January 3 – the gatekeeper

163/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. The gatekeeper! You know who that is right? That’s the secretary/reception/admin assistant who works at the front area of your organization. It’s so true that they can make your work life amazing or a living hell. They allow all the vital info in to you and keep out stuff that you don’t need to be bothered with. However, if they aren’t too fond of you, then they don’t allow all the vital info in to you and let the stuff you don’t need flow to you : ) I’ve had many awesome gatekeepers that I have worked with although there have been a couple that have tested my patience and I’m sure I’ve tested theirs. Linda M is the one admin assistant that I will always remember with fondness. I believe I started working at the same time or just shortly after she was at Burnett. Being that talkative, friendly and over the top personality, it was pretty hard for her to ignore me. However, I think we had similar personalities and enjoyed each other’s company. We also got to know each other better through staff socials which I believe are so important to have all in the organization included. Linda and I went to several of the same functions and had a lot of fun and really got to know what everyone was like once they were away from the school world – some at venues downtown and others at people’s homes. Let’s just say that I got a nickname – Mr Sangria – which was well deserved. Linda and I also bonded over our like/dislike of Mariah Carey! Can you guess who was who? 😉 I actually counted the number of years we worked together jokingly through Mariah Carey album releases! I appreciated Linda’s frankness and honesty as she told you like it was. I also loved her no-nonsense attitude and great sense of humour – I looked forward to my morning walk through the office and my requisite stop at her desk to chat (which also happened several times throughout the day LOL). Oh the stories we shared! Thank you Linda for making my first years and subsequent years of teaching so fun. It was great hanging with you – hopefully we get the opportunity to work together again sometime. If not, then definitely hanging when we both are fully retired!! Miss you friend! I raise a kahlua spiked coffee in your honour 😉

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