And I mean that in the classical sense: that which I thought was fast actually turns out to be fluid.
I should have expected it, really. Life is dynamic, right? And I'm not in control of it.
This story starts about five years ago. Some of you may remember it. A friend at church found out that I was less than happy with my current job and invited me in to take a look at his start-up company. They were building some super-duper network processor and they wanted some new senior field applications engineers to show the thing off to high-profile prospective customers. He was heading up the field apps team and I assumed he was playing me up to the VPs and the founders as a hot-shot kid who could come in and help them sell millions and millions of dollars worth of silicon.
I did very well in two rounds of interviews, and then--to my retrospective embarrassment--flubbed it on the last interview with the VP when he asked, "So, what makes our product different from others?" Apparently, he felt unsure hiring someone who didn't do their homework and scour the company's website. (In truth, I probably wouldn't have noticed the main difference as a difference when I didn't know how everyone else was assuming a priori that it should be done anyway. I knew nothing about network processors!)
To make a long story short, I wouldn't make eye contact with Paul for years because I assumed I had embarrassed him.
It was only a little over a year ago that I found out the end of the story: Paul couldn't stand this particular veep. The guy had a reputation for being a jerk, apparently, and it was almost a feather in my cap that he was the only person who felt like I wasn't the right fit for the position. Good riddance, say I. (I would have hated the job anyway, which still would have been an improvement over what I was doing, but would have hated it nonetheless.)
By this time, Paul had found alternate employment, too. Another long story short, he got me into the job I have now, the job I love, working for a small construction software company, and reporting directly to him.
Today is Paul's last day. I only found this out on Wednesday. His last minute here is in about five minutes. I am very sorry to see him go. He kept me in the loop, invested in my career growth, guided me in focusing on the right things, protected me from being turned in directions that wouldn't have been good for me, and was basically a hoot to hang out with every day.
Things here will be different. Not worse. Just different.