It’s funny how often you think you have worked through a thing but unbeknown to you it is only buried deep down. When we were in Jo’burg, having a meal with friends recently, the conversation turned to the subject of boss/employee relationships and I thought I would make a point concerning my last full-time job five years ago. I had scarcely opened my mouth to form the first sentence when my eyes teared up and I could not go on. I had actually the greatest respect and admiration for my last boss. She was totally dedicated to her job, often working through the night and making herself ill, but still soldiering on and I always felt that I just couldn’t come up to her expectations. She was inclined to be mercurial and I was a nervous wreck most days, either because, according to her, I had either exceeded my authority or conversely, not taken enough initiative in solving a problem. In the end, I had to leave as I couldn’t even sleep at night: to my amazement, she didn’t want to sign my resignation letter. It lay on her desk for two weeks. I still can’t work it out. Amazingly, two months later I received a phone call from her asking me to undertake another job in her department, working closely with her. My stomach contracted with fear but I was too cowardly to say no on the spot so I said I would think about it. The next day I phoned back and with fingers crossed said that my husband didn’t want me to work.