The Vice President of Joseph Michaels, Dennis Billingsley
I wanted to share with you some news regarding The Vice President of Joseph Michaels, Dennis Billingsley. Many of you reading this have had the good fortune of working with him in your careers as I have over the last two decades. Recently, Dennis was finding himself completely out of breath while talking his regular walk with his dog, Missy. He went to the doctor to see what was wrong. He was diagnosed with lung cancer.
I lost my Father and my Father-in-law last year to cancer, and now this. Starting today, I am going to dedicate a portion of our profits to charities working on cancer. I welcome your suggestions.
My wife and I went to Dennis’ house Friday, it was his birthday. He was in great spirits and said, “I’m not going to get a stern face and feel sorry for myself, what good does that do me?… I’m just going to do what the doctors tell me to do and make the best of it.”
If Dennis helped you in your career and you want to wish him well, or send him a card, you can send it to the office here and I’ll see that he gets it. You can also leave him a voicemail at (415) 434-1099 x 586. I’m sure he’d be happy to hear from you. He has always relished his “fan mail” and he has made a lot of fans over the years.
Were it not for Dennis, there would be no Joseph Michaels and certainly no Network Newsletter. This is the story of how he talked me out of quitting the recruiting business when he was my boss at General Employment, Inc. back in 1986.
When I tried to quit we were having lunch on Pine Street. A slice pizza for me, Dennis had his usual, a homemade sandwich. I said to Dennis, “Listen, I want to tell you something important. It’s nothing personal but I’m not making enough money to make ends meet and I’m going to resign. I really appreciate everything you have done for me, trying to help me be successful, protecting me from Sam.” (Sam Davis was Dennis’ boss and the Regional VP. Sam thought an 18 year old who was dumb enough to drop outta high school, had no chance of ever amounting to anything. It was a good thing he didn’t know how young I really was!) Sam asked Dennis every chance he got, often in front of the other managers, “When are you going to fire that loser Pelayo?”
When I told Dennis I was going to quit, he got VERY silent. It was not like Dennis to be silent. He is one of the most outgoing and friendly characters I have ever known. Walking down the street with him, all kinds of people would say, “Hi Dennis!” and he would say “Hi” back. And if he didn’t know them he would still say “Hi” to them. It seemed like he knew everyone in town.
Dennis was always in a good, playful mood. Sometimes in the office he would boldly shout at someone, “WHAT’S GOING ON! Mr. or Mrs._______,” stating the person’s last name.
His loud voice would carry a hint of suspicious humor, which would cause the person to come and sit down next to Dennis for a few minute chit-chat before Sam Davis would walk by with his patented, get-back-to-work look. People loved Dennis, still do. He works for me now as my Vice President of Recruiting.
Anyways, back to the lunch on Pine Street. Dennis got quiet and it was very uncomfortable. I asked him if he was OK. He just sat there. “Dennis, are you OK?” A minute passed, another… seemed like forever. I seriously wondered if he was okay. Was he going to throw up? Was he going to get sick? Then he got up, walked 10 feet away from me and threw his uneaten sandwich on the ground as forcefully as he could. He would not look my way. “Dennis what’s wrong?” I kept asking. Finally he sat down, steaming angry. He composed himself and in a tone of controlled anger said, “I CANNOT BELIEVE, JOSEPH, WITH ALL THE TIME I’VE PUT INTO YOU, YOU’RE GOING TO QUIT!”
I was scared. I had never seen him like that. I said. “Okay, I’ll give it another 6 months.”
He said. “OK.”
Joe Pelayo, C.P.C.
Joseph Michaels International
Global Recruiting Solutions
One of the top 75 Recruiters in the United States ~ Recruiter Life Magazine