The passing of John V. Jamison III is cause for mourning, not only because a good man's life has ended, but because there is one fewer corporate official in America who actually sees employees as people who deserve respect and friendship.
Jamison's attitude toward the work force of the Jamison Door Company was forged on the factory floor, where his father put the young Yale graduate to work in 1933 - as a lowly laborer, paid just 25 cents an hour. The younger Jamison spent the next three years learning everything about the company, and about its people as well.
His affection for them was well-known, and his long-time secretary often surprised his visitors by referring to the boss as "Johnny." He loaned his workers money when they needed it and helped them when they were in trouble. His stewardship was in stark contrast to so many of today's corporate sharks, who don't think twice before declaring long-term employees expendable casualties in the quest for higher profits and stock prices.