Person of the Week

Lois Severin


Let me tell you what is wonderful about this office.  I love coming to work.  I don’t have a perfect life, but it is wonderful!

1.  What led you to the mission of being an assistant?

I became an assistant because I needed a job.  I was fifty-nine years old and there aren’t a lot of jobs for fifty-nine year old women.  Where I had worked before, I had lost my job.  In the mean time, I went to work at a coffee house.  Then I got this job as an assistant.  I’m the assistant to the boss.  My actual title is BOA, but that sounds like a boa constrictor.  So, my title is just assistant.

There is a lovely story.  It was advertised as an office manager in a city not far from my home.  I came here and my boss was a very young man.  It was twenty years ago.  My boss looked very young and he said, “I need somebody very mature.”  I looked at him and said, “I might be old, but I’m not mature.”  I said, “I don’t want the job because it had computer skills.”  He looked at me and said, “You can learn.”  He hired me on the spot.  I learned.

2.  What does this mission mean to you?

Assistants really run the office.  There are two of us where I work.  We make the boss’s life good.  That’s what it means.  We are caretakers of him.  He is a good man to work with.  I can’t even say “for” because he doesn’t make you feel like you work “for” him.

3.  What was your best day as an assistant?

One of my best days was when the other assistant came.  She is much more adept at doing the work than I am.  We are equal, but my boss graciously has given her most of the work – because I am aging rapidly!  He is a lovely man!  A wonderful human being!

I’ve spent most of my life being an adult networker by accident – not officially.  Here the people come in and they visit us.  Already this morning, four people have come in and I am able to sit in the front of the office to help them.  That’s what makes the day wonderful.

4.  What was your worst day as an office assistant?

My worst day is when I get bad news about someone.

5.  How did you survive your worst day?

My husband’s gravestone – which is very tiny – says his name and it says, “I have been so lucky.”  Mine is sitting next to him.  My name is on it and I neglected to put a date.   It says, “Me too.”  It’s in stone.

I look at life as being very lucky.  Someone will ask me how I am and my answer would be, “I am happy.  I am.  I’m alive.  I have children.  I have grandchildren.”  I may not get to see them, but I’ve had the privilege of all of those things.  I never knew I would have so many lucky things.  I just never knew life was so nice.

The older you get the better it is.  It really is better because you say, “Look. Let me tell you what is wonderful about this office.  I have this large window and a blue sky every day.  Clouds.  What more would I want?”

Light is a really important thing in life.  I like it and I love coming to work.  I can look out my office window right now and the sky doesn’t even look real – like a bad painting!  Like a $9.95 sofa size painting – because the sky is so beautiful!

I don’t usually use the word “blessings”, but I believe I am lucky and I am blessed.  I have been chosen to stay alive.  I don’t have a perfect life, but it’s wonderful.