Carolyn Beiser

Carolyn Beiser became our manager after Dan Garwood took a new position and, like Dan, was an excellent manager. She and her husband Paul were serious outdoors types, and they were constantly hiking, camping, climbing, horseback riding, and so forth, and Carolyn was also somewhat accomplished in horse racing.

In Carolyn's work experience, she had been both in a technical writing position and in a software lab engineer position, so she was highly qualified to manage a department of technical writers and support engineers. But less than six months after taking the position, she told us that she and Paul were going to have another baby! While that was good news, we knew she'd be gone on maternity leave for a while, so we wanted to get to know her better before she left to have the baby.

During her pregnancy, she and Paul took a trip to Alaska to raft down a river (I told you they were outdoorsy). During part of that trip, they took a helicopter trip through a narrow, convoluted, rock-walled canyon. The pilot, a highly skilled but slightly reckless Viet Nam veteran, took them through the canyon at a high rate of speed and with some very tight clearances. After returning from Alaska, she continued managing the department until the baby came, at which point her maternity leave got longer and longer. . .

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Farewell to Carolyn
Copyright 1997 David Arns

We got to know Carolyn early last year as a
     candidate for our new boss.
(Dan Garwood, who'd taken the job before her,
     had left us to work on displays.)
Though others applied, we had put them aside:
     we saw gold--why settle for dross?
The problem with finding a boss, we now see,
     is finding a good one that stays.

Carolyn built up her skills with
     a little of this and a little of that--
Her career at HP had encompassed both document-writing
     and being a labbie,
So her technical skills had been nurtured and sharpened
     and polished while working thereat,
And her people skills also were better than most;
     you could say they became "not too shabby."

So we all settled in to our routines at work;
     the boss-hunting trial was through!
What a relief to have chosen a boss;
     She's a good one and I don't mean maybe.
The new status quo our department enjoyed
     continued one month, maybe two--
Then Carolyn told us some news one fine day:
     she and Paul would be having a baby!

It was surely good news that she gave us that day,
     eyes twinkling and face all aglow,
But it left much less time for acquainting ourselves
     with the boss we'd so recently hired.
But month followed month, and as they passed by,
     and her tummy continued to grow,
The department gradually learned of some things
     that in Carolyn's life had transpired.

A trip to Alaska was one of the things she had done
     while taking vacation
(A white-water raft trip down icy-cold rivers
     is some folks' idea of fun);
She told us about a vertiginous ride
     that gave her severe palpitation:
A lunatic pilot and rocky-walled gorge
     made her think that her life may be done.

She likes to compete in the steeplechase, too--
     horsemanship's one of her joys--
And going on hiking and backpacking trips
     with Allison, Paul, and now Kevin.
And who knows what else she will teach to the kids?
     (They have bridles and pitons for toys.)
At the rate that they're going, they'll scale K2
     by the tender young age of seven.

Well, we knew that she surely would take LOA
     for a while when the baby arrived,
But how long could that possibly take? One would think
     a couple, three months? Maybe four?
We'd lasted four months when Carolyn left us a message:
     It was to be five.
But inside a month, she called back to advise us
     her absence would be even more!

Of course, we know that you made the right choice
     when it came down to making the call
To stay there at home and care for the baby a
     little bit longer, but still,
We'll miss your bright smile and your strong, hearty laugh,
     and your laid-back demeanor and all,
So good luck, and we hope that we'll see you around
     when you have some spare time to kill.

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