Yesterday, my boss left. There were no hugs or heartfelt words at the end. That’s not what she wanted. Instead, she slipped each of us a little gift; something of her own so that we would remember her. As the exit door closed softly in her wake, the end of an era was signaled. For 32 years she had sat at the helm of the library district, steering each branch through change and growth.
I never heard her raise her voice. Not once. She never forgot a name and always inquired after family members. It seemed she always had a new or interesting book to share, a little-known movie to discuss or pictures of her various travels. In the nine years I worked with her, I found myself desiring to be as interesting and interested as she was.
As we pick up more details surrounding the circumstances of her abrupt retirement, it is difficult to keep silent. Things are not as they seem. She did not want to go, but constant struggles with certain employees and inappropriate, hurtful remarks made toward her in the last weeks pushed her over the edge. I hate that. I hate it when people are treated so unfairly.
And yet, it was her decision. She could have stayed. I want so much to go toe-to-toe with those who prodded her to it, but it’s not my fight.
I am stuck. My department is stuck. We will come grinding to a halt within two weeks. Someone needs to step in and do the job, and the only one qualified is being made to jump through hoops. I am frustrated, anxious, scared, angry.
This living the quiet life is a difficult thing.