Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Stepdad the Building Manager

I came home from college today- I am going back and forth right now, attempting my last move from Eugene... ever. It feels good to be a college graduate for real this time (last year I walked in the ceremony, took a wonderful trip to Europe and then, well... went back to school). 

The job market is more than rough right now, but I am optimistic. Although Oregon has the one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation (12%!!), Oregonians are the relentless kind and even better, Portland is at an all time high for creativity. So, I consider myself lucky for a few reasons: 

1. I get to live at home for a while which means the cost of living = 0 

2. I have unlimited access to Portland

3. I can learn a lot from my parents 

Tonight my stepdad, Gary, told me about a new job he took on at work. He is an HR manager at Kaiser Permanente on the computer side of life, but recently he took on an extra role. Everyday for about an hour or so, he rolls up his sleeves and investigates the building, fills out work orders and gets to help keep the place going. He's making a lot of positive changes too. For instance, he gets to work with Jerry the handyman and a number of other custodial staff. He's already accomplished a lot and is really proud the work he's doing. What he is most proud of is the positive impact he is having with the custodial staff- mainly, Jerry. 

Recently Gary gave Jerry a job that would take a few weeks to finish up, but he told him that once it was done, he would buy Jerry lunch. Jerry has worked for Kaiser for 22 years and never before has a boss offered to buy him lunch- this blew him away. Jerry, as well as the other staff members in the building have really opened up to Gary. They are coming to him with ideas, solutions and are just plain friendly. For the first time in a long time, more people are starting to talk to each other. 

This is a great example. So often we think solutions to our tough problems are really hard to find and in reality, if we step back and open ourselves up, they seem to come to us. I think one of the core foundations to good business is to simply practice being a good person. Treat everyone around you as an equal and in return, people will treat you like their friend. 

3 comments:

Tiffany Schaffeld-Cruickshank said...

Way to go Gary! He's such a good guy :) Best of luck with the job search - if all else fails, you can come out here!!

kimkaralekas said...

I hope to work for someone like Gary. Slash I hope I will be someone like Gary. 10 points Gary!

And p.s. you are more than welcome (aka I want you to fly down now) to Austin - we are waiting for you!!!!! (=

Jessica said...

I, too, love the Gary.