I’m not sure where Jim Page is today. He’s a connection on social media, so I know he’s alive.
Jim had the privilege of molding a really naive kid into something that resembled a supervisor. He’s one of many people who helped influence me.
There are some people who’d like to hug him and I’m sure there are some people who would like to hit him. That’s what made him so effective. I remember him telling me that when it was all said and done he’d want to be remembered as someone who was fair. He wasn’t concerned with being liked as much as he was in making sure that everyone knew what the ground rules were and what was in bounds and what was out of bounds.
It helped create a clear conscience.
I could probably write a book on the things he taught me but there is one that will survive the test of time.
I’d rush into his office full of righteous indignation over something, somebody did that no one would ever remember fifteen minutes after it happened and I’d demand an immediate trial and execution!
Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit here but I don’t want someone calling Homeland or the FBI because they think I finally flipped. It was 1977 and I was all of 23.
Jim would sit back in his chair, sorta shake his head and say “Jurki, whatever you do, don’t lunge.” Translation for today’s lingo. “Slow your roll dude, take a deep breath, consult your inner self, be mindful and then take action.”
Please don’t picket Jim’s house for referring to me as “Jurki” as in “jerky.” First of all I’ve been called worse and while you may think that sort of remark is inappropriate, I believe it was said with a degree of affection so if it didn’t bother me, it shouldn’t bother you!
Back to our story.
Once he said that, I’d stop short.
I am glad he did. It saved my bacon on a number of occasions.
There’s a lot of lunging going on in our world today. I believe the apropo term is “over reacting.” We hear what we want to hear based on what we believe just happened and we load up and get ready to blast. We cross our arms and yell “Damn the torpedoes.”
It’s when we stop, even for a nano second to collect our thoughts, and put our personal feelings about someone or something aside, that we can look at the landscape and make a decision based on facts, not on the playbook from a Dirty Harry movie.
Be not mistaken. Jim wasn’t a pushover by any means and if, after examination, someone merited disciplinary action they received it. It wasn’t based on emotion. As Sgt. Joe Friday often said “Just the facts mam.”
Finally, I am not nominating Jim Page for sainthood. He was a human being like you and I and he made his share of mistakes, but in the end he was able to share some wisdom and guidance with people like me!
Oh yeah. Mr. President, Madame Speaker and all in your cohort — You might want to consider making this post required reading for your teams.
If you do, please give Jim Page all of the credit.