Just Six Boxes After 33 Years?


August 30th, 2019 was indeed a day we will all remember in my household, because after 33 years of work with the Ontario Provincial Government, my husband left his office for the very last time and arrived home with six boxes to which I exclaimed, “33 years of work and that’s it – six boxes!” And then we both started laughing! It was six boxes of things he had cleared from his office, which included photos, books, parting gifts etc.

Over the next couple of days as he started bringing out the many cards and notes from co-workers who he’d spent so much time with – and sharing about the lunches and get-togethers he experienced as colleagues said their good-byes over the past few weeks, I was reminded of just how lucky the folks in his workplace were to experience the love, laughter, wisdom and caring spirit that I am blessed to experience every day.  He was beloved in his workplace and cared deeply about helping and supporting others in his role as a Human Resources Specialist.

It wasn’t about what was in those boxes or even the number of boxes he carried home with him on August 30th  but rather what he’d imprinted on the hearts of those he worked with and how his attitude and commitment to excellence helped cultivate and create a work space rooted in integrity, caring and excellence. So again I’ll say, it was not about what was in the boxes – well except for two of those boxes, because as I peeked inside each of those two boxes, what stood out for me was that they were filled to the brim with items that represented everything you need to know about my husband and who he is both on and off the job. The first box as noted had parting gifts, cards filled with accolades and a few personal items coffee mugs, Kleenex etc.  The second box was filled to the brim with photos of his two sons and myself. My husband kept these photos strung across his desk and walls and updated them frequently as the boys grew.  The soccer games, family trips, piano lessons, baseball, singing lessons and the list goes on and on, and each placed strategically across his desk or walls because that was truly what he cares about the most.

The accolades and the pouring out of love and respect was just the boomerang effect – what my husband gave out at work was always returned to him in larger portions because he was committed to the people first and in delivering a service of excellence. Mediocre is not enough for him. This was demonstrated both on and off the job.  His devotion to his family never took second fiddle to his work, and our two boys and I knew this without a doubt.  My husband understood the importance of putting first things first. As a father and husband, he is second to none. And I know his work colleagues would state similar sentiments about his work ethics and his passion for helping people.

My husband was loved and beloved by his workmates because he led daily with these three leadership principles:

  1. I often joked with my friends about not knowing where my husband went every day because he never came home looking stressed but rather blessed for the opportunity of having a job to go to. I have never heard my husband complain about his job, in fact it was rare that he even talked about work – and when he did it was usually because I would ask him a question about it – my husband felt strongly that work needed to stay at work and he needed to focus on his family and himself once work was over. He felt it a blessing to have had a 9-5 job as not everyone is so privileged. LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE –PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
  2. My husband started each day from a place of gratitude – I would often see him sitting praying or reading scriptures or just sitting in quiet contemplation preparing for the day ahead – LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE – PREPARE YOUR HEART, SOUL AND PHYSICAL WELL BEING BEFORE YOU START YOUR DAY
  3. My husband is known for his great sense of humor and quick wit and is always able to see any challenge from the lens of humor and perspective – he often tells me “I love making so and so laugh.” He loves seeing people smile and laugh. He recognizes the power of laughter and uses his great sense of humor to diffuse highly difficult situations. LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE- LIGHTEN UP FOR THE HEALTH OF IT! DON’T TAKE YOURSELF SO SERIOUSLY!

These three simple principles inspired my husband everyday at work and those who had the privilege of working with him. That is why he could leave work at work consistently for 33 years and enjoy the things that really matters to him in the end – his faith, family and his health!

Rosita Hall is a Professional Speaker, Trainer, Performance Coach and Canadian Best Selling Author. To book Rosita for a speaking engagement or to order a copy of her book visit www.rositahall.com

Please review her book trailer by clicking on the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z45xd1wZsNg