Thursday, June 12, 2008


I've had the privilege of working under a series of terrific bosses over the past 8 years. It seems funny to me that I've outlasted them all. Maybe I'm wearing them out! Nah, the first three were younger than I and restless in that way young professionals are sometimes.

My most recent boss was more "mature" than I. She was the most professional person I have ever worked with. I say "worked with" because even though she was my supervisor, she had a knack for making you feel as if you were an integral part of the decision-making process. She not only asked for input - she also incorporated it into the work plan.

And she cared about us. When one of my peers (another of her subordinates) was visiting family in her home country on the African continent, we received word that civil unrest had erupted nearby. My boss was on the phone immediately trying to reach her, needing to know that she was safe. She defended us fiercely, and we returned the favor.

Impossible as it is to believe, even in social service agencies ethics can collide with policies and procedures. Most of us at this agency, regardless of our licensing, operate under a code of ethics. And most of these codes cite first and foremost that we are to "do no harm." We take this very seriously. It matters. It dictates our behaviors, resonates in our hearts. There is no acceptable outcome for violating this edict.

Such a conflict arose last week. I am not at liberty to publicly discuss the particulars, and I respect my agency too much to bash it. My boss was asked to do something that could potentially lead to harm. She was torn, and she tried desperately to reconcile the conflict. She failed. She is gone.

I told her that I was deeply saddened to see her leave. And I also told her that I have never been prouder to be associated with anyone. For the time being I await a new supervisor. I figure my run of good luck is probably played out. But I've got my rabbit's foot nearby just in case.

1 comment:

BB said...

I am sad to see her go. She stood up for me on a sensitive issue, and that meant a lot.