Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stepping into a new position

In a very short time, I will be moved up in the dental office I have worked in for the last ten years to the position of office manager. My dear, longtime friend and current office manager, Kathy will be retiring.

Thinking back to June of 2006, I remember being overjoyed at being hired in this office. The ladies I worked with, and even the female dentist all got along amazingly well. I made some of the best friends of my life here. We worked hard, but made time for laughter.

I'd come from a small town, and a very small dental practice that had been there for years. I worked for an excellent dentist whose work was impeccable. The patients in that practice were mostly elderly folks that I would come to love and care for in such a way, that when I moved away from my hometown and had to leave the comfort of the place I'd worked at for twenty-seven years, it would be with many tears that I would do so.

Kathy would make me feel welcome, she would believe in me when she taught me computer skills that I hadn't possessed at my old job. She would encourage and teach in such a way that I wouldn't even see her doing it. She had a warm, listening ear, and a sassy sense of humor. Though she was my boss, my superior, she never made her employees feel less than. Kathy had a way of building each of us up, stating our accomplishments and cheering us on when she believed we deserved it.

When she announced her retirement two short months ago, my first thoughts were selfish ones. Oh no, I thought. What are we going to do without her? And most importantly, who is going to step into her position, or who might we hire to fill her shoes?

When I was told it would be me, at first I declined. I'm not good enough, I thought. The words that have always been such a part of my vocabulary. And of course, I can't do things as well as Kathy can.

My next thoughts were worse. I've got to say goodbye to someone I really care about. A friend who has given me advice and counsel. A woman I've shared some of the deepest thoughts of my life with. I am going to miss her terribly. I don't want her to go.

Kathy has been teaching me all along even though I didn't realize it. The few more difficult tasks that I've learned recently are pushing me well out of my comfort zone. And that is a good thing. For when we get stuck doing the same things day in and out, not challenging our minds, we become stagnant and a little stuck. How on earth are we to advance in our lives if we don't embrace something a little harder than we've always done?

I'm ready to embrace a new title. And once again, we have a super team of co-workers and a newer boss whose enthusiasm is contagious and fun. I'm finally eager to take on more responsibilities with the same poise and grace my predecessor had done.

Oh, and the best news of all: Our dear Kathy has decided to remain with us one day a week. I will certainly look forward now to this special day, a day when we can catch up as friends, a day when we will have so much to talk about. I count myself blessed to have this lovely woman as one of the best friends I've ever known. And I'll take her words and sayings with me forever.

Here's to you, Kathy, for all you've done for us through the years. You truly are a very great lady.

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