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Dr John Hawkins

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Back to Work

Posted on 2009/01/12 19:57:03 (January 2009).

[Monday 5th January]
Back to work today, and whilst in terms of the actual working content of the day it was fairly easy going, we had an "all hands" meeting in the morning with an announcement that came as a big shock. My manager is quite seriously ill - he has been diagnosed with a form of cancer - and was going to be going back to the US for treatment almost immediately.

Much like the rest of my team I spent the rest of the day feeling somewhat shell shocked and not really knowing how to react. Whilst we'd had our differences on occasion, I have a huge amount of respect for him, and although he can be a bit of a slave driver at times he's also capable of being an extremely charming and likeable guy. Not to mention very funny.

So obviously we're all wishing him a full and speedy recovery, but it looks like even if he does respond well to treatment he's going to be out of action for at least the next six months.

My company can be quite a chaotic place in terms of organisational structure - there's something of an imbalance between people who want things done, and people who are in a position to get those things done. This tends to mean an engineer can end up getting pulled in seven different directions at once, so one of the main roles of a manager is to deflect "swirl" such that the engineers can stay focused on what they really need to be working on. I suspect it is one of those roles you really don't fully appreciate until that person isn't around any more.

Our boss, always one to make light of a difficult situation, advised us that there may be turbulent times ahead for the team, but as a word of consolation said "Well hey, it's better than chemo!".

Comment 1

Wooo, that's bad news... It must be really hard to have a colleague to have to undergo chemo... I hope that the situation works out well...

Posted by Lox at 2009/01/12 20:21:27.

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