Administrative Professional’s Day is April 24th in appreciation of the important role of these multi-talented people and the important role they play in all sectors of the worldwide economy including the Ambrous economy.
Very thoughtfully, I planned ahead and arranged a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Jim, the professional administrator of tasks for A French Opportunity. I thought it would “inspire and equip him to attain excellence” according to the vision of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. He showed no appreciation whatsoever! I’m surprised the pretty bouquet didn’t wilt from his glare. With no gratitude, he had the nerve to ask if this was “some kind of holiday” could he have the day off. Sensing a possible “strike” and “walk-out” I agreed. The things you must do for employees nowadays!!
Jim started his working life while a teenager as a part-time employee at Adams Garage, a family-operated business in Opp, Alabama. He will always be thankful for this experience and for the guidance of his employer, Billy Adams. Jim learned enough about being a mechanic to realize that he did not want to follow that line of work, but he did remain in Auto Parts and later the IT management of this type business. I never met Mr. Adams, but through the years Jim remembered those days in the garage and shared stories about his boss, and I realized he had inspired and equipped Jim to develop good work principles.
When we were young and our old green and white Chevy broke down on a country road, I was thankful that Jim had learned enough to fix it – after kicking it severely and sounding off with unkind words, to the car, that is. At other times, when he was in a better mood he told the funny stuff that happened in the garage. Jim reminisced, “Billy said I was the only person who could walk into the garage and kick over an oil can on each side of the garage all in one shot.”
I don’t know if Billy was saying Jim was clumsy or had big feet. Both could apply at times.
Jim visited Billy a couple of times after we had moved back to Opp. The last time he went to visit a family member told Jim that Billy had left for a doctor’s appointment out of town.
Jim lost his dear friend to cancer just days after the doctor visit. I heard a story after the funeral that Jim had never shared with me. Jim said when he visited Billy earlier he had told him, “Billy, you know I never truly apologized to you for damaging your dune buggy at the beach during Spring break when I was a teenager. You instructed me not to drive it down into the salt water, and said if I got it stuck in a sand dune that I shouldn’t try to back it out. You said I should get my buddies to push it out or I would burn out the reverse gear. I’m so very sorry. But I did all of it – all of it wrong!” Jim said that Billy knew how he was feeling at the time, and he had thought about telling Jim to repair the dune buggy, but he didn’t. He just said to pull it around back and park it. Jim had never forgotten, and he will never forget this fine gentleman who played a key part in his life.
How did your working life begin? Do you have memorable, helpful employers in your background? Perhaps you should give them a call or send a note of gratitude.
Rules cover the workplace now to protect the worker from mistreatment. Still it happens. (Ann Curry comes to mind. I won’t make any judgments, but I’m sure you understand the comparison.) The early experiences, especially, can affect the new employee, either inspiring them or possibly ruining their outlook on life. Bullying happens in the workplace, the same as in school. Will you help the new person on the job? Will you refuse to gossip, snub or allow jealousy to rule your actions? Will you do your part to generate a happy environment? Will you be a person who is remembered fondly for many years? It’s up to you!
I thought about Jim’s wilting look at the bouquet and decided a night out at Doc’s Country Store for a delicious meal would be a better present.
Doc’s Country Store has my book for sale. Why not drop by for a meal and buy a copy of A French Opportunity? If it’s a bit too far to drive, just click on the picture below and you can purchase a copy.
I have a SURPRISE for you next week. No, it isn’t more pictures of new grandson Daniel. Take a guess, and if you already know you are not allowed to guess. I hope I hear from you in the Reply area below.
Take a look at the old cars in France. I’m sure that Jim’s friend Billy would have loved them.
Just click on “Old Cars in France”