It was with sadness that I read about the death of Marietta Daily Journal/Cherokee Tribune publisher Otis A. Brumby Jr.
So many dignitaries have written about their experiences with Mr. Brumby but I would like to give another perspective on this man, one from a former employee.
I was lucky enough to be hired by the MDJ in the ’80s after I had stayed home with my children for several years.
My job was to approve the running of the advertising accounts, keep up with the contracts and receive payments.
I was told that Mr. Brumby would call me into his office one or two times a week and go over the accounts with me and I had better “have my ducks in a row.”
Mindful of this I worked very hard to get my accounts in order. Sure enough, the second week I was there Mr. Brumby called me to his office.
I was always honest with him; I never tried to tell him how to run his business. As time went by he called me in less, the accounts were in order like he wanted.
He scolded me during one of our meetings because I made notes on my ledger. He told me it looks messy, why do you do that?
I told him the notes helped me when I needed to answer his questions, he said OK.
One Monday morning I came into work and noticed my ledger on the top of my desk and not in its usual safe place.
I realized Mr. Brumby had been reading my notes, his questions had been answered and the reason he called me in less. One day he called me and ask about a account saying he could not read my notes, fill me in, he said, so then I knew for sure.
Mr. Brumby was the hardest, toughest boss I ever worked for. There was no middle ground for him, either you were right or wrong.
He taught me to have my facts right, be able to prove them and stand up for myself because that was all I needed. He taught me so much.
Mr. Brumby made the MDJ what it is today, a very respected and influential newspaper. He was tough but fair.
I will miss Mr. Brumby and thank him for letting me take part of this journey with him.