Speakeasy-door-slot1When was the last time you logged into your online banking account?

Did you answer that security challenge, "What is the name of your first employer?"

I love that question.
I type my first boss's name — which, by the way, is none of your damn business — and I always enjoy a momentary memory, a fleeting emotion, based on our interaction. I was young and impressionable. (Now I'm older and impressionable.)

My first boss was a substantial shaper of who I have become. I always type her name with a smile.

You always remember your first boss.
In my Vistage practice, I'm meeting many people who run businesses. Each time, surely, I am meeting someone else's first boss.

The baker. The undertaker. The widget maker. Each has at least one employee — perhaps dozens — for whom their employment is their first job. And so each of my friends is, therefore, someone's first boss. 

And I smile.
I smile at the thought that each of their names have become banking passwords.

Throughout the city — far beyond, around the world — their current and former employees log into their own bank accounts and enter the names of my entrepreneurial friends.

What a strange and whimsical legacy! The final paycheck is long ago spent or invested. The boss wields no power.

But the boss's name is still the key to the vault. That's rich. That's irony. That's justice.

Who types your name?
For whom are you the first boss? 

Can you imagine them typing your name? Is it with a smile? I do hope so.

To Those Who Type "Artie"
I hope our time together was useful in your journey. 

If it wasn't, I'm sorry. I hope I wasn't the best boss you have had.

I hope you did the best work of your career when we were together. Until, of course, your next job, where I hope you did even better.

And I hope, whenever you type "Artie," you discover your bank account is a little fuller than you had forecast — like finding a $20 in the pocket of an old pair of jeans.