Below is a letter I wrote to my boss recently. I’m not normally the type to put personal things in the public domain, however, I thought more people could identify with this. I’ve taken out the names of the people mentioned in order to protect their privacy (as well as my own).
I remember some time ago my father teaching me a few principles philosophers sculpted. One such philosopher (Immanuel Kant) came up with a theory of Universalization. We both talked about it and nicknamed it “just because”. The way you act, treat people, make decisions, joke, cry, laugh and so on has no rationale behind it. Sometimes the choices we make are born from an inner feeling of “I’m doing this, and acting this way just because.” If one has oiled their psychological cogs in the right way, then plodding along and acting the way you do, is not miraculous because of one life-changing incident, but rather because you have the momentum and courage to be consistent.
I’ve trained many people by now, and a good example of this would be when I see someone knot their brow with frustration when they don’t understand. Many others pull the keyboard towards themselves and hurriedly console the awkwardness. My instinct though, is first to question and then help that person one foot forward, step by step.
I’ve been through many managers in retail and wholesale. I admire your consistency, and your ability to wear your heart out in the open. Despite the stress and pace that retail runs at…I know by the time I have your hand around my shoulder – saying goodbye, or good morning – we’re friends again.
Look I must admit, the other day when you flipped out because I had screwed up an EFT order I felt very ashamed for a while. Perhaps I needed that. Part of me wanted to get angry and lash out, although instead I held it in and went away to do some soul searching. I didn’t expect you to cover my arse with the EFT, or even when I infamously deleted S—— emails. However, you did it because partly that’s what Managers do, they sort out issues.
At the same token I realize I’ve made you dance across a few hot coals from time to time, when there needn’t be coals there in the first place. I am truly grateful for you helping to bring closure and relief to those situations, it means a lot to me. Hopefully, as I mature in the I.T. Industry I’ll make fewer blunders, and create more successes.
Sometimes I battled to convey my emotions out in the open. The reason being I’m a natural introvert. I wanted to say this to you earlier, but I hadn’t managed to summon the courage to say it. A letter is more fitting, I feel. It’s something you can hold in you hand, annotate, and read between the folds of duvet before you sleep.
Whenever you write a letter, there’s a natural part of you questioning yourself saying “Why am I doing this? Is it not a bit much?” It’s a common human feeling to be self-conscious from time to time. If I had to answer that now, I would turn to you and say…