Reflecting on the support and caring from my workplace family

I am just three days from attempting my third half marathon! It’s been two years and I was actually looking forward to the excitement of the Disney Wine and Dine! I’m still going to attempt it, but finishing, not so sure! I will have to wait to post my feelings on that till after my run on Saturday – who knows, maybe my knee will miraculously be just fine!

My half is also a fundraiser for a nonprofit, Pitching in for Kids, Inc.,. It supports children from New England through sports related activities. I decided too late to just register for the W&D normally, so in order to run, I had to run for a charity. I chose PIFK because it’s supports kids, was organized by women and I could honor New England, where Sigma Kappa, my beloved sorority was founded. So I agreed to raise $1000 and in turn I run in the Wine & Dine! Not a bad deal and I also get to do something for others.

Just a week ago I was far below the goal. I figured I would have to kick in the rest, which I was totally fine with and had expected. But I thought I would make one last attempt and use a $25 pizza gift certificate to throw a pizza lunch for anyone at the office who contributed to my fundraising goal. I had won the gift certificate last month supporting Lee National Denim Day, which supports American Cancer Society. What better way to use my prize from one charitable event then to have another charitable event! The initial invite went out and a few folks donated and a few more, but as of yesterday morning I was still only at about 60% of my goal. I went ahead and ordered the pizzas, 3 in total, thinking it was plenty for the handful of coworkers supporting me. At least I would be able to thank them with lunch. What happened once I sent a reminder, just amazed me! In about an hour, my fundraising page went from about $600 raised to almost the full $1000 goal! So many people donated! I had not ordered enough pizza! There were small donations and large donations! My boss, some of my staff and some of my peers and their staff!

Now PIFK is a good charity, but these people were not doing it for them – and they weren’t doing it for the free pizza slice or two. They were doing it for me! They cared that I cared about a cause. They supported me because they knew I had been training for this event and it was or is important to me! I felt like Sally Field, “They like me, they really really like me!”

Now this didn’t really surprise me as I really really like them too! But I am humbled that I work with such caring and giving individuals. I spend more time at the office Monday – Friday than home. I see my work husband more than Mark, my real life husband. And I complain about the workplace and fantasize about retiring. But at the end of the day, I am grateful that I not only have a good job, I have such good people to share the workday with. Even after I left the office and arrived home, I pulled up my fundraising page to show Mark and another donation, from someone who was out of the office at lunch time.

In reflection, I have always tried to bond with those I spend so much time with. I am not good at keeping in touch, but while I am working with someone, they become as much a part of my life as my family. I don’t know if this is right or wrong, as some may see it difficult to manage those we care so much about. I think it’s easier. When you truly care about someone, you want the best for them. And the best for anyone in the workplace is to succeed. I think wanting my staff and co-workers to succeed has helped me in my career development. I have always put people first. It doesn’t mean I haven’t had to, “manage people out.” But when those times came up, it was done, I hope from their perspective as well, in a caring way.

So if I work another five years or ten years, whether it’s at Nautica or somewhere else, I will choose to care and support those people I work with. Those I spend the majority of my waking hours, Monday through Friday. And I hope they continue in return to care and support me. Thank you to my Nautica Family! Now let’s see if I can run 13.1 with Mickey!

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