Susanne and Brigitte
"You are the best bosses I have ever had."
How did they react?
I will fill this in as soon as I have received a reaction- This compliment is a written one.
How did I feel?
I started working when I was sixteen. My first job was sitting at the checkout in a supermarket. The boss, a huge guy with a moustache and cold eyes, screamed at me if I scanned less than 35 items per minute. Same if at the end of my shift the cash balance was incorrect, or if he passed me working and I didn't smile. I stayed because I was underage and lacked experience but I swore to myself I was going to leave the day I'd find another gig and never work in a store again. Over the course of the next years I was a barista (no screaming there, but the same conditions), a bartender (the opposite: That boss was a nice guy despite his drug issues. He made me drink shots with him every time he passed the bar. Staying focused for eight hours became kind of hard though), a babysitter, an interpreter, a musician, a research assistant, a writer.
Bosses came and went as I am sure they will keep doing. Sometimes I was luckier, sometimes less. One of them has become another dad by choice, some of the others I am glad are in the past, the rest is in between. It never got as bad again as it started back in that grocery store, mercifully.
It never was as good as it is now either:
Last October I started working at a Bonn Yoga studio. Within a year that place has turned into home for me. I open the door, I smell the air and my shoulders relax. I know, relaxing your shoulders is a major part of Yoga itself- and yes, of course my passion for teaching and Yoga and teaching Yoga builds the home feeling, too. But there wouldn't be a lump creeping up my throat right now, saying goodbye to Studio 52 with this post, if it wasn't for Susanne and Brigitte. They built the place, it radiates with their warmth, their great visual taste and their care. I have never had such intimate encounters with students before, and again: Yes, that's due to the Yoga itself, the people that come and the person I am- but it would not happen without the channel and frame Susanne and Brigitte created. When I knock at their office's door they ask me how I am, listen closely to my answer and look me in the eye, their presence overwhelming. I got dumped this year and had to teach the same night. Brigitte gave me the warmest, most motherly hug I received all day.
Every time a student tells them they like my class Brigitte and Susanne report back to me immediately and thank me for my work and devotion. I had been teaching for a little over a year when I started working at the studio yet they trusted me with many classes. It's not that they don't care about quality, they just believe in their teachers. If there is problem they call me and ask for my perspective before explaining theirs: Once I messed up the complete accounting. It cost them a lot of extra hours. They didn't lie; Of course there was criticism. But in between it all I still felt appreciated and they managed to bring across that this did not affect any personal level. Each time I get a call from them I feel uplifted and motivated afterwards.
I learned a lot about humanity and leadership from these two ladies who I think of as the studio's mothers. They call each new student after their first class and ask about their experience. They keep track of what is going on and expect respect for what they have built and maintained. Meanwhile they spread love for every person who enters the studio, no matter if it's a teacher, a student or a cleaner. There are not many things tying to Bonn on a personal level. This studio does, and letting go fills me with sadness.
I will miss you, Susanne and Brigitte. Thank you for your great work, your support, trust, teaching and, of course, your love.
Take ultimate care. Namaste.