It goes without saying that my career would not have been as highly successful as it was without the awesome people that were always around me. These men and women were some of the most professional and driven people that I have ever known. Of course, to hear it from them, they would scoff and chide about their drive and ability but, seriously, they were all best of class in my book.
For the past 15 years, I worked with a staff who were no less than phenomenal. These people were wired to be professionals. Having said that, though, sometimes the wiring would ahem er umm get disconnected or mis-wired or even un-wired – and these outage times always ended up being the best of times.
At the risk of missing a few of the best of the best of all time mischievous perps – I must say the league of Dick, Russ, Alan, SueEllen, and John was second to none. These people could make me laugh and groan unendingly. Along with their extremely professional work ethic, they could also randomly create fantasy situations that somehow one or a few of us would unwittingly find ourselves somehow mixed up in the middle of without any effort at all on our part. Seriously, I was always a victim! Every. Time.
Dick was the leader of this pack of misfit rowdies. On one hand, he would temper and calm but on the other hand, he would pour gasoline on the fire. Constantly. John played the coy simpleton but was inwardly quite devious and very definitely the spark that would often set things afire. Russ tried to be the manly punch-em-in-the-face say-it-like-it-is kind of male mechanic machine that he thought he wanted to be, but he was, too, a real swinger when it came to schemes and plots. SueEllen was our mother – empathizer, lover, hugger, giver. But it wasn’t too often that SE did not want to hear and revel in the latest goings on – she kept feeding us. And Alan was the “poor boy” – the one who always seemed to be on the receiving end of things. But that is where he was happiest – on the receiving end. And he could give back – in volumes!
And our consensus favorite movie of all time was Napoleon Dynamite. We used this fact as a club filter. We would engage others in meetings or lunches and – somehow – Napoleon would be brought up. If someone liked the movie and could quote lines from the movie, we took interest in this person and brought him into the fold. Or, if the person scrunched up their nose and made weird head-wagging motions and said, “That was the most horrible movie I have ever seen. It’s not even funny!” then we pretty much marked that person off of our list of who we could and would deal with.
I realize that this may be mostly insider baseball for most of you, but to those who know what I am talking about, you will appreciate my list. And besides, this is my cave wall so sometimes I can scratch up on my wall whatever I want to scratch up there. So anyway, here is my list.
Top Seventeen List of Highly Questionable Antics
1. Putting odd colored and odd numbered amounts of M&Ms on Alan’s desk
2. Alan dumping $1 bills all over John’s office
3. John and Russ “living together” in their apartment
4. Alan hiding the can of Skoal in my office – in different places
5. John’s horses that never die and that we offer to “take care of” free of charge
6. Russ fist fighting his way out of everything – including punching an officer
7. Mice droppings all over Alan’s desk
8. Russ and his “Stan Bait”
9. Russ being assigned to those two guys – “What is the soup du jour? They serve it every day!”
10. Alan running us out of gasoline on top of a mountain in the face of a lightning storm
11. Russ installing the ceiling fan “for a friend”
12. Alan driving a sleeping section chief clear across Utah and Idaho
13. Alan eating breakfast with “the boss” while on vacation in PA
14. John giving a lecture with his shirt on inside-out and we didn’t want to tell him – we just laughed at him the whole lecture from our seats
15. Dick going to sensitivity training
16. Alan always getting the “Oregon coastal route”
17. Taking Alan to a sushi and Chinese restaurant for his party
Good times and funny stories and there are so many more that I really can’t talk about here. Maybe I will think of more later.
In among the hard work, we always could find some time to play. I am glad that these people have been able to move on to mostly productive work in other places and with other organizations. It was good and fun while it lasted, though. Thanks, guys and ladies.