How Do You Say Goodbye?
I sit here on this July Friday morning in a sullen mood. I know most people that know me think I am always smiling and in an up mood but sometimes events can sway our feelings. I had one of those events this morning when a long time associate and good friend came up the stairs of our offices here at Wood Palace and said good morning to me for the last time at work. As of the end of today, my partner in crime, my friend, associate and my right arm will retire after 18 years with our company. Dianne, (Betty Rubble we call her) is designing kitchens for her last day in the work world.
I know that many of you don’t have a clue who Dianne is. I didn’t really know her well either 25 or so years ago other than seeing her at a competitors booth at a local Home Show. She was always smiling and professional I recall. After a few years of coaxing, I got her to join our team. When I say that today’s good morning was the same as that first day good morning, I’m not kidding. Dianne is the epitome of routine. Same time, same walk, same hello and the same way she attacks design each and every day for the 18 years we have been partnered together. We joke that we know when lunch is here at work because we can hear her walking by our office exactly the same time for lunch, bathroom breaks, tea breaks, etc. You might think I’m joking but I’m not. She is as regimented as any career service person you have ever come across. That’s my Dianne many have heard me murmur over the years.
That’s my Dianne was a line I used a lot. She has been my right arm here at Wood Palace for a long time. People that know me know that I am a very confident and quick thinking person and usually know what I want. Well let me tell you that Dianne has changed my mind many times over the years. She knows me as well as any human being could ever know another human being. We have said the same thing at the same time at least a thousand times over the 18 years. She knows when I’m stressed and she knows when I’m happy. She knows when I’m happy because I have overheard her tell many new employees that if I am whistling then Tim is happy and in a good mood. If he is not and has a serious face than don’t bother him because that means he is busy and thinking a million things at one time. How many people really know you like that? That’s my Dianne, she always does.
Then there is the accurate side of Dianne. We call her the robot because of her uncanny accuracy with kitchen design and measurements. “I need the time to think about this because I have to build this in my mind” she was heard to say many times. She’s never installed a kitchen in her life but she really does build it all in her mind like she says. Installers love her designs because of this and the up-teen notes she writes on each and every plan. She will not miss a thing and if she does, she wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes she had. Again, you might think I’m kidding or exaggerating but no, the woman I am describing is accurate. “Good design costs no more than bad design” I can still hear her saying over an over again.
I use the word sullen earlier because I am not sad and I am not happy. I’m smiling still because all of a sudden this morning, I realized that after today’s radio show, I will not hear her voice and not be able to lean on her when I need her here at work. It’s true, we are good friends and we will still see each other personally but I will not any more professionally. Again, it’s my right arm I’m talking about here! Change is always tough in life and especially at work with someone who is the yin to your yang.
Good associates are probably harder to find than good friends, especially when they are as nice and dedicated as Dianne. She is very well known and respected in our industry and I was blessed that she chose her last 18 years to spend it alongside of me and Wood Palace. We have hired 2 young and enthusiastic associates to take on the legacy of the design area who she has eagerly trained in the last month. She does it all in the name of pride and love. That’s my Dianne.
So, as I finish up here with this blog, I am reflecting over the good times we shared over some great years together. I’m happy for my friend and right arm for the the fun and relaxing years ahead with her loving husband Joe. They are the epitome of two peas in a pod and I know they will enjoy their time together. Good luck and all my best to you my friend and I won’tsay goodbye, I’ll leave you with just this; A friend is a friend when you both come together and make a great one person team. Our time together was truly epic, fun and a hell of a ride! Thank you for always being there and I will miss you more than words will ever describe! Bon Appetit my partner and ever lasting friend! That’s my Dianne!
Tim Holick (Food A Holick)