass the math test for a job and could not perform on his cumulatives (in a British-based) school because of that same deficiency. This is the young man who overcame the objections of the racist boss (with the back office assistance of a really great human resources professional). This is the young man who ignored the racist comments from boss and co-workers and by having the right attitude, became the most treasured employee in his department. This is the young man who proved to be such a reliable and productive worker that no one wanted to have him leave their department. His supervisor looked upon it as, “We’ll let them borrow you for a while.”

“So are you going to be sending me your resume soon?”

“No. I’ve already got a job.”

Silly me, I forgot about that promotion thing.

“That’s right. Your company doesn’t want to let you go.”

Still wrong. A company had conducted on-campus recruiting and snatched him up. In about two or three months, he’ll be on his way to a new state and a new job in a field that he is keen to be in and about as close to his dream job (being in the military) as he can get.

This pitiful recitation of the phone call doesn’t capture the obvious enthusiasm that came through my earpiece. With so much interference and rigors of business, my guard was up too high to fully share my joy for the call. I probably sounded aloof. And then my bus arrived and the call had to end.

Lots of Assets

His emotional maturity is high. His philosophical outlook is well grounded. He has an excellent work ethic. He knows how to get along with others and even win over his opposition. He knows how to do things in an organized fashion in order to push his own attainments and abilities. He is well spoken and knows when to show his hand. My friend is destined to success and I’m glad he took me seriously when I gave him my business card and asked that he keep me apprised of his progress.

Reflecting

That was a great phone call. I look forward to those — the success stories. I had absolutely nothing to do with the attainments he made. But I was connected to it because he shared with me the experiences leading toward it. In my heart, I envisioned his success; the phone call saying, I graduated confirmed the vision. It takes tenacity on many fronts to get there.

Not only my friend, but I am beaming.

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The Financial Times

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