*Name changed to Haymitch because I feel it’s appropriate, relevant, and respectful to the story.
A week ago, I went in to my boss’s office on Monday morning, looked over and saw that his bookshelf was cleaned out, only the dust print outlines of his things remained. This confirmed a slow but sneaking suspicion that started a few weeks ago that my mentor, Haymitch, might be leaving the organization. I wasn’t sure why or what the real story was, but I could just tell. Probably that empath thing. The moment I sat down he went immediately into talking about his resignation and what was going to happen next in this process of actually resigning to the CEO after he first told me, what I should be doing, what to expect, etc. Always prepared.
What I didn’t see coming was the extremely emotional feeling I felt when he was gone a day later for good, and I was on my own without a boss in my corner who I trusted to actually be in my corner. Panic attacks and tears (and I HATE crying at work…I mean HATE). Anxiety and overreaction. Stomach pains, heartburn, racing heart, more tears for no reason. Sprinkle in a gamut of inconsiderate things said to me by C-Level people regarding Haymitch’s departure and casually asking me to not update my resume (direct quote). I don’t think I’ve felt more like I was in a terrible dream or twilight zone than last Monday-Wednesday at work. So much so, I had to take Thursday and Friday off to get back some of my composure and readjust my head to sit back on my shoulders straight. I’ve done my very best to not think of work until today.
There are a lot of details I’m skipping over. Bottom line, my mentor resigned and I now, more than ever, need to evaluate what I want from a career. Wherever and whatever that may be. Luckily for me, my resume was already updated. Wink.
While I’ll be doing a lot of evaluating in the next few weeks, I want to impress that I’m not a total weirdo and I don’t think that my corporate experience is exactly like the Hunger Games ideology…although there are so many metaphorical similarities. My now ex-boss, Haymitch, was really quite like the mentor of the same name in the Hunger Games: someone who always shot me straight, gave me advice to keep my career alive even in dire and weird situations when jerks tried to throw me under a bus or two, and encouraged me to climb further up the ladder because he knew I was capable and smart. Haymitch just understood me. On top of that, we appreciated each others’ obscenely dry sense of humor. He taught me not only that being entrepreneurial is the only way to succeed in our company, and my ability to maintain my cool in pressured situations was something to be valued and was unique among many. I learned so much in two years.
Few people can say they like and respect their direct managers. I am lucky to say that I do, as he (and his family) head to the colder pastures of a CEO’s office up north in Minnesota. I’m very proud to have learned so much from one guy who is now part of my growing collection of mentors; the Haymitch to my Katniss. Best wishes.