I work for a company that contracts for a large chain. A large chain that makes big swooping changes that don’t take into account the lives that it changes. I found out today that one of those changes will affect me personally.
I’ve been with the company for nearly six years. We are encouraged to build relationships with the people we work around that are associates of the company we contract for. Now, I’m no extrovert, but, I do like to joke around and have fun while I work and a lot of these folks do bring out the good in me.
In building these relationships for work I have (let’s go Southern) “done messed around and made friends”.
I love these people.
Before this I worked in the pest control industry. One of the companies I worked for was Carolina Pest Management in Monroe, NC. It was operated and owned by the Dodd family and the head of the clan not only took care of us like we were family, we were family. He has since passed away. He was a good man, mentor, and friend.
While I worked there I was lucky enough to work under James Register. Jimmy was ex-military and so was I, so we kind of gravitated towards each other. He taught me a lot. Mostly he taught me that we are doing more than a service. We are selling ourselves. We build relationships. And we might mess around and make a friend or two.
In my time there, I was witness to many things in homes that we weren’t allowed to talk about. Kind of an unwritten confidentiality clause that Mr. Dodd insisted upon. We were invited into folks homes, we didn’t air their dirty laundry or secrets.
I was witness to divorces, people losing jobs, homes, families giving up. Death. A lot of bad.
I was also witness to births, new marriages, graduations, Christmas secrets, firsts for kids, and all the good things that happen to a family.
In all of this we became a small part of those families.
So here I am, a couple of decades later still making relationships. I work hard, I do what’s right, and I always finish the job to the very best of my ability. In making these relationships and working I find a hard truth presents itself.
I’m not just working for the money.
I’m doing my job because it affects these people around me. What I do matters in some small way because if what I do isn’t done then what goes on top of that in this house of cards (pretty shaky sometimes, lol. Sorry. Guess you have to be in retail) won’t balance just right. We are dependent upon one another.
It goes deeper than that.
I don’t want to disappoint the people I work with. Not, because I’m worried what the boss thinks. These people are my friends. It’s a ripple effect. If I don’t do mine and they don’t do theirs it affects so much more. Sales, raises, promotions, and on and on. Things that someone sitting in an office somewhere doing percentages might never really know the cause of.
We are dependent upon one another.
I see these folks at their best times and their worst times. And they see me at mine. We share a part of our lives with each other and support each other. When one of us is hurt we all hurt. When one of us has good news we all share in the joy.
In that, we are family.
Skunk, my friend, this part is just for you. I will miss you being around. I will definitely miss working with you whenever I was at your location. It ain’t right, but I know you’ll land on your feet wherever you go. More than a manager, you’re my friend. We will miss you, brother. God bless and keep you. (He ain’t dead, he’s just moving on. This part is for whoever is reading this. Dry your eyes.)
And this is why I write and post here every day. Sometimes if you don’t get the words out of your head that your heart is pushing you to, it will drive you crazy.
Work not because you boss is on your butt to get it done or for a paycheck. Work because the people around you are dependent upon you. We all work together and get things done.
Who knows? You might make a friend or two.