The world has lost an amazing man: Mr. Michael O’Connor Clarke. Many of his friends and colleagues past and present have written posts for him, but I think we’d probably all agree that there really are no words that could begin to truly describe the kind of man he was, so I won’t try too hard. All I can say is that he will be missed by so many and instead, I thought I’d share a memory or two…
The first time I met MOCC, I was interviewing for an Account Coordinator position to work with some of his tech clients. I vaguely recall the interview, but I do remember one specific piece of career advice. He said “Start as generalist, specialize later.” I took this advice very seriously and tried learning everything I could about public relations, social media and communications in general. Now, nearly 5 years later, I can’t say that I’ve discovered what my speciality is, but true to form, the last Twitter DM I have from Michael is telling me to be patient, I’ll find it. I also feel the need to add that Michael did not actually hire me after our first meeting. But I’m sure I made him regret that a few months later when the health team at the same company did. Although, I doubt he really regretted much – we became great friends anyway.
Over the year and half that followed, we developed a great friendship, mostly based on our love of somewhat offside humor. I spent many hours in his office bouncing on an exercise ball as we cackled at a random cat toy that creepily said “I luf you”, the latest story of his beloved children’s shenanigans or the newest internet meme. I also have a very fond memory of Michael jumping up and down in an oversized building recycling bin as we moved offices. (Thanks @slaister for sending through the photographic evidence of the shenanigans). I still have a random snow globe of the Space Needle that he gave me when he was cleaning out his office – I keep it on my desk still to remind me of one of the most important lessons he taught me: A strong beverage and a good laugh with good friends will solve almost any problem you come across.
I have so many memories of him and all are good. His laugh, his mischievous grin and the twinkle of his eye just before he spouted his latest wittism or random Irish slang. He was a kind soul, willing to listen, provide advice and ALWAYS come to the defense when someone needed it (ie. Account Coordinators who made mistakes).
I’m so sad to end this post if only because there is so much more to say. Which is sort of ironic because I regularly teased him about being a tad long winded…really, I was just jealous of his amazing way with words ;) Rest in peace my dear friend.
PS: I never got to tell you – I’m marrying an Irishman. I know you’d be proud.