Today is the last day of work for one of my favorite employees.  I hate to see her leave.

I met her at a pre-interview at a diner, during one of those times I have described before where a drive to meet a candidate in person is warranted.  I needed to do a “chemistry-check” before I invited her to campus, and it was well worth my 6 hour trip to verify that we had the rapport necessary to work together.

There are two things I have appreciated most about Emily.  First, is that she has served as my “utility infielder” since she arrived.  I think every office needs one, and every boss should take steps to carve out that role for someone to play.  There are invariably special projects and one-time tasks the come up, and having someone with the skill, willingness and capacity to take them on allows everyone and everything else to run more smoothly.  

The other thing that I will miss about Emily is her candor.  At times, I know it could be off-putting to some, but I have welcomed the ability to speak the hard truths to her and be heard, and to hear things from her that no one else would say to me.  She has enlightened me, challenged me and pushed us all during her time here.  I wish for every supervisor to have a truth teller.

I am glad that the ease of the Internet will allow her to continue to fill my inbox with articles and ideas, and hope she does so.  I also hope that someone among those who remain or those new to join us will fill the roles she vacates beyond her job description — both of making it comfortable for us by taking on some projects and making it uncomfortable for us by taking on some of our assumptions.  Lucky is the office that has both.

— beth triplett

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