My Bosses Broke Up (and James got to Keep the Office Plant)
It’s time you hear the whole scoop concerning this office and what we’ve been through in the past month. It’s been a bumpy month, folks, but things are looking up.
I sat down with my Boss James today for all the details…
The Plant Stays
An interview with my Boss, James Beaver
Just the Assistant: First things first, Boss… you and Chad broke up. When I broke up with boyfriends in high school I’d listen to old country songs and smoke cigarettes. Have you tried that?
James Beaver: Not yet.
JTA: Okay Boss, this is big stuff. What happened?
JB: Basically, Chad took me out for a drink and told me that he had a job offer from a company he was a big fan of. He told me he was considering accepting it, but he wasn’t sure. So he took some time to think about it, and two days later he told me he was taking the job.
JTA: Had things been rough between you guys leading up to this?
JB: No, everything was good. We’re still good. He just emailed me actually. I mean, I’d prefer that he still worked here, but we’re good.
JTA: Ooh, write him back and tell him that I’m interviewing you about him!
(James ignores me.)
JB: Yeah, we can say that.
[Note: Hayley and Rachelle left with Chad.]
JTA: So Chad decided to leave, and that left you to run this branch alone. What were you thinking then?
JB: My mind instantly went into, “What’s the best thing for the most people?” I wanted to do everything I could to keep the branch running and protect as many people as I could from losing their jobs. And I wanted to stay with Envoy.
JTA: So what did you do?
JB (speaking of manager of a different Envoy branch): I called Ty Smith, took him out for a beer, and told him I wanted to come work for him, that I had a great team.
JTA: Did you kind have to sell us to him? Like, “And then there’s Christina, who does pretty much nothing. She’s amazing though!” Or was he already interested?
JB: He was pretty interested, but we had to work through a lot of logistics.
JTA: Was there a time when you thought you’d have to lay me off?
JB: I have to consider that like every 45 days, Christina.
JTA: Ha! Well I hope you told him how we’ll all go under if he doesn’t let me keep this blog. So what’s our status now?
JB: We are basically a satellite office of Ty’s larger branch.
JTA: Okay, you and Chad worked together for ten years. How are you?
JB: I’m actually excited. Since I’m part of another branch now, some of my management responsibilities get taken care of by other people, which allows me to focus on taking great care of my customers. I get a huge kick out of that.
JTA: Have you been sleeping with Chad’s picture under your pillow?
JB: No, but we did share a hotel room in Scottsdale a few weeks ago a week after he left. We’d signed up for a conference months before, and there was only one hotel room left. I short sheeted his bed one night. He was concerned I might smother him with a pillow, so I felt the short-sheeting was okay.
JTA: Good call. Smothering might have been over the top. So listen, I know what happened was hard, but over all do you think this is going to be best for both of you?
JB: I really do. I think we were relying on each other for things that led us to not grow certain skill sets we both should have. Sometimes we got bogged down with lots of projects and plans, which can be great, but can be a distraction. So we’re both paring back and focusing on what’s important in our businesses.
JTA: Do you think we should toilet paper Chad’s yard?
JB: He doesn’t have a yard.
JTA: But he has that patio we could roll.
JB: No, let’s not. We shouldn’t toilet paper his yard.
JTA: Fine, party pooper. Okay, what else do you want people to know?
JB: Chad’s a great friend. I hope he does great. I’m excited for both of us and change is kind of fun. And it’s been a great 10 years. We’ve had a lot of good times. Some hard times too. Really, this just impacts our working relationship, but our friendship is still in good shape.
Since Chad and I started working together, he met, started dating and married his wife. We’ve both been through some pets. I’ve had two kids, and Chad was covering for me when I was at the hospital while they were being born. We’ve worked at three companies together. We’ve built a great team together.
We’ve gone through massive regulatory changes and massive changes in the market. We’ve had stretches where we still aren’t sure how we stayed in business and stretches when we couldn’t believe how blessed we were. A lot of life has happened together. Changing companies won’t change any of that or change that we’re still great friends.
JTA: That’s very sweet, James. Hey, can I get a picture of you gazing at Chad’s picture on the bulletin board and looking like you’re about to cry?
JB (indulging me): Sure.
JB: But make sure everyone knows this, too. When Chad told me he was taking the other job, it was a pretty emotional meeting. Afterward Chad stayed in his office with the door closed for like an hour and a half. And you know that plant we have that keeps dying every time we move it? Well once Chad came out of his office, he poured some water into the plant from his water bottle like he always does before he leaves for the weekend. And I leaned over to him and said really low, “If you move that plant again, it’s going to die. The plant stays.”
JTA: It’s such a nice plant, really. So what’s the future of this small group of people we’ve got left?
JB: We’ve got a group that’s been galvanized. Everybody knows what they want and we’ve got the same goals. It’s brought us all closer together.
JTA: Okay Boss, I’m glad we’re all still on good terms and we can all agree to send Chad a Christmas card, but at the end of the day, we want people to send us business, right?
(James grins and won’t say anything).
JTA: Okay Boss, now go answer all those phone calls!
Chad, if you’re reading this, I enjoyed every minute that I worked for you. (Except for when you sent me crazy emails about “ideas” you had that ended with like nineteen exclamation points. Remember when you asked me to invent and build an app? Enough with the ideas already, man.) You always took time to sit down with me and hear about my life and you were quick to lift people up. If you want to call me once a week and tell me about the workout videos you completed, I’m all ears as usual. Also, send Hayley and Rachelle my love, and tell them that the office kitchen is still dirty.