Monday, July 4, 2011

What? John's working another holiday!

Some folks I know find it interesting or even weird that I seem to end up working most all the holidays. Well I don’t mind and here’s some of the reasons why.

1. I don’t mind! Every day is the same to me in the fact that I feel that, other than a day I might be married on, or witness the birth of a child, or the death of a family member, most holiday days are “remembrance” days. Even Christmas and Easter are not “the days” they are annual remembrances of things gone past. By the same token, if I can stop and listen to the silence, every day is Christmas, and every morning is Easter.

2. My staff feels it’s a special bonus to have a holiday off. I’m happy to give it to them!

3. I don’t pay my employees enough and I’m the first to admit it. Part of living and working in a small town is the reduced availability of money. Of making it, of investing it, of keeping it. I’m the first one to say that all my staff needs a raise. So if I can trade even a small amount of joy to them to have their “holidays” with friends and family, well, I feel I’m contributing a little bit.

4. It’s usually very quiet. In my business, barring some kind of power outage or anomaly, a holiday day is usually a quiet day. So I get time for me that I wouldn’t get otherwise. Some days we do almost 14 hours of non-stop telephone calls helping people across the region. Today, the 4th of July, 2011, there has been 2 calls so far at 1:00 pm. I have no radio on, no TV on, just me and the dog and the cat and the ever presence of our creator God! I don’t spend enough quiet time with him anyway.

5. These days give me a chance to try to “forgive and forget!” It’s so easy to carry grudges and anger because in the help desk and computer repair business, no one calls up and says, “Hey I just want to tell you that my computer worked perfectly today and thanks for making that happen!” Some times (actually a lot of times) we go out of our way to help people and they burn us in one way or another. Some how it’s the help desk’s fault that their computer hard drive died, or that someone is trying to send them an email that never even gets to this end of the chain of devices that handle it. Or just last week when we tried to turn down a computer disaster job, but acquiesced after the client begged and begged us to help him. We stopped all our scheduled work, put in over 14 hours of research, discovery, travel, repair, consulting with providers, training him in his new equipment and trying to get cables that match new computers with old peripherals. Only to present a bill that’s half of what the Geek Squad would have charged. And then get screamed at that we are unfair in our billing and that he’s only going to pay one third of our statement. (which we also haven’t yet received) In the daily rush of activities, the pain and anger of such a moment doesn’t go away. Only today in the silence and solitude can I finally unhook my personal feelings from a distasteful situation and say. OH WELL, his problem, not mine.

So that’s why I don’t mind working on holidays! It’s a moment for me to reset myself with my Savior and with my office and with my home and with the world. When’s the next holiday??

Things seem to be in chaos in our country right now. It’s my prayer that we put things back on track, individually and as a country . May we continue to give thanks for the freedoms that those before us fought and sometimes died for. And remember that we have an obligation to give it to the next generation in a safer and better situation than we got it.

John Reitmeier

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