To Cat (Line Mngr)

Dear Cat,

it goes without saying that you have been single-handedly the one and only leader and line manager I have had, who has dealt with my situation of grief and trauma unbelievably well, natural and supportive without needing to be prompted by HR or anyone else!! You know how much I bragged about you with HR and everyone, I told you and I will keep telling you again and again. And I will never stop bragging about you! Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for you, you went on maternity leave after our brief 4 weeks working together. I wonder often what would have been, what would have happened, how things would have unfolded have we worked together longer. I do dare to believe that even though I still would have struggled greatly, called sick during periods of depression and grief, but that things would have been very different unlike they have turned out.

I will never forget when I was very unwell and called you as you were my line manager, but you were busy working, so I texted you to say that I am very unwell and was thinking to get into hospital. You texted back later and offered to bring me to hospital as you felt that I shouldn’t go alone. You were highly pregnant, had about 4 weeks to go before giving birth, and here you were going through immense length caring for one of your team. I declined your offer as I did not want a highly pregnant woman to deal with my mental state and seeing me get into a psychiatric ward. Months later I found that it isn’t that simple to get to hospital as I was refused twice since then, even though I was suicidal.

But you wanting to accompany me to hospital while you were almost about to “pop”, is something I will never ever forget. I ended up just calling sick for a few days, the first time since my brother died. I pulled myself together again, but should have taken off for 6 months immediately. I was lost and insecure, not sure if I’ll get in trouble.

You know what’s a hopeful and yet sad thing is? You are one of the rare people, definately one of the rarest and true leaders who has immense integrity! It is even sadder that your integrity won’t get you far in Pret. The majority of leaders I worked with “survive” and even thrive by playing the system. It feels really hopeless to experience this.

I will always be grateful to and for you, and hope you will thrive in whatever you do, and don’t let those who play games get you down.

Thank you for reading and thank you for having been there even from a distance during my utter craziness and I’m really sorry for the distress in the end! You should be named “Employee of the Decade”, I tell you!

With my utmost respect and love,

P.

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