***This post is dedicated to Angela and James. They, like me, are fortunate to have the coolest Dads ever. Unfortunately, they both lost theirs too early.***
After 39 years of service with Xerox, today Albert Gadson retires. My Dad sent a message to his co-workers yesterday (March 30th) making the announcement. He copied me on it as well. I sat at my desk in tears. The tears are even welling up in my eyes as I type! My father is my hero. I have looked up to him for so long. He’s always willing to give. He always has a smile on his face. He always finds the best in any situation. What can I say? Al G. is a BAD MAN!!!My family and I joke that he has a place in heaven reserved and us “heathens” are holding him back. But truly, my Dad earned all the praise, love, and appreciation he has received and is receiving from family, friends, and co-workers. Albert Gadson is just a good man. And today, Xerox is losing a GREAT man on their team.
I’m dedicating the 5th post of FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! to my Daddy. He’s a huge reason why I’m on this journey to live my life the way I want and to live it fully. He has always pushed me to go after my passion and not feel guilty about it. Dad doesn’t know it (well, maybe he does) he pushed me to be a stellar manager and consummate professional in any situation. So, I want to share the Triple “F” lessons my Dad has shared with me over the years. Enjoy these “DADDYISMS!”
Daddyism #1: Everyone else has lived their lives. Don’t feel bad about living yours. My father recognized I struggled with being a giver and People Pleaser at a young age. He constantly reminds me that I have one life and I have to be happy with my choices. Everyone will have an opinion about what I do, how I do it, and why I didn’t do it their way. “Everyone” doesn’t matter. “I” matter. And “I” can’t live my life by what “Everyone” thinks I should be doing. Word.
Daddyism #2: “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” My father is a history and war buff. Yes, he loves the Military Channel. The World War II quote taken from the Latin phrase “Illegitimi non carborundum” (Don’t let the bastards grind you down) is one of Dad’s favorites. You can’t let me people steal your joy. Be who you are and never make excuses or feel guilty about it!
Daddyism #3: You can’t shit a Tech Rep. Do the best that you can do and move on. True story. One day my Dad’s boss wanted him to reach some impossible work goal even though he didn’t have enough Technical Representatives (Tech Reps) to get the job done. My Dad told his boss he couldn’t “Shit a tech rep” and magically get the results wanted. (Well, Dad couldn’t…) You can’t give more than what you’ve got. As long as you do your best, don’t stress about not being able to give more.
Daddyism #4: Give from your heart or don’t give at all. My Dad is a firm believer that you should give and love with sincerity. If you help someone with the desire to get something back in return, don’t bother helping. You’ll probably be disappointed by whatever they give to you. Give because it will bring someone joy, relieve someone’s burden, or show someone how much you care. Give from an honest place in your heart.
Daddyism #5: You gotta know the rules to break the rules. This is my favorite rule and the one that has kept me out of major problems. Ask my Dad about a Xerox policy or regulation and he can damn near quote it. If he can’t quote it, he can tell you where to find it. He was the same way about Air Force policies during his active duty years. He always told me that when you know the rules you can legitimately get around them in most situations. You have to know the guidelines to find the loopholes. Plus, you can cover your butt when you break them!
There is one “Daddyism” that my Dad is completely mistaken about. In his retirement announcement he quoted General Douglas MacArthur. The General once told a joint session of Congress that “Old soldiers don’t die. They just fade away.” Well, Dad and the General are wrong. Old soldiers don’t fade away. They go on to fight new battles. They continue protecting the people and ideas they love wherever they are physically or spiritually. Today is my Dad’s retirement from Xerox. The new battle is right on the horizon…