Lunch With the Boss

September 23, 2007

I have the most amazing supervisor in the world. I’m not kidding. I’m not exaggerating. She’s an amazing person– kind and strong and competent. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been on leave of absence due to Fibromyalgia. My supervisor has been with me every step of the way on this– she understands the nature of Fibro, and how it’s changed my mind, energy and body. She sees the guilt, the pain, the depression– all of my warts– and she genuinely cares about me. It’s pretty incredible, considering that this syndrome renders me the Least Valuable Player at work.

We meet for lunch every so often, just to touch base. It makes me so happy to connect with her, and she seems genuinely happy to connect with me. I don’t know how she does it– I cry, explain, update, I give her all the reasons she should just go ahead and fire me– it’s all very depressing. I’ve had to postpone, and once I had to leave early, because I was hurting too much to sit through an entire meal. What a lunch buddy I am. She never gives up on me, though I often give up on myself.

We got together again yesterday, and were delighted to see each other. She was carrying this gigantic bag with her. We hugged and talked, then she handed me the bag and told me that it was from everyone at work.

By the way, I have amazing coworkers too. Overall, they’re intelligent, hard working, fun and kind. Of course there are a couple of snotty, petty ones as well (they make me have high school flashbacks), but two or three bad apples out of a department of 35 is pretty extraordinary.

Anyway, in the bag was a basket. A beautiful basket, decorated by a woman in the department. Inside the basket, my friends from work had placed some of the most thoughtful, personal gifts imaginable. I’ll try to describe some of it:

  • One coworker, with whom I used to discuss music, put in a CD of a singer she had told me about.
  • Another, who’d once lent me a movie that I never got to watch, sent a copy of it and attached bags of microwave popcorn.
  • One, who knows that I love to paint and draw, sent a sketch pad and some pencils.
  • There’s a woman who works part-time at Merle Norman. She sent a beautiful satin bag with moisturizers, blush, lipsticks, and lots of other girly things.
  • Scented candles were tucked inside, along with lotions, bubble bath, amazing herbal soaps, novels, puzzle books, a magazine on body and spirit– all sorts of things to keep stress down.
  • Everyone at work knows that I’m addicted to a particular salad from a particular restaurant. I used to eat one several times a week. Someone gave me a gift card from this restaurant.
  • Chocolate!
  • Someone I used to have Tim Horton’s coffee with sent a whole can of the stuff.
  • A journal.
  • A beautiful bracelet made of “lucky karma beads,” which is supposed to bring “unexpected miracles.”
  • They all went in and collected enough money for me to get a massage from this therapist I used to go to but can no longer afford.

I was speechless, and needless to say, cried non-stop. A couple of times, I had to quit perusing all of the stuff they’d put in there, just to collect myself a bit. After lunch, I read all of the cards that people had sent. There was one big group card, then several individual ones. One woman who used to talk to me about her dog (he has a better wardrobe than I do) sent a picture of herself with him. A supervisor had found a card with Desiderata on it, a poem which I have posted on the wall above my (now empty) desk at work. It just had the part that reads:

“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” Inside, she wrote, “My Dearest Moonbeam, I hope today finds you well. You have no idea how often you are in my thoughts and prayers, sending good healthful energy. I miss your sense of humor and gentle spirit. I hope you don’t mind if I tag along on one of your future lunch outings. Love ya girlie– feel well.”

This made both my supervisor and me blubber all over the place.

How can so much kindness exist in the universe? It overwhelms me and fills my heart with joy. I don’t deserve these gifts. This is not false modesty. Let me tell you, there are people in my department who have overcome obstacles a million times greater than mine. Some have illnesses. A few of them go home to dying spouses, renegade children, and elderly parents that they have to care for. My supervisor confided that as a single mom, she’d raised a disabled son. Their strength is inspirational, and my weakness puts me to shame. That they did this for me is inconceivable.

I am so fortunate. I feel so blessed.


6 Responses to “Lunch With the Boss”

  1. Little Miss Says:

    That made me cry! You are so blessed to have such an understanding and supportive work environment. Wow. If only all employement arenas were the same.

  2. I cried when I wrote it! It all just makes me shake my head in disbelief. Words can’t really express it.

  3. ouiser Says:

    WOW! I think that’s the first time I’ve heard of someone’s workplace and coworkers being so understanding of FM! Now I understand why you miss it so!

  4. It boggles my mind, Ouiser!

  5. What beautiful people you have in your orbit.

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