“good and undesirable qualities, annoying and redeeming traits”


Below is an email of mine to a coworker whom I worked with a long time ago.

It concerns a former boss of ours who must remain anonymous.

I worked directly under this individual, as his assistant. My coworker worked in the same office, which was headed by the former boss of ours.

My reason for posting the email is that I think it makes a key point, in the last sentence specifically.


— Roger W. Smith

      August 7, 2016



********* *******************************************


While I was out walking this morning, I thought briefly of _______ [our former boss] with respect to what I wrote you about him yesterday.

What I wrote was critical.

I  should add that:

At times I connected with him. Sometimes we “jibed.” At other times, he seemed preoccupied and could be distant, sort of standoffish.

But at other times he could be personable as well as considerate and thoughtful.

He was not arrogant.

He had a good sense of humor and could take jokes made at his expense; he could be humble and diffident.

I think his life had been and was difficult at times, that it had never been easy. I got the feeling, somehow, that he had always had to struggle to achieve and be accepted by people.

He was an Army veteran and had a “regular guy” side.

All of this made me think today about the admixture there is in all of us of good and undesirable qualities, of annoying and redeeming traits.

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
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