Marking Time

I think often of the photo in this book, capturing a man in exhausted posture, looking with quiet disdain at the photographer. So young, it is a man I never knew. I only met him decades after when he had already Been There, Done That more than a few times and had moved on to Goodbye To All That.

He has always brought that quiet interior to his job, hard to excite, and of general good will to all around him. When he took on the latest role, it was nearly the perfect match of need to experience. And so it had been until a few months ago. Sadly, as was actually stated today, the new regime was looking for a “yes man”. Ahhh…good of them to be so crystal clear. It saves a lot of angst and concern that the difficulties of late may have been exaggerated in his mind.

There is a kind of ease that comes when a decision is made. We’d decided before that he would never again work for someone that wasn’t honest and a plain speaking gentleman. The time has come again to move on…and I suppose in the end it is best. He could not advance in the current role. An option is possible but not optimal. But is it better than being somewhere hours away?

The worst part, I think, is that the men who work with him will know what it is like to work for a real leader and now be thrust into the care of someone who bemoaned the experience his subordinate has. The experience garnered across years of service, of tired eyes and limbs moving forward across ground hard-won. Another advance lays ahead of him. But perhaps this time his experience will be considered an asset, an opportunity to use it rather than demean it.