Monday, December 20, 2010

True Story: An act of generosity.

This story completely moved me….

A friend of my wife’s has come down to India to visit her ailing mother. Her mother has been diagnosed with cancer and fighting it for a while now. It’s really sad and painful to hear that her cancer is in the final stage. Our friend has been traveling to India quite frequently in the past year to be with her mother. The frequent traveling comes with its share of challenges. First, our friend has had to work across time-zones to complete her assignments on time. Second, she’s had to rely heavily on her colleagues to help her out.

But here’s the part which really struck a cord with me. The constant travel back and forth to India resulted in her using the accumulated vacation time (or whatever was left of it). For the current travel of three weeks, she had to apply for leave with loss-of-pay (LOP). While she was contemplating the next steps, she discussed the LOP option with her manager. She also had to keep her team/colleagues informed accordingly to ensure that work doesn’t get disrupted. Understanding her dilemma, her team took a collective decision to transfer their vacation time to her account! Really. It’s a really big deal; they gave her their vacation time!

It’s a gesture that’s very touching and she’s really grateful for being part of such a wonderful team.

The firm, manager and team she works with need to be commended. I know of many companies that might not allow for such a thing to happen. HR policies and legal issues are often cited as reasons for denying requests. Yet, in this case the manager has taken a stand. It's a rarity.

The bottom line, your current job may not be the best one out there. Your paycheck might not keep you happy. You may be traveling 25 miles one way to reach your office. And many more such reasons to look for the next job. But actions like this are rare and it’s one reason that’s worthy enough to stick around.

PS: Please keep her mother in your prayers today.