"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ode to Ian "the Owl" Davidson

One of two of my beloved bosses from Houston is retiring at the end of this month. The old team in Houston had a good bye lunch for him today that I couldn't attend, but I got to send a note. This is my farewell note to him, I'd say I'm going to miss him, but I know I'll see him again, and I would go to work for him again in a heartbeat!

My Farewell Note:

This is my cookie jar that I named after Ian for two reasons:

1) I miss his histrionics every time he saw a pastry; he would go on and on about how unhealthy it was, but he always found it in him to eat it anyway.
And the second, nicer reason:
2) He has the rare ability to recognize wisdom when he hears it and to put into action.

That's why I always call him "Ian the Owl", just to myself of course, but I think most people would agree.

Even though I liked to "gently" poke fun at him so often that he often lamented out loud whether or not I had any respect for him at all, Ian is actually one of the people in this world that I most like and admire. I always called him a charmer too because he has a way of making people like him... maybe that's why I always felt the need to pull him down a peg or two. I don't know, but I adored working for him. He always kept things lively and he had so many colorful Scottish expressions. My personal favorite: "Happier than a pig in shit." That's more French than Scottish, I guess but only Ian could get away with making it sound charming and harmless.

I've recently begun to understand what makes a person love their job, and working in the WMS team was the best working experience I have ever had. Its not what you're doing, even if its something you've always dreamed about doing. Its not the people you work with, although that helps and there were wonderful people on our team. Its the leadership - its having bosses or managers, that inspire you, that get you excited about your job... in spite of the countless setbacks you encounter trying to get a project (ahem, Grosmont) off the ground. Its leaders who encourage you to grow in your position and are always ready with helpful advice. Ian was always that kind of boss, and the reason that we had a such a close, successful team.

I know that Ian will do great things wherever he goes for the reasons I already said, and since I'm an engineer and I love bulleted lists and summaries, let's state them one more time...

- wisdom
- charm
- charisma
- leadership
- great boss

And I could get even more sentimental, but I know I'll see Ian again, so I'll just say good bye for now!


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