A couple years ago when I was at the horrible job I've referred to a couple other times, the one where I wound up on anxiety medication, the one I'm sure contributed to my miscarriage, the one I still have nightmares about, I had an employee named Cody.
I had some awful employees but I also had a few who were pretty good, Cody was one of the good ones. The thing almost all of them had in common was they hated me, it wasn't really personal I was their boss and I was just doing my job but they didn't like it. That wasn't very pleasant.
The difference with Cody (and one of two others) was I don't think she saw me as the enemy. She'd previously been in the military and understood #1 chain of command, and #2 following the rules. We weren't good friends or anything but she treated me with professional courtesy rather than hostility or insincere politeness.
She was also the only Mom that worked there when I got pregnant and gave me quite a bit of practical advice and didn't try to tell me the "right" way to do anything. When I was about 9 weeks along I had some pretty heavy spotting. I was terrified that I was about to loose another baby. I called my Dr.'s office and they made me an appointment for later that day. In the mean time I had to go in and open. Cody happened to be one of the people working that morning. I was trying not to display how worried I was but I guess it showed because she asked what was wrong. I only said I was having a problem and I was going to the doctor latter. She looked at me for a couple seconds and said, "you're having spotting.". I blinked in surprise and confirmed she was right. She explained that she'd had the same thing happen around 9 weeks and her daughter was fine. I was so relieved. I still knew it could be very bad but I hadn't known until she told me that it might be okay. Later that day when I came back from the doctor my boss was there and...she...was just horrible to me (I don't have words to describe how miserable I was at that job). Cody interrupted her berating me to ask how things went and I was happy to report that the baby was fine although the spotting was caused by something I'd done at work.
It was just a couple weeks latter that I sat down with my boss (not the one who was so horrible to me but her boss) and had the conversation that ended my time there. I can't tell you how much better I felt when I knew I never had to go back there again but I there were a few employees I wondered about from time to time including Cody.
A few months latter Cody got in touch with me and asked if she could bring me a gift for the baby. It was a beautiful hand crocheted blanket. I was touched beyond words that she'd done that. I've never seen her since.
If you ever stumble across this. Thank you for treating me like a human being. Thank you for some good advice. Thank you for calming me down when I was inches from panic. Thank you for the lovely blanket Fiona sleeps in it ever night.