It is said by some, that we don't meet people by accident.
For some that purpose is fulfilled in a short time
For others, that purpose requires a bit more time for it to be fulfilled.
Today, I learnt that one of those people from my past passed away.
His name was Fergus, and he was my manager in my first proper job after university.
I was a department manager in Primark, and he took me under his wing and showed me the world of retail.
I adored working with him.
I remember he had a ridiculous dislike for Kerry Katona, and would get so grumpy if her face was looking up at him from a magazine.
He could also fill an entire lunch break talking about Coca-Cola, the tobacco industry and bizarrely syphillis. It didn't sound quite so odd in his Cork accent!
Fergus taught me the importance of putting your colleagues first.He was firm but fair. He showed me that it was possible to inject humour into good management. He taught me the importance of being able to merchandise a wall, or dress a dummy. He showed me how the smallest tweak can have a huge impact on struggling results.
I remember once he asked me what I considered the most important thing in life, as an adult. I told him happiness.
His response: 'Girl, only a fool is always happy. A wise person is content with what they have. Aim to be content.'
It is something that I have thought about and a lesson I will never forget.
He was such a proud family man, and spoke of his children often. Sometimes they would visit the shop and he would be in stitches laughing at them dancing up and down the corridor or whatever it was that they were doing. My thoughts are of course with them and his wife at the moment. My thoughts are also with his team in the store. He was a great boss, colleague and friend. I don't doubt that his passing will hit his team hard.
I hope he now rests in peace, away from pain and knowing that he had such a huge impact on the lives of many. Thanks Fergus. You were great.