By Jeffrey R. Ballares
“Hello Jeff.” these are the words that always comes from her mouth whenever we start a conversation. I don’t know, but whenever I hear these words, I can feel the comfort.
Her voice is soft. Gentle. Cheerful. Calm.
She’s my boss. And her name is Lisa Navidad.
Welcome to my condo unit
“Hello Jeff.” these are the very first words that she said when she warmfully welcomed me as her newest staff. That was a year and a half ago. And the scenery was still clear in my mind when she greeted me in her first sweet hello.
“Jeff, since you’re new in the group, what will be your expectations in your new work unit?”she asked me with a smile. Her eyes are connecting to make me feel the easiness while talking.
“Ahm, maybe Ma’am I’ll expect to have the pressure. New learnings and new companionships.” these are the first things that I answered as far as I can recall. Of course, at the back of my mind, there’s the feeling that a great expectation is ahead of me.
Conversation goes. Time flew.
After a short while, she offer her right hand for a handshake. “Welcome to the team.”
I grabbed her hand to show courtesy. My acceptance.
This is it. I’m now part of her team.
She’s anxious for what I will say that day. She must have sensed that I invited her for a serious talk. A resignation perhaps.
“Jeff ano ito? Mukhang kinakabahan ako sa sasabihin mo.”her eyes are worrying while we are walking straight to the boardroom.
I just smiled. “No Ms. Lisa, there’s nothing to worry about.”
We sitted inside the boardroom.
“Hello Jeff.”that was the first time I heard her voice in uneasy way.
“Hi Ma’am. I’m sorry if I snatched your precious time. I would just like to talk to you regarding my performance, and how would you help me to improve it?”
At that moment she let a big sigh of relief. “Akala ko Jeff iiwan mo na kami!”then she giggled right away.
Little did I know that she’ll be the first one to bid goodbye in the next coming months.
The Character who needs Keys to function and the Carriage Drivers
In one of her life-coaching, she introduced to me the character who needs plenty of keys to function.
In my own words of understanding, this character are those people who needs to have realizations before acting up. In other words, these are the people na kailangan pang susian yung iba’t-ibang parte ng katawan para makapagfunction ng mabuti.
She even related to me that there are people in the company that are like carriage drivers who already know on how to manage things in just one of a click. Surely because a carriage driver, once they hit the horse in its back , knows already on how to navigate the direction.
That was the first time I met with her characters...and made me think what I want to be between the two.
The Last Words
The topic for that day is all about career growth.
The offer was generous, and it answered my prayers without so much expectations. At the same time, I feel a little bit disappointed because it's hard to leave the unit for I believe I'm still half-cooked.
But she said to me that changes are good.
That trying more competitive tasks and responsibilities will build more of your character.
At that moment, I had a chance to seriously look in her eyes and to finally ask her about her near departure.
“Ma’am Lisa, is it true that you’re already leaving us?”
Her face rose up, and thoughtfully smiled before saying the last words...”Yes Jeff.”
Aside from being an extraordinay boss, I met Ms. Lisa as a role mother. A hands-on when it comes to her two angels, Zoe and Pia. A mother who never rest until her daughters are sound asleep. Her immeasurable love for her children is truly unwavering.
Once in my life I also met Ms. Lisa as a loving wife through her sharings. This is the reason why Daddy Oscar always bring her bouquet of flowers for every special occassion. She truthfully understands commitment and the gift of family, which in turn gives her the blessing of having a loving husband and two wonderful children.
The opportunity of knowing her is just an honour for everybody. She may have left us physically but not mentally nor emotionally.
And surely she’ll be missed.
Ma’am, you could have been a pediatrician if you were not on Pru. Perhaps a writer or a fashion designer. Thank you very much Ms. Lisa for taking a ride with our corporate life! We’ll just keep the change! Good luck to your new opportunity! =)