George Hindenmeyer was my boss for a few years and he was very fond of saying this: “one, two, three. Zip, zip, zip, boom, boom, boom. What this meant was that the job was easy and should be done quickly.
He was very old school, from Switzerland. He had a very bad reputation, but I didn’t really believe all the things I heard about him. I figured that the people who feared his reputation were the type of people who could not muster up to his very high standards.
Turns out I think I was at least mostly right. The entire time I worked for him I found him to be an honest, hard-working but demanding boss. This is exactly what I wanted at that point in my career, a challenging boss who could train me in the old world ways of injection mold making.
Some of George’s qualities:
- Very sharp dressed man
- Always punctual
- Told things like they were
- Good businessman
Had three different shops under one roof, he was diversified
Don’t get me wrong, George had his faults, but everyone does. Some of his faults were:
- Could be unreasonable
- Could be rash
- Was not always the best listener
- Was penny-wise and pound foolish at times
Regardless of what anyone said, I consider George to be one of the most remarkable men I’ve ever met. To illustrate let me tell you what happened when I decided to quit and relocate back to Wisconsin.
My young family and I had lived in the Tacoma area for about two years when I worked for George. We were doing well and had a good community of friends. Our house was in a pleasant neighborhood and my commute was against the traffic, which could be horrendous.
One vexing problem, however, was the fact that the airport in Seattle runs north and south, the same way the city is laid out.This is mostly due to the fact that Seattle is sandwiched in-between the Cascade mountains and Puget Sound.
No matter where you go, you cannot escape the roar of the jet engines. For this reason Seattle is known as “Jet City”. This plagued me to no end, having lived in rural Wisconsin and Alaska for the previous 10 years.
I just could not get over the annoying roar of those jet engines. Another driving factor was the fact that I wanted to return to the church community I had grown up with back in Wisconsin. My hope was to rejoin them in a spirit of fellowship and brotherhood.
When I told my colleagues my plan to give my two week notice they all advised me to just quit and walk out because George would just let me go on the spot. I doubted this and decided to take the high road and give my notice.
George was gracious and very understanding. In fact, he offered me the job again, if I ever wanted to return and even offered to pay my moving expenses!