First, Congratulations Derek (DAK!) and Ashley: the new Mr. and Mrs. Boogaard. There wedding dinner was done in great taste and they looked especially happy. I am thrilled for them.
While sitting at the table waiting for dinner to be served, I looked over and saw my former boss from Power Innovations (2006-2007) sitting at the table next to me. Karen was my direct supervisor for most of my tenure at PI. I was able to interpret the things that she needed done and figure out which "CRISIS" actually needed attention versus which could be ignored. And I knew that if you asked about her grandkids, you got a paid forty-five minutes of stories. I thought that we were fairly tight. She defended me when I was unfairly let-go, she's given me GREAT references when I've needed them the past few years and yet, when I went up to say "Hi"... She didn't recognize me.
The truth was, I saw her husband, Bruce, first. I kept looking at him, knowing that I knew him and then it hit me, and I looked around and saw Karen. She looks basically the same. I suspect that my hair has changed about a hundred times since I've last seen her.
The point of this post is that, Karen didn't recognize me - but she's still been willing to give me a raving review whenever I've given her as a reference. So why would she do that?
I recently read a book called The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies. In it, one of the local boys is lost in action and then eventually declared dead. This boy, who was so much considered a nuisance or strange or weird or having held any number of quirks that were annoying, was suddenly transformed into a local hero. Because he had served his county and represented his home town and died in the cause, he was immortalized. So, I think, perhaps, because I was terminated so unjustly, perhaps Karen remembers me as someone who was better than I really was. In her mind, I wonder if I am immortalized as someone she owes because I was a good employee but still had a premature ending with the company. My memory lives on - even though she is no longer able to tell it's me.
It doesn't matter, of course. I've been able to find two good jobs because of her. I gained a lot of experience working at PI: like being able to work in a technical field that I don't understand but need to still be able to answer questions, or learning about marketing so I could get that job at Novell. In the end, I owe her a huge thank you. I was able to tell her that tonight, and now... now, I think that she can forget me forever. Unless, I really am a complete legend at Power Innovations. (Somehow I doubt it, though.)