Today I was at work when a student I know popped in to say hi. I hadn't seen him in about 2 years so it was a nice surprise. As a freshmen, he came to the University after living in Finland for most of his high school career. A family member introduced him to my supervisor and my supervisor brought him to my office and asked our team if we wanted to hire him to work for us. He worked for me for almost 2 years (until I changed jobs).
When he stopped in, it was to say goodbye. He graduated in May (WHAT? Already??) and is preparing to attend graduate school in Florida. He wanted to thank me for the support I gave him during his first years at the University. He even had the sweetest thank you card for me.
I have to say, I was a bit surprised. For the most part, he was a pretty good worker although there were a few issues. One time I had to suspend him for repeatedly oversleeping and coming to work late. I also had to have a conversation with him about personal hygiene. I saw this is as a part of the "growing up and being an adult" process. But I didn't know how he felt - I had the impression that he thought I was too hard on him. It's nice to know he appreciated the relationship we had. AND he even made the effort to tell me.
P.S. The note read: Thanks so much for giving me my first job at the university. It was a pleasure working for you and learning from you. I truly appreciate how patient you were and the opportunities you gave me. I am going to graduate school for my PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida this upcoming year, and it is due in no small part to you and the rest of the office that I got through my first few years of undergrad. Thanks for everything and best of luck.