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Work Isn’t the Most Important Thing

brokenpipe_cI had quite an adventure today, away from work. We had a pipe freeze in the house, a sick kid, and then a plumber call when the pipe broke. All in all, with school closed and kids home, I haven’t gotten much work done. My wife ended up also missing a bunch of work at a busy time. I leave for Cleveland Friday morning, so it’s already a short week and that adds to the stress.

But that happens. Life gets in the way of work, and there are times you need to let things go. I know there are friends that have gotten off of work this week because of the weather, and I’ve had companies close. When I lived in Virginia, we closed the office sometimes with hurricanes or strong storms, helping employees to manage their lives outside of work. I’ve helped hang plywood and even get boats out of the water in preparation for the storm.

I think that a part of what business has to include is social responsibility. It can come with benefits like goodwill that come from donating back to schools, but I think that the highest level of profit you can make is not the way business should be run. You should consider what helps your employees, what helps your community, and what is the best way to integrate your company into the world outside of your profit.

Hopefully your employer understands that.

Filed under: Blog Tagged: life, syndicated

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by John Sansom on 2 February 2011

I agree.

I believe that a good relationship between Employer and Employee should adhere to the philosophies of “Give and Take”, and "Gifting".

I know that a lot of SQL Server folk give/put in way over and above what’s expected of them in their roles, that’s part of what being outstanding is about. So every once in a while it’s ok to be able to take a little from the relationship too.

The great thing about gifting is that the more “genuine” gifts you give out the more you will get in return. In this practical example, the more giving and understanding the employer is the more the employee will likely give back in return.

(Note: If readers don’t have a clue what I’m wittering on about regarding gifts then you need to read Linchpin by Seth Godin. It will empower you to be a more valuable employer/employee)

Posted by rdw2 on 26 February 2011

I have to whole heartedly agree with John.  


I am glad _your_ employer understands that.  It is just a shame that, even if an employer understands that there is a need to deal with humans _as_ humans (rather than as Employee ID's), that often holds true only for those employees that are perceived as "necessary and hard to replace" . . . such as DBA's and other "skilled" employees.   IMHO, _every_ employee should be considered to, first and foremose, be a human being for whom work is a necessity and not a life.  

Similarly, employees must realize that, while work is not their whole life, it _is_ a necessity and their employer deserves their best efforts to not only do their best on the job but to be reliable about being on the job to do their best.  Life does happen and there are times when life interferes with work . . . just as there are times that work interferes with life.

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