Monday, February 14, 2005

We all need a team Captain

I'm a Post-It junkie. My monitor at work is ringed with staid yellow, neon green, vibrant pink, and powder blue Post-Its. Some lined, some unlined, some have been up so long they are attached with my other office supply habit, Scotch Tape. My leather engineering notebook even has Post-Its with scribbled formulas attached with Scotch Tape to pages. Last week I was trying to find an AutoCAD cheat command and came across the "new" work number of a former business colleague/friend and decided to call him to see how life was over at the 'evil empire', as I call the company he went to work for, and check out how his plan to blow up the rebel base was going. When I called the number some woman answered the phone. I made an inquiry about my friend and found out that he had left the company several months ago due to health reasons. It seems the cancer he fought so hard and defeated on three separate occasions had returned and he was home fighting it again. Problem was, it wasn't going so well. I thanked the woman who now had his job for the information and immediately began pawing through all the other Post-Its to find email addresses of other mutual friends and colleagues. I sent an email out to the folks I knew probably didn't know about Darth Vader's relapse because Darth is one of those types of people who never burns bridges and keeps his former colleagues as friends, even when he may be staring at you across the table in a business dog-fight. When I came into work this morning, my mailbox was full of emails from friends and former colleagues; some I hadn't heard from in years who had my email forwarded to them from a friend of a friend. Seems that each and every one of us had a funny story to tell about Darth or wanted to pass on further news; a bone marrow donor match was found and Darth was in the middle of his third round of chemo, his wife had to find a second job, his mother had moved in to help, etc. One email though really caught my eye. It was from the person who 8 years ago put Darth, myself, and several others together to form a most formidable sales/technical/marketing team; a group that in one 16 month stretch designed, sold, and installed some of the most impressive sound systems in the world. It was the hardest work and the most fun I have ever had in my 12 years in this job. He had decided that at this year's major industry trade show there was going to be "Wrecking Crew" reunion and he had set up a fund for Darth's medical expenses, etc. We are going to meet in Sin City, play a few rounds of golf (I'm writing 180 on my score card and driving the cart), drink a few drinks, tell a few stories and lies, and then make the drive up to Lake Tahoe to visit Darth. Funny how even after all these years since each of us was traded to another team, this guy is still the Captain and how he always just knew what needed to get done and then kicked each of us in the toosh to get it done.