In June 2021, I published my 100th newsletter for the ASQ Montreal Section (the English section when I first started, now the bilingual English/French section). Never did I think I would reach a triple digit milestone such as this. When I took over the role back in September 2010 from current Section Chair Chantale Simard, my feelings were more akin to “survival” than to “excellence” and “mastery”. I had no idea if I would do a good job, no idea if I would enjoy doing it, plenty of “no ideas”.
What drove me to accept the challenge originally was simply to do something outside of my comfort zone. The reason I started going to ASQ dinner presentations in 2009 was to learn different languages of Quality. Although I enjoyed my job and the company I worked for at the time, I felt my Quality vocabulary was becoming myopic: often I would say to myself such things as “There must be a different way to do this”, or “I bet Company X does this better than us”. In the end, attending those initial dinner presentations helped me meet new people in the Quality field, but also helped answer some of these things I would (often frustratingly) be asking myself on the job.
As a result, this put me in touch with others on the Montreal Section Committee at the time, and eventually thanks to Chantale’s belief in me (a belief that I did not fully have yet), I took on the role of Newsletter Editor. Slowly and surely, as I have done with many other things in my life, I learned how to best make everything work for me. And so to this day, I continue to enjoy putting together these newsletters.
Not every edition has been easy:
- There was the one I started back in September 2011 and hoped to finish before leaving for a business trip to Berlin. Unfortunately, a car accident a few days before leaving left me uninjured but my car a total loss. With a trip to prepare for and a new car to purchase, I had to call in the help of the previous Editor (Mme. Simard encore!) to finish what I started.
- Also in November 2013, when I spent most evenings after work in a hospital watching my Father slowly lose his life. At the time, I thought of asking for help, for someone else to step in just for this month. In the end, I told myself that putting in the time (even at the midnight hours) to do it myself would be a good distraction from what I knew was going to be a difficult next few months.
- And finally, I cannot forget all the times I would have to be travelling with work, doing audits during the day and then in my hotel room in the evening catching up on “the regular job” AND working on the newsletter. Somehow I always got it done: that said, I think back now and wonder “HOW?”.
In conclusion, as a woman who should have been President once said: “It takes a village”. So a huge THANK YOU to all those who have contributed over the past (now 101) issues of this newsletter. You know who you are, you are many, so please accept this single yet large sign of gratitude from me. You have all helped make my working life, and my life in general, better.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the “C” word nor the “P” word were used during the writing of this article.
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Thank you, all the best and none of the worst.