Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Employee of the Month? Can it wait?

My husband is not a guy who expects recognition for much. He is happy to do his job, help out where he can, and be rewarded with a good micro brew at the end of the day. So it was a definite surprise to him when he received a pat on the back recently - though as it turns out, they just about had to hogtie him to accept it.

As a bio-medical equipment technician at a hospital (you know those blood pressure monitors/ventilators/dialysis machines? he keeps doctors and nurses from throwing them out the window when they don't work), he is never sure what his day will look like.He might start out with a plan and even estimate how long it might take - without interruption. Really, though, there is no such thing as without interruption. The norm is that he starts off running, like on this particular morning.

A call had come in to his phone right off the bat (it's supposed to go to a central phone but sometimes staff somehow forgets that number and goes more direct - which gets a quicker response) about some equipment that needed attention as soon as possible. As if anything in a hospital is not needed on an "as soon as possible" basis, right?

So off he went to fix the problem, which my spouse happens to be very good at, and loves doing (because - well, he's a guy). A little while later, as he was elbow deep in tearing apart some piece of equipment, he got another call, this time from the lead tech.

Figuring this was going to be the call telling him to do what he was already doing, he skipped the hello and went right into "I already got the call." The lead, thrown off by this announcement, stuttered his reply.

Lead: Oh! Okay, so - see you in a few?

S: Yeah, sure.

You have to know this meant only one thing. They were not having a conversation about the same subject.

A short time later his phone rang again - same lead tech.

S: What?? (in a slightly edge tone)

Lead: Are you right around the corner?

S: What are you talking about???

Lead: Um... we have a meeting. Employee of the month. Everyone needs to be there.

S: Can't you just do it without me? I'm in the middle of --

Lead: No. We can't do it without you. You need to get down here.

This would be a pretty obvious clue that something is up, wouldn't you think? Apparently, only if you are not the man I married.

Mr. Cooperative headed to the meeting with just a twinge of resentment for being pulled away from his project, and - as you (but not S) would suspect - he was greeted by his coworkers (who were probably hoping for coffee and donuts) with an award for November's Employee of the Month. Obviously, his winning personality and shy demeanor helped to secure this bit of recognition.

I believe he was not averse to this calling out of his efforts, but he will be the first one to say he just does his job. Hey, it can't hurt to point out someone's work ethics, and his are stellar. As long as there's not a SpongeBob marathon on.

Seriously though, S is one of the hardest working guys you will ever meet. I've nicknamed him Joe Volunteer (which probably annoys him since his name is Chuck), because nine and a half times out of ten, he will drop everything to help a friend - yet there is not a room in our house without a half-finished project begging for attention. I know I'm far from the first wife to mutter something hostile under her breath whenever she finds herself eating breakfast around tools left on the kitchen table.

The only problem with being Joe Volunteer is that people expect you to finish what you started. That, my friends, is a tall order.

Take, for instance, a couple we know that had a finicky dishwasher. When he received a request to just look it over (one of his many previous jobs was fixing dishwashers), S and I headed over for a visit and diagnosis. It turns out the switch was bad. He hot wired the dishwasher so that it would work until a new switch was available. That was... oh, I'm going to guess a year and a half ago. In his defense, he did try to go and replace the switch one day last summer, I believe. But the lady of the house - you know, the only person who knows where everything is - was not at home at the time to show him where the new switch had been put away, just waiting for its day to come. It's still waiting.

In the meantime, our friends sent a check and a note of thanks to S for his efforts. It never got cashed. Some time later a gift card was received with another thank you from the couple. It still sits on top of the microwave. Finally, he got a third card in the mail to "officially thank you" for helping out.

At that point I sent a message to the friend pleading, "Stop, please! The guilt is overwhelming - he'll be over soon to actually fix the dishwasher!"

I truly am proud to be married to such a hard-working man. And while he basks in the afterglow of his Employee of the Month award, he also deserves credit for all those at-home projects that never seem to end. Sure, on occasion I might have to beg, threaten, or throw things to get him to finish something. But I really can't complain.

After all, the Christmas decorations have been put away - and it isn't even Easter.

1 comment:

  1. lol that was great. Congrats Chuck!! well deserved!!

    ReplyDelete