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Do the Right Thing: How One Boss Changed My Life

Do the Right Thing: How One Boss Changed My Life
From Recruiter - January 4, 2017

Today, a dear friend and I are gettingtogether with our former boss, Gail Angel. I have not seen her in twenty-three years! Gail owned one of the most successful staffing companies in California. Gail also taught me the greatest lesson of my life on the first day I showed up as a new general manager at her firm.

The year 1985 was an absolutely terrifying time in my life. People were dying in droves. None of us knew how AIDS was transmitted. Before it became a world disease, it was a gay disease.

By the grace of God, my partner and I were healthy. Both of us were at a community event where the physician who identified HIV, Michael Gottlieb, announced to hundreds of leaders that this new disease killed all of its victims in weeks rather than years. We turned and looked at the audience. Many of the men were gaunt and covered with sores.

The hysteria that terrible illness generated in those early days separated the neediest among us from the rest of the pack. As a result, many people died in isolation from their families and, in some cases, their closest friends.

Economic shunning ran rampant inthe business world. Many employers were pressured by their insurance companies to get rid of employees with the dreaded disease. Somehow, I guess they justified the economic opportunity with the morals of the time.

On my first day at Gails company, she took me to meet several leaders within the agency. One of those leaders wasVicki Johnson, a gorgeous blackwoman who ran the downtown office. I had already heard that one of her consultants had just returned from the hospital in a desperate struggle with pneumonia. He was a charming young man named Jonathan.

Vicki proudly introduced me to everyone in her operation. We came to Jonathans office. He could barely stand up, but he did, and he warmly shook my hand.

We are so happy you have join the company, he beamed.

A moment later, I turned to Vicki and excused myself for a quick visit to the bathroom.

As I was vigorously scrubbing and washing my hands, Johnathan walked in the door.

Everythingokay? he asked.

I smiled and fled the bathroom.



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