update from the reader with the seriously ill manager

Remember the reader worried about her seriously ill manager? Here’s her update:

Since I wrote in, things actually have turned out for the positive. Starting in July, my manager started radiation therapy and would only come into the office one or two days out of the month, and worked from home (even though he was also limited in keeping on top of emails, etc.) For a few weeks,everyone worked on autopilot and important issues were sent to higher ups in the department, or were handled by us directly.

After about three weeks, my manager brought in a temporary replacement. This person was a close friend and colleague who held the same position at a different organization. (Our industry is small and fairly specific, so we tend to have a fairly close network.) She had recently retired but was willing to help support the position and our department until my manager was in better health. This was fortuitous in a number ways: first, it really helped in taking the pressure off of my coworkers and me in handling work that we otherwise didn’t normally do (or had expertise in), and she also provided some much needed outside perspective on how our department was ran. She suggested some changes that my manager and the rest of our team really hadn’t thought of before. Additionally, she is the type of person who thrives in chaotic situations, so we were able to improve upon our productivity and output in our department; my manager has even said that most of the changes will be staying and was happy to gain some much needed outside support. 

The best news of all is that my manager’s cancer treatments have been working! He was at his worst in June and July, but he’s been on the upswing and feeling great since mid-August and will be coming back full-time, probably in mid-October. Our office used a lot of the tips your readers gave me (cooking meals and bringing them to his home, providing counseling services if we needed them, etc.) and I want to thank everyone for the ideas and well-wishes you sent to me about my situation! All in all, the scenario that we hoped for turned out to be the scenario that happened. Thank you again for all your support, AAM!

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