It’s no secret that the load we as parents bear is a heavy one. Not only is there more external pressure on us than ever before, often we hold the responsibility of a full-time, outside of the home job, and everything that takes place within the walls of our home. There is an expectation to do everything, and do it with excellence; and nobody knows this as well as a mom.
Sometimes all it takes is a good sickness to wipe our kids, and by extension, us, out.
Bernie Reifkind is a Los Angeles-based CEO of a recruiting company who recently showed the internet that it is possible to both be a successful entrepreneur and a compassionate human being who cares about others.
In a LinkdIn post that has now gone viral, he shares what recently took place in his office when he walked in on a female employee (who is also a mother) sobbing at her desk.
“Silently she was sobbing at her desk, early at about 7:45 a.m. I asked her if everything was OK. She told me that her child was sick and that she had been up all night. Bags under her eyes,” he said. “I asked her ‘So, what are you doing here at the office?’ She said that she had run out of ‘sick days’ and could not afford to miss another day.”
So what did he do? She had run out of sick days, after all. Tough luck, right? He could have turned a blind eye and watched as she pressed onward, as so many parents do, tired and at the end of their emotional rope. But he didn’t.
“I sent her home and promised that she would get paid,” he said. “In addition, I wrote her a check on the spot for extra money to alleviate her immediate financial worry. She was incredibly grateful. To this day, she is my best employee not just because of her talent but her loyalty.”
Wow. I wish the country wasn’t so surprised by this act of human decency and love, but here we are. I love that he acknowledges in front of his audience that she is the best employee he has. What a warrior.
Reifkind himself went above and beyond what a good boss would do by sending her home early. He wrote her a check to ease other burdens in her life and paid her for her time off. He acknowledged her worth in a public way. This is beautiful.
He exhorts other business owners to see their employees, whether they’re parents or not. “Employers, please understand that most people are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Burning the candle at both ends. Trying to make ends meet. Kids, homework, spouses, significant others, elder parents, mortgage payments, auto repairs. The relentlessness of life.”
Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.