I’ve had several bosses since I entered the workforce as a cashier at a local grill during my freshman year of high school, all of whom have been supportive, have been accommodating and have helped me grow. For example, my first boss, Rafael, would occasionally let me have dinner on the house to reward me for my hard work. He would even drive me home if closing the restaurant took longer than expected, saving me a long walk in the dark that literally went uphill both ways. Other bosses were supportive, too, and were flexible in scheduling my work hours; they always took my uncompromising high school schedule and my plethora of extracurricular activities into consideration when giving me my hours for each week.
Despite their generosity and their benevolence, however, I cannot select any one of these individuals to call the best boss I’ve ever had. The best boss I’ve had so far is Eric Martinez, who is leaving his position at Towson as A&F’s Divisional Communications Specialist for a position in Colorado on May 15. He has not only been exceptionally supportive, courteous and understanding of how my academic schedule intersects with my work schedule, but he is also a good friend.
As English majors, Eric and I already had common interests and a foundation for friendship when I first started working for him in July. Though we don’t always enjoy the same authors or works of literature—I can’t stand Chaucer, but Eric thinks that he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread—we’ve always been able to discuss books that we’ve read, professors that we’ve had and classes that we’ve taken. As time went on we discovered that we have other interests in common, too—we both enjoy the show The Big Bang Theory, for example. Bazinga!
But the fact that Eric and I became friends isn’t why I consider him the best boss that I’ve ever had. He has also been extremely supportive and courteous, both to me and to my immediate coworker, Eric VanLieshout. I can always count on him to say, “Thank you for your help today,” when I leave either to go to class or to go home. Even if he is in a meeting when I leave, I inevitably receive a text from him when the meeting ends that thanks me for my help.
Eric has also helped me develop professionally, and he has always expressed unwavering confidence in my abilities. I was shocked when he asked for my help with the Annual Report; it spoke volumes about what he thought I was capable of. He was also very patient when I experienced the learning period that comes with almost every job during the first week or so. Such patience is not as common as one may think; I’ve heard many horror stories about how bosses deal with less than perfect employees during their first days. But Eric has not only been a mentor to myself and others; he himself has been a great employee and a great asset to both Towson and to the division.
Eric has a long history at Towson; he holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from TU, and he has worked with the division for quite some time, in various positions. Save for its graphic design, he is completely responsible for engineering and creating the innovative T3, an improved version of the Daily Digest; he wrote the B-CaUSE Report, a summary of important sustainability accomplishments and initiatives from several colleges in Maryland; and he has worked closely with the Go Green Initiative, engineering the “Trash the Ash” campaign, among other contributions. These accomplishments are not exhaustive, by any means; rather, these are just some of the things Eric has done since I started working for him. From what I have seen in my 10 months here—and he has worked at TU since 2008—Eric has proved to be invaluable to the division.
Colorado gained an outstanding worker in Eric Martinez. I wish him luck, though I know he won’t need it. I am sure that he will make the most of his time there, just as he did at Towson. So thank you, Eric, for your help.