Jim Lee Set to Retire
Canadian Jim Lee, IAFF Chief of Staff, is set to retire in the coming months, having served in that role for the past several years.
He was previously the principal assistant to the General Secretary-Treasurer and ran for that position before bowing out at the prospect of Tidal Wave Edzo.
Harold Schaitberger, though urging Lee to run for the open spot, was of no help once the politicking began.
He would have loved to see Lee elected, but just not enough to actually help him win; he’ll give you a seat in his plush life boat, you just have to pull yourself aboard.
Perhaps Schaitberger’s offer of the chief of staff position was a consolation prize for the election debacle, though its hard to imagine Schaitberger feeling guilty for throwing someone over; he’s been doing that all his life.
Lee shares a distinction: he is Schaitberger’s third chief-of-staff but the only one to actually know what he was getting into when he accepted the job.
Only the inner circle know that Schaitberger’s chief is simply a glorified pillow-fluffer whose job it is to make sure that the mini-bar is properly stocked and that the limo arrives on time.
Their other job is to try to ensure that Schaitberger doesn’t think he looks bad to his largely clueless membership; this is a job much harder than it sounds.
Schaitberger simultaneously wishes to appear the royal while being a man of the people; his legendary fragile-ego careens between these two polar opposites setting up continual mini-crises.
Members of his senior staff once received a public berating when they walked back to a hotel after dinner from a restaurant a block away, while his eminence rode back.
It was the perfect example of his conflicted mind: walk or ride; his staff bore the temper tantrum from a two-year-old past his bedtime.
Schaitberger is over 70 and is no longer interested in new ideas or new faces, so his choice of a replacement will no doubt be some one who knows his pillows and his vodka.
Or perhaps there will be no replacement as he finally sheds the charade once and for all.
Schaitberger always needs someone to blame for any inconvenience, so chief or no chief, a staffer will have to endure the petty and daily diatribes of an aging monarch surrounded by his toadies.