Flying Over I-95 N. With Radar O’Reilly.


I’m 39,800 feet up and heading home. I receive a text message from my Assistant.

“7:30 am tomorrow. Meeting just hit your calendar.”


It was 3 years ago. I had slogged through a conga line of candidate interviews – job hoppers, unexplainable gaps on resumes, typos, gum snappers…and…poor chemistry.

She stepped into my office.  I scanned her resume. Professional presentation. No typos. Higher education. Limited job hopping.  OK, so what’s the catch?

It was late afternoon. We walked through her work experience, why she was looking to leave her current role, how she’d found me.  Her responses were polite and brief, no extra words. Two introverts suffocating the silence. Do I bring this out in all candidates? Is it me?

I pivot to my concerns.

“You seem really nice.” Like shy. Like meek. You aren’t thick skinned enough to handle this, or me.

She forces a slight grin, prepares to respond, but doesn’t.  More awkward silence. Jesus, what do I do with this? 

“I don’t think you can keep up, with the pace, or with me.”

“I think I can.”

That’s it?

“I need a gatekeeper that can manage the Gate. Do you think you can do that?”


That’s it?

“I’m not chatty. And especially not in the mornings, it’s my catch-up time.”

“OK, I understand.”

That’s it?

So, here we are, ~ 3 years later.

Badda-Bing and Badda-Bang.

Humble. Polite. Nice.
An Iron Fist on the Gate.
My M*A*S*H Radar O’Reilly.
An indispensable extension of my right hand, who has my back.

That’s it.



  1. roseanne333 says:

    This is such a great tribute and so honoring of an important person and role. Too often, they go unnoticed and under-appreciated. Kudos to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like people who don’t feel a need to fill quiet space with meaningless chatter.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You’ve met a good match. Sometimes we have to trust the Unknown and that’s hard. I’m glad you gave her space to prove she could do a great job. People are always surprising me. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  4. two thumbs up for introverts!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was ten or eleven, living in a small town that bordered the Tia Juana border crossing. Our library was small but filled with copious amounts of escapes and dreans. I devoured every copy of Earl Stanley Gardeners Perry Mason books that the library held. Della Street was my role model. My hero. My dream. It makes me happy you found her between the pages of your real life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to ask.

    1. What’s a gum snapper?
    2. How do you receive texts at 38,000 feet without making the plane crash?


  7. a brilliant tribute to the power who keeps it all going. she was exactly what and who was needed and told you so in her own direct way. i’m glad that you believed her.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Fascinating to meet our “self” on the other side of the desk ???

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was fortunate to also have someone who could finish my sentences. . . and usually better than I could. It is wonderful to be able to trust someone and not have to worry about what they might do/say on your behalf. Lucky us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bravo to both of you for taking a chance and having it work out so well! Less chatty is often a wonderful thing in an office.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The woman I work with, weve been together 12 years now. We got into a little riff ( it was huge) a couple years ago. Had to call HR/Personnel in to help us sort it out.
    I asked her “You ever work with anyone 10 years? Me either. Any idea how special that is?” and the tears just came down her cheeks. We been ok since then. We been BETTER than OK since then.

    I hired a blind dishwasher one time. We had to come up with a system to help- him tray the dishes. It ended up saving us money on breakage and silverware not getting thrown into the trash can.
    Good hire, but after about a year he left. Hard job for someone that can see.
    I wonder if I could get away with that these days, what with Insurance and safety considerations?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Now this is definitely a WOW!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved this one, David. Lived it too. Male and female gatekeepers, most of them introverts…to balance my E. No big riffs.

    Liked by 1 person

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