Work/Life Balance—A Second Lesson at IBM

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Bob Farley called me into his office to tell me to go home. ‘Twas Christmas Eve at IBM and the halls were fairly quiet. With few remaining vacation days left, I needed to work on Christmas Eve; I planned to drive down to Maryland the next day. I was working in the lab when he called me.

I looked at Bob, my boss’s boss, and said “I have work to do.” He patiently looked back at me and said “Anne, I cannot go home until you go home.” The nature of the request began to register with me. This is a company tradition–you are sent home early on the eve of Christmas.

A lesson in work-life balance delivered by a middle manager at a major corporation: “We believe you should spend time with your family.” So I left work early that day.

Have a productive day,

Anne Meixner

Dear Reader, my hope is that you are not reading this on a holiday. I decided to post this on Thanksgiving Day to keep with my bi-weekly Thursday postings on engineering stories. As it is a holiday, it seemed appropriate to share this story. Please share your comments or stories below. You, too, can write for The Engineers’ Daughter–See Contribute for more information.

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