Posts Tagged ‘smart guys’

Dr. J.

February 9, 2009

No, not Julius Erving of pro basketball fame.   This Dr. J. is 5’ 8” and 200 pounds.

I wanted to introduce him to you as he will be a key reference in a couple of upcoming posts.  Dr. J. is one of those friends who you can lose track of for a year and, when you get back together on the phone or in person, it’s as if no time has passed at all.   I met him when he was my newly assigned immediate boss back in the olden days when I was a wet-behind-the-ears junior management guy.   We hit it off as friends right away.

Now, the “Doctor” of the Dr. J. is well earned.   He got a Ph.D. in Chemistry from some well respected university*.  Then, after about 8 years working various places as a chemist, he up and decided that chemistry was boring and he wanted new adventures.  Thus the switch to management.   I was amazed he took such a major step in that transition and continue to be so.  Dr. J. rose through management hierarchy in my business and was the Vice President of one division, as well as running (at separate times) both the management and engineering branches of major divisions.  A smart guy.

As I struggled with my life and what to do about my failing marriage, Dr. J. was there as a mentor and guide (having been through one himself a few years prior to me first talking through my issues).  His sense of humor, coupled with his brute honesty as he pointed out errors – or the occasional accurate insight – in my thinking, was a critical to me maintaining my sanity (forgive the exaggeration) as I worked through all the devious twists and turns .  We still keep in touch, though not as much since he has retired and lives quite a few states away.  His sense of humor is sharp as always and cuts to the heart of issues we talk through.

Here’s hoping all of you have friends such as Dr. J.

More on him in future posts…

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*Well, that is if you consider the University of Kentucky “respected”.  [smirk]