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Finally Putting Down the Rock

March 19, 2013

Today I put down an emotional rock that I’ve been carrying for 15 years.

I was working for Microsoft and in the spirit of Jim Collins’ “Good to Great,” I was in the wrong seat on the bus. I knew it, and my manager knew it. I wanted to change seats just as much as he wanted me to go sit somewhere ANYWHERE else.

It was close to Christmas time and Kevin, the manager went out and bought each team member a CD. We had varying eclectic tastes. Rather than buy the current Flavor-of-the-month, or some generic Christmas album, Kevin really looked for a CD that would fit each person’s tastes.

I don’t remember what he got for other people, but in my case, he was spot on. In fact, he was TOO accurate. He bought me a copy of “20 of Hank Williams Greatest Hits.” You might think that twangy, worbily crooning is worse than nails on a chalkboard. I know some people do. But, it’s the music I grew up on. (It was old even when I was young.)

The reason this was a problem is that I already owned “20 of Hank Williams Greatest Hits.” Kevin had managed to find an obscure CD that I had purchased for myself.

Of course, the polite thing to do. . .the mature thing to do would be to thank him for his thoughtfulness and not mention the one I already owned. I was neither polite nor mature. I sneered some rude comment about “I’ve already got this.” I left his team shortly afterward and haven’t spoken to him since.

That all happened 15 years ago. My actions have continued to bother me even though in all probability he doesn’t even remember it. I tried to look him up a couple of times over the years to apologize, I never could seem to track him down. I got to thinking about that story recently and realized that when I was searching for him before, there was no Facebook, or LinkedIn. So, today I went looking again. I discovered he’s now an artist and teaches drawing.

Today I emailed him and apologized for my rude behavior all those years ago. He was much more gracious than I deserved.

“Hi Rodney,

I appreciate you taking the time to write. Perhaps one of the (sometimes too few -) good things that comes with getting older is largely forgetting things that have occurred in the past – or at least compartmentalizing them successfully. We also get perspective on things in the far corner of our rear-view mirrors.”

After some other kind comments and accepting my apology, he finished with “Best regards and I still believe, one can never go wrong with some good Hank!”

I hadn’t realized how much that rock weighed. It felt good to finally lay it down.

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  1. Running Away From The Writer | Rodney M Bliss

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