A Better Daughter: Working with family

I’m working on being the best daughter I can be, but sometimes my role as daughter also blurs into co-worker and employee.

Several years ago, when my family moved to Texas from Nevada, my parents bought a small business. The small business, had 3 separate parts, one oil change facility that served our average day customer, had a gas station, and did state inspections. Another part was a one bay stall that serviced large 18 wheeler vehicles and did state inspections. A third part was the “office,” this part eventually became my career. And I truly do love where I’m at and my job, the road here has been FULL of bumps. I wasn’t expecting any of this and sometimes I can sit back and see things through clear glasses and see that had things gone differently, other parts of my life would be different too, but the road went this way and I’m beyond grateful for this bumpy road and the destination.

I’ll start from the beginning, when we bought the business, I was still in high school. Of course it was my family business and I wanted to be involved, fortunately, they needed the help and I became a part time cashier. I held this position for several years. I’ll be the first to admit that I took advantage of who I was, I was the owner’s kid, I was young and spoiled. I did have the business and my parent’s best interest at heart but I also was reckless and growing up. I called in more than I should of, I broke rules, I talked back, I walked out, I did not respect my position or my parents.

Two months prior to me turning 21, my parents were in very serious automotive accident. Immediately I told myself, it was time to grow up. My family was hurting and I needed to put me aside and help them. I was miserable in college, I believe by this time, I was on my third major. I convinced my mother and father to let me drop out of college and take over where my mother needed me, up until this point, I was still only cashiering part time, my mother though was running the “office.” Yet she was going to be in the hospital for months, someone had to take care of things. So with her help, from the hospital bed, we got me trained and up and going. That was years ago, she’s back to work, we’ve built a new office, we’ve taken on more tasks, and we work side by side, her desk is 4 feet away from mine. We’re a team.

But we’re not a team, she’s my mom AND boss. That’s hard yall. When the accident happened, and the months that followed, I needed her, but I also had to grow up and depend on myself. We struggled with the roles of mom and daughter, of employee and employer. And we still do, to be honest.

In the fall of 2010, I decided I needed to go back to college and finish up. So I did, I still worked, but in my mind, I was going to move on after college. I remember the months before I graduated, coming to the realization that I’d be leaving my family’s name, my family’s investment, the business I loved, leaving it all. I couldn’t do it. I decided to stay.

I know I will do this for the rest of my life, I know that I know this business inside and out, I know that I do a good job, I know no one is going to care as much as I do…But what means the most to me, I know I don’t want to work with or for anyone else by my mom. She’s my best friend, she’s my boss, she’s my partner in crime.

We have our good days and we have our bad days, but I think if family can find a way to work together, to respect each other, it’s a beautiful thing. Sure there are days and sometimes even weeks that we forget to be mother and daughter and spend too much time being employee and employer, but sometimes, that’s all we have time for.

 

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