Sunday, August 05, 2018

"Sorry" is a good word, a strong word

I used to be terribly close to a very good guy. I still think of him as "a kid," but today's he's a 45-year-old father of two. From the moment we met -- nearly 20 years ago -- he's been one of my favorite people. I mentored him at work and was his confessor about his night time adventures. When he finally settled down, he moved to the burbs and we drifted apart. These things happen. It didn't diminish my fondness for him.

Two months ago, he posted to my LinkedIn page that he was suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed and was hoping for my help and a reference. I responded yes, immediately, and told him to send me his rez. I'd spoken to our HR department and knew there was an opening he might be right for. I never heard from him again. Apparently he couldn't be bothered.

Last week, I received a reference request from a prospective employer. Naturally I filled it out honestly (but still effusively). But I sent him a LinkedIn message, letting him know that even though I praised him, I was still pissed. I reminded him that I spoke to our HR department and said, "I extended myself for you and you left me hanging. Not cool."

He answered me instantly online and over the phone. On Friday, we chatted for 40 minutes and caught up. His firing was likely illegal, since he was being slammed by his new boss for time spent on a federal grand jury. He was busy with lawyers and won a year's worth of severance. But between that, his kids, and celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary (it's been 10 years?), he just hadn't been checking LinkedIn as much as she he should.

"You know, last time I looked for a job, LinkedIn didn't even exist!"

During the course of our conversation, he apologized a half dozen times. Before we hung up, I said, "You fucked up, you apologized, it's over now." And I mean it. All is forgiven.

I remain impressed by what a nice person he is, how sensitive. He's still rough-edged, still all-boy, but at his core he's a very good person. His readiness to apologize was rare, and it made me very happy.

1 comment:

  1. I'm like you--let's acknowledge and move along.