The year was 1982. July 19th, actually. I was working as Marketing Manager for a prominent metal building manufacturer here in Houston when the news spread like wildfire throughout the building that my boss, the Vice President of Marketing, had been fired.
It happened as soon as he came in to work. He was told to clear out his desk and leave the premises. That's how it's done in the business world. Nasty. Very nasty!
I found myself deeply affected by this, and composed the following poem. I was able to finish and hand-deliver it before he left.
Throughout our lives we come to know
Different kinds of losses. They show
Us how to deal with pain ...
How to renew when, once again
Fate deals its swift blow.
This time, tho, I feel a great concern.
It's because of a man who must yearn
For the words to express what he now feels.
First comes shock, then anger, then he reels
Back to see what he can learn
From this latest episode in his life.
His next visit must be to his wife,
To be with his family, then out to see
What the availability in Houston will be,
To make some sense out of all this strife.
What happens to those who have worked around him,
Who feel that they have become surrounded
By a glaring myriad of colors, bad dreams & words?
Will they be able to get rid of this scourge
Of ill-feeling and awe they now find themselves in?
My feeling is one of a tremendous sense of loss ...
You are no longer, & perhaps never again, my boss.
We had a hard time learning to communicate
With each other. I hope it is not now too late
To tell you how much I appreciate what you tried to do.
You never minced any words ... you were only -- you.
Truth is a quality I appreciate & greatly admire.
(If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the fire!)
I don't mind heat, Bob ... and, if we are ever to meet again,
Please don't hesitate to consider me ... a friend.