Monday, November 11, 2013

When workplaces are kind

I was up half of last night with C, my 4 year old girl, who had spiked a fever unexpectedly and was very hard to resettle.

Although Panadol brought down the temperature, I wasn't prepared to send her to kinder in case she got worse and / or was contagious. So I called my mum, who was going to pick her up at 1pm from kinder, and asked her to come early, which she said she would.

I took C in to work with me, as I had an early meeting and Mum couldn't make it until 10:30. (She came and collected C from my office). When we got into work, at 8:55am, my workmates all flocked around C, chatting to her, getting her water, making her feel welcome. One colleague, whom C absolutely adores (he's very good with little kids, being a dad of two himself), made her a paper helicopter, which delighted her. She was treated gently and respectfully and not like she was a nuisance or in anyone's way.

Then, when my mum rang to let me know that C still wasn't right, my boss agreed readily that I can work at home tomorrow to keep her with me. In the 14 weeks I've been with my employer, this is the fifth time I've had to do this at short notice - pull an extra work at home day to care for a sick child - and never once has it been a problem or even remarked upon, except that my boss always adds her good wishes for a speedy recovery for the child in question.

What this makes me feel is ... grateful. Valued. Respected, as a full human being, not just a producer of outputs. It is kind behaviour. It is decent behaviour. It increases my sense of loyalty to my organisation and my sense of goodwill generally, which feeds into my commitment to doing good work and achieving outcomes for my employer.

I'm lucky, to work where I work. I'm lucky to work with the people I work with, and to have the conditions and flexibility that I do. Most of all, I am lucky because kindness and respect are valued where I work, and this is demonstrated when things go pear-shaped and the chips are down.

This is post 11 in NaBloPoMo. 11 down, 19 to go!

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