I went to have lunch with an old employer of mine. He was under the impression that I hated him.
The truth was that I was always fond of his family and considered them friends. His younger brother was my boss out of college. I worked my way up very quickly. His brother was smart enough to allow a talented associate the freedom to use his talents while he played golf and took it easy. When there was a huge task we all worked together and it was as fine a crew as I ever worked with. Most of us went our seperate ways, some of us into more interesting lives others into obscurity.
Unlike, the rest of my peers I was in the trade by choice. My degree meant survival in an age where the industry around us collapsed. I moved onto a bigger stage and then vanished for a long time. Few new my actual path when I sought out a new career and left it all behind to travel to Vermont. As I surveyed the wreckage of the industry I left, my choice was correct.
Still I have nostalgia for the old way of life and a forgotten time. Much like a cowboy reminisces about the end of an era a part of me yearns for one last push. I did a weekend with another former employer who learned the hard way about his poor judgment in the people around him.
I did a small job easily and when the envelope was handed to me I returned it back. It was on the house for closure and old times. Judging the people around you correctly must be a lost art as it is a running theme and the wrong choices often have a lasting impact.
My former boss was glad to see a face from the past who looked upon him fondly. I reminded him it is Officer these days but it was said with a smile. I reminded him of the time the first business went out and I treated the partner they blamed for the failure of the company with love. My cousin did not take it well and she shorted me five figures.
My former boss asked if I ever spoke to my cousin. Our paths crossed again and it wasn't pretty, but I had no regrets. I climbed higher in the industry without her help. In fact my relationship to her was a hindrance. My continued success became an irritant to her. She was asked multiple times about her mysterious cousin. I was asked multiple times that I am my own person.
When this new business venture failed this business partner was blamed by my cousin. It was quite predictable and in character for her to do so. Times haven't been too kind to the partner who works for someone else. I told him my version of the story and we both laughed. She offered me the sum I was owed and I informed her it was my price of freedom. From that point I was no longer related. She merely told her partner that I blamed him and told her to keep the money.
My former boss wanted to pick up the check, but I insisted. It is easier for a man like myself to handle adversity than for a man who was a prince. I told him I consider his brother and himself to be long lost members of my family.
I left the business at the right time. I do miss some friends and a different set of challenges and being a man of action at times. Another former boss insisted on talking and offered me a small fortune to work abroad. I declined and stated I am proud of my new job and I will never leave the Tranquil Sea or the Sprite for adventure. The new frontier for my former vocation is abroad
and reputations are earned and worth more than ever. My reputation grew legendary after a mysterious departure.
It was an interesting return to my former friends. I did not return on my hands and knees begging for scraps. The story that insiders say is that nobody ever leaves on their own and they
always return looking for the next job. I guess that I never bothered to read the book or was too busy writing new chapters.
The recession is like an ice storm only some trees thought sturdy snapped this time. I am fortunate to be doing what I love even if it is frustrating at times. I see people who graduated ahead of me and lived the Wall Street Dream crushed. I see the obsolete IT displacement folks who thought the good times would last forever.
I hope to see this former employer again as well as friends from my old line of work. Our lives are like novels that have unpredictable story lines. I never believed the old axiom be careful of how you treat people on the way up as you may see them on the way down again. In the age of Obama this is just sadly very true.