Do your coworkers have your back?
Michelle Medley on Life
How far would you go to help a coworker? Maybe you'd write their TPS report, set up their email or deisgn their PowerPoint presentation, but would you carry their sock drawer to the dump?
When I heard that a coworker's garage had ignited, burning down the house, I did what everybody does in these situations - contributed funds. Then the coworker asked for real aid. She needed help throwing out the sodden, torched contents of her home. Have you ever done this for somebody you hardly know? Shoved their mattress out a two-story window? Removed their stuffed animals, their dog's bed, their work clothes, still on the hangers?
I showed up to help because I knew if something like this happened to me, I'd want hordes of volunteers to get me through it. At the house, the air was thick with particulate matter, traces of smoke, mildew and rot. It made your throat burn. It made you sweat. But underneath my bandana, tied over my face for protection, I found myself smiling through the grim task. Working right there with me were my former boss, my new boss, a VP and even the company's founder and owner, all doing the dirty work. There were lots of people I didn't know, so we shook each others' protective gloves, braced ourselves and got our backs into it.
This story raises lots of questions to think about, but I keep coming back to this: Are you working for a company that would show up in the worst moments of your life? They say they care . . . would they carry your eliptical workout machine? On any given day - weekends included - have they truly got your back? And could you back them, no matter what? If not, why not?