I grew up in a family that didn't usually have 2 nickles to rub together. Times could be tough. But the one thing I knew is that my dad worked very hard to give the family what we needed. He owned his own landscaping business. The hours and days were long. And he only took Sundays off. That was church day; he never missed the Sabbath. When the weather turned cold, the landscaping business took a hiatus. My father would then take odd jobs. Plow snow. And work in the local factories.
My older brothers would help him with the landscaping after school, on weekends and on vacations from school. Even us girls would help out as much as our skinny little bodies could. So I got to witness first hand how hard my dad worked. It was very labor extensive. Hard work, for little money. I watched as he struggled through nursing a cold or an injury. He worked without complaint. But I knew he had great satisfaction out of being his own boss. Owning his own business. Being an honest business man. And supporting his family.
Flash forward to my work experience. I started working when my youngest turned 3. And I've worked hard ever since. I think the work ethic was ingrained in me from my dad. When I work, I'm going to give 100% to whatever task I'm assigned. And whether I'm feeling under the weather or dealing with a health crisis, I would not let anything deter me from my job.
My last job was supposed to be 9-5. Not so. It became round-the-clock, 7 days a week. I was given a laptop and a blackberry so I could work anytime, anywhere. That was a dangerous thing to do for someone like me. With technology like that in hand, there's no way a work-a-holic like me would not be idle. The workload had become intense. The mountain of work kept getting higher. So work-a-holic me took the work home and convinced myself that by working at night and weekends at home, I could somehow catch up. Ha! Wasn't going to happen. But no one could convince me of that. So I kept plodding along.
I was scared that the boss would think I was slacking if I couldn't show her that I was making every effort to do the work. I had visions that she would call me on the carpet and grill me about why the work was piling up. And she would crack the whip and tell me to put my nose closer to the grindstone and gitterdone!
My health problems kept rising, I still pushed forward. I did not complain. I did not take a sick day. I could work from home if I couldn't physically make it into the office.
In the end, it wasn't enough. I was shown the door. My committment to the job was not enough to keep me from getting laid off.
But you know what? I'm not going to change. I believe in hard work. I believe in giving 100% no matter what I'm doing. And I really try not to complain. I just do it. I can't change. I'm my father's little girl.