Sunday, August 9, 2009

Requiescat In Pace

One of my managers at MegaCorporation One was a woman named Suzanne. She was a petite, very young-looking woman who was universally adored. I can't think of anyone who has ever said a bad thing about Suzy, except possibly her ex-husband, whom I have never met.

I actually reported to her twice. Once when I was first a manager, then later when a reorg moved me around to report to her again. The second time was challenging, because the VP we had at the time was universally loathed, and the job in which I found myself was about as bad a fit as one could fear to find. Suzy helped me find another position a couple of months in, so I was able to land in a job that fit my talents much more closely.

One time, we had rescheduled a status meeting enough times that we both decided we needed to get together outside of work to talk through the issues. She had a hair appointment that night, but she said she could meet me close to the salon, and just have them call her when they were ready. There was a Hooters next to the salon, so we went in. The waitresses really had no idea how to deal with a straight woman and a gay man who were having a business meeting. We thought it was hilarious.

As a thank-you gift for being such a great manager, when I left that area, I got her a bottle of vodka and a Silly Straw. I wrapped it up really nicely. She loved it.

About two years ago, she went into the hospital with pneumonia. The doctors cleared her lungs and got her past the acute problems, but she found out that she had cancer. It had metastasized, and she soon went into chemotherapy and radiation, and whatever else modern medicine has to offer. Her two kids helped her through it a lot, and there were a number of friends at work who shouldered some of the burden to help her out. MegaCorporation One's management moved some of her duties around so that she could continue to work as she was able.

Last week, she went into hospice care. She passed away, I hear surrounded by family, last night. I don't know exactly how old she was, but I don't think she could have been older than 43 or so. Sic transit gloria mundi.


GirlyWarrior said...

I'm sorry to hear she passed. It sounds like you are celebrating her life, though, instead of dwelling on her death.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

I am glad that you knew her and shared this story with us.

One question-- how did Hooters know that you were gay and she was straight and having a business meeting? I have been in just to see what it was about and in Alaska, it is no big deal. Were you telling the waitresses to not flirt because it didn't matter to either of you?

GDad said...


No. Usually, the waitresses at Hooters are flirty, and they expect a little flirtiness in return. They got none back, and it confused them.