Wednesday, April 23, 2014
When I first met Linda, I had a job training hundreds of people who didn't want any part of what I had to train. Truth be told, I didn't want any part of what I had to train, either.
There were better ways to make a living, but I didn't have my thumb on that pulse at the moment.
To be fair, some of these folks -- my students, trainees -- had been doing the same job the same way for decades. Theirs was not a pleasant job to begin with, and my overhead projector and red-point laser didn't offer much comfort as to days ahead.
In response to the training classes, some students lodged complaints with ER. Others wrote the publisher or CEO (you know, as if). A few chose a more peaceful form of protest and put their heads back in their chairs during class and snored.
Most, however, just argued and gave me scathing end of the session evaluations. "She thinks she's so great, but she's not," will probably nag me through life.
So back to Linda. Linda was new to the company, and in my class. And she was that kind of person, you know -- the kind of person everyone likes and everyone wants to befriend. Not sure how this works, but I think it has something to do with charisma. She could clear an hour of uncriticized class time for me with one dry witty comment. Pity I didn't save one of her dry witty comments, but trust me, they are somewhere out there, tickling the universe.
When a job opened up in publications, we all lobbied for Linda. Linda! we said. Linda, Linda. We didn't even know if she could write (she could), but we just wanted to hang out with her, really. Anyway, she got the job.
She got the job, she met Sandy -- another trainer, another gentle soul. They fell in love, moved in together.
We all weren't best friends or anything, but the two of them, they helped me through a rough patch. When my dog died and I got divorced, within a six month period. I took off, and they took care of my cockateil -- she had a whole room to herself. At that time the bird was sort of my lifeline, and often (all too often) I'd call to ask, "Are we still flying, freely?"
Eventually, Sandy and Linda left LA, moved to Portland, bought a house, got two dogs, two jobs, traveled lots of places, always together. And that's the happy ending.
I heard from Sandy that Linda is dying -- in two days or two weeks.
The bad news is, those happy endings aren't really endings -- we're only human. The good news is, we're only human. There is no end. I think we're always free and flying.