By Scot Kersgaard
You hear people talk about the people they work with as family, but as I sat on a very early morning airplane heading for the East Coast to attend to some unexpected and urgent family business this week, it occurred to me that while I may like my coworkers, family is something else altogether.
While my wife will tell you I’d do anything for work, the truth is I actually will do anything for family. With family, the emotions you experience and the things you find yourself doing sometimes defy all odds. There truly is no limit with family.
It also occurred to me that at work, I am much happier in the role of hero than I am in the role of someone who needs a hero. When other people leave on little notice to attend to family things, I am happy to fill in. I come to that naturally. But when I’m the one who needs a hero, who needs people to pick up the slack left by my empty chair, I feel bad. Uneasy. Uncomfortable. I don’t like being the one who says “I need to leave town for a few days” with no notice whatsoever.
I struggled through an entire day in the office torn between my idea that I am needed at work and the competing idea that a family member might need me on the other side of the country. It finally hit me in a very visceral way that I had to get on that plane.
I got as much or more work done on the flight than I had gotten done in a 12-hour day at the office, because I finally knew I was doing what I needed to do and that allowed my mind some ease it had not known the day before.
There might be offices that feel like family, and JVA could certainly be such a place. For me, though, I think of the office more as a team. A place where when one of us goes down, the rest of us step our game up a little. When you’ve got a good team, like we have, you can take care of family and know that the rest of the team will be there for you.
Sort of like family, I guess.