Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Extra Cover

Tuesday, 26 October

My Darling Eileen

When she came over to our gathering last month on the '25th', Sarah told me a lovely story that she has remembered about your days at Lexicon - one concerning John Lilley.

First though. let me go back to something John else said about you when he wrote to me the day he heard you had left us.

'You don't need me to tell you what a wonderful, caring, thoughtful person Eileen was.  You have had a lifetime of experiencing that.
But let me tell you of another side to Eileen you may not know of.
When I went to work at Lexicon - as a temporary scheduler and then in Client Services - I joined a team where Eileen was a Senior Account Manager.
She was knowledgeable, experienced, very 'bottom-line' aware, approachable, clever and willing to share.
Which was just as well. Within a few days she had sussed me out.
"Right John," she said to me.
"Client-facing skills?  Good.
Translation to production requirements? No problem!
But you must stop trying to circumvent the system!"
There was no point in me denying it.
For the previous seven years I had been in sales.  Hadn't touched a computer in all that time.
Was this the afternoon I went back on the scrap heap?
Not a bit of it.
"Right John!  I have cleared my desk and this afternoon we are going to go through the system step-by-step.  By close of play you will know the system as well as I do."
And I did.
The real benefit came six months later when I became Production Director.
Without Eileen's tuition I would not have survived, let alone thrived.
Finally, bless her, I went to see her, let her know my feelings and thanks her.

This was two weeks before it went public.  As ever she retained the confidence.
As I've said before about Eileen...totally, reliable.'    


This is the other story Sarah recalled...

'One of our colleagues (John, obviously) used to volunteer as a Samaritan.

He often did this during the night.  As a result he was sometimes late getting into work.
One morning Eileen desperately needed to speak to him urgently.

She was getting hassle from a customer and was trying to cover for John.
As the minutes passed without John appearing at work, she became more and more stressed.
Eventually she picked up the phone and called the Samaritans.

"Can I speak to John Lilley", she asked when a lady answered.

"Are you feeling suicidal? the lady asked Eileen.

"No, I'm not feeling bloody suicidal.  Put John Lilley on the phone...NOW!' 

That's my girl.  That's the girl I loved and admired so much.

Would love to know what you said to John when he came on the phone.  Or, more importantly, when he arrived at work. 

Bet you made him pay for it!

Do miss your passion and determination so much.  It never faltered even when you were not well at all.

Our lives are so much poorer now you are not around.

Will love you

For Ever