(Reposted from my work blog with some "judicious" - *ha* edits)
When I arrived at the Ministry of the Attorney General in early June 2011, I was a middle-aged
woman with no self-confidence and no idea of how to manage the rest of
her working career. Both of those had been sucked out of me by the
demoralizing management at my previous job once I came to London.
However, I LOVE it here!
This is in no small part due to the working relationship I have
developed with the man I call “The Boss” (NOT Bruce Springsteen!).
I got this job as a direct assignment after the department I worked
at in my previous Ministry was being handed over to the federal
government and I had no desire to work there. A co-worker on secondment
from the Courthouse suggested I apply for this job (which I was
required to do for every position I wished to be assigned to). She told
me that the director was new and from Northern Ontario.
The day I came to meet my manager and The Boss was the day I knew
everything would be okay. It was pretty simple, actually. The Boss
came into the room and we introduced ourselves and I said to him…
“I hear you’re from Northern Ontario.”
He replied, “Yes, Cochrane.” I smiled and responded with one word: Kapuskasing!
That told us most of what we needed to know about each other right
there; a shared background of small-town life meant we understood each
other on many levels.
I came to Court Services knowing nothing about the Ministry of the
Attorney General or the inner workings of the court system. Over the
past 3 years, The Boss has answered every question I have asked of him,
no matter how strange, silly or innocuous. If there was something he
couldn’t say due to confidentiality, he said so; no tap dancing around.
He explained the history behind policies and procedures so that I would
also understand the “Why”, not just the “What”.
More than that, though, he always asked me what I
thought. We have extended management team meetings a couple of times a
year; afterward, The Boss asked me to sit down with him and tell him
what I thought of the speakers and presentations and to answer any
questions I might have after the event. The same applied to meetings,
training and special events.
For the first time in years, I felt valued – part of the team. I
made contributions to management meetings based on my previous
experiences in other Ministries and always felt that they were welcomed.
The Boss recommended me for the inaugural Administrative
Professionals Development Program – and the ADAG picked me! Late last
year, he nominated me for the Ministry’s Excelsior Award (I didn’t win).
Above all else, he has believed in me – even when I didn’t believe in
myself! And that’s made all the difference in the world to me.
Last week, I learned that he has been appointed as a Justice of the
Peace; today is my last day with him. I only wish that everyone –
inside and outside the public service – could work for someone like His
Worship Paul Langlois. Luck and good fortune brought me to be his
assistant for an all too-short while.