Tag Archives: integrity

On My Watch

I was a kid just out of college and was thrown into the deep end, without the requisite note from my parents. It was such an exhilarating learning curve and I was scared to death but intrigued.

These fellow legislative analysts were my family for the next few years. I found out early on any legislation I imagined or wrote would affect millions of people. That was a frightening thought. I vowed to do the best for everyone.

My boss, who had done my job before, let me do the grunt work and he went to meetings without me, without even telling me the meetings were about my work. The legislative bill drafting group wrote up potential laws for colleagues. I wrote my own, usually after awakening at 3:00 in the morning, a habit I have decades later. For many, they said they had no changes and good job, girl.

I messed up on a few things. I didn’t see AIDS coming, neither did anyone else but I helped pass legislation on employment and housing and of course it was denied by the senate. Now we have marriages.

I helped NYC by requiring netting on all construction so people on the sidewalks were safe and workers did not fall off concrete platforms.

In the end, I was in the forefront of privacy legislation and put together a team with every committee that had an interest. Mine was cable tv back then and it was really pre-internet. Reader’s Digest killed at the last moment. The bill was 1984. Yes, I’d reserved A.B. 1984 the year before and had gifts for the people who saved that number.

There was hard work on sexual orientation but now there are marriages. Crime victims do not have to sit in the same room as the offender. People who get speeding tickets pay restitution to the state that a criminal owes. I was there near the Son of Sam Law.

Mistakes were made but my heart and brain were good. I get to go to sleep at night knowing that I made a difference in the lives of 34 million people. As a kid, figuring that out, that was and would still be a daunting task. Now I’m retired and get crosswalks and tax refunds. Ah, well, back in the day. Dee

ps My husband put a pad of paper and a pen so if I’ve one of my many great ideas at 3:00 in the morning I can write it down and go back to sleep. I love this guy.



It’s a tough thing to come by. Luckily I met a man who had a bunch of it. So did I and it burned me out trying to help people from themselves.

That’s work and I’m married to that man. I’ve been many things, including a consultant for many years. Trying to do the right thing for a client is very difficult. They hire you to do the right thing then fight every step of the way to keep any change from happening.

Even in a small organization, it is tough when the board wants you and the staff does not. I’ve had my car keyed, lies spread about me and books cooked to assure I couldn’t revitalize a key program and make many times profit for the organization, not a penny for me in an effort, funds realized prior to the efforts, plus more bang for the buck for public and community relations and jump-starting a new education program that has thrived ever since.

When the new director came on board he took great pleasure in letting me go his first day. The next morning he called and demanded a meeting. I went. He asked for my keys then said he wanted everything in my brain and in my files (of course he had copies of everything I and the past development director had done) over the past three years. He really wanted a confidential study whose public results he had but the private data was, at the Board’s request, not accessible to them or anyone because the study was about them and their role in the future of the institution.

I told the new director he had all my documents and spreadsheets and should have asked me for all the development information in my brain before he fired me. Of course the confidential study is still locked in my files and I said I would have to be present at a Board meeting where they voted to give it to him. The first thing I did was call the Chairman and met with him briefly that morning and told him what had happened. He laughed.

At the next Board meeting, the new director was fired. I was brought on as a committee member and my audience development ideas approved by committee could be brought to similar management because these votes came from the Committee and Board. I was made a Trustee for a few years. It started out as a quarter million institution and is now much more flush and professional than that partially because I and others got hands dirty and did what needed to be done. Yes, I created FlexTix. Kids for Kids was my standout work. Revolutionary back in the day.

I’ve been a consultant and board member for a number of years. In my younger years, 20 of them, I also did hands-on work in no-kill animal shelters and spaying and neutering feral cats so I know of love and loss and caring for others and doing your best for them when they might not care a whit about your efforts.

In business, one learns to cajole, educate, inspire, always learn from everyone, progress, coalesce and make goals reality.  Then go out by a lake with the teams and make some burgers and have a beer. Perhaps there’s a guitar and we sing.

No-one knows anyone any more. Nanny told me years ago to make sure my husband took a long-term job at a company and got a gold watch at retirement. I told her back then I’d try (that was before she okay’d me as the wife and her as the only Nanny I’d ever known) but the world is not like that anymore.

There is no loyalty. Or trust. One could be let go tomorrow and have nothing. Sadly for people with our talents it is a buyers market, but lest you think businesses need no technology or process or other improvements it is at your peril. When it becomes our market you’ll pay top dollar or go out of business. It’s that simple. You’ll file Chapter 11 and we’ll be on the upside.

Our tax money bailed out banks and insurance and car companies and so many others that are still secret. That’s why you’re in trouble now, because you never fixed anything, just sent traders out with bonuses to buy new Ferrari’s. And how does that play on Main Street where the fire department does the fireworks and everyone goes out to sit by the lake? It’s no Wall Street outside of NYC.

My husband always looks for meaningful work where he can make a difference in the world. That has always been his, our dream. He can fix anything, from a bank trading system to a grain bin micro-switch. Physics and agile development. He taught himself the latter and has credentials, whatever that means.

As for Nanny, my husband/your grandson could buy himself a gold watch. He does not wear jewelry except his wedding ring as he has an iPhone. Yes, it tells time. I love you for everything you are to our family and all you want for your children, grands, greats. Integrity. We love you for instilling that in everyone. Cheers! Dee