Before the U.S. government offers positions to our graduates, it needs to be sure that they have been good citizens while attending graduate school. As part of its due diligence, the government sends an investigator to check if applicants had any disciplinary problems.
Over the years, I’ve helped hundreds of agents by confirming the records of our students. I can only recall the names of two or three of them. But I won’t ever forget Frank.
First, Frank always calls and asks what time works for me (as opposed to those annoying individuals who bang on my office door which is only shut when I am in a meeting and don’t want to be disturbed). Second, he is a jolly person. He’s semi-retired, in love with his wife of many years, and proud of his two and four-year old grandchildren. He told me last week that they had recently sold the house he lived in for forty years and that his wife had lived in all her life.
I told him that he wouldn’t find me here after August and that someone else would be doing the disciplinary checks. He thanked me for my help and for being so gracious and accommodating.
I watched the back of his full head of steel-gray hair and his slightly-overweight waddle as he left my office.
Saying good-bye isn’t going to be easy.