I cried at my desk today.
I had a very important all day customer visit and audit happening that we had been prepping for months for. So much so, that I was sick of talking about it. Sick of the action items, just sick of it. But finally, the day had arrived.
My grandfather was the former Superintendent of the City of Burnaby Waterworks. He started his career working for the city and retired from the city 49 1/2 years later. I’m so proud of the man he was and what he did. I am proud of the man he is. You don’t spend your career in sewers and waste management without becoming an expert. So, when we had our little flood over the weekend, I told him about it because I knew it was something he could relate to. I can’t claim the same expertise with plumbing and sewers, so I could only tell him what was happening – not the cause or resolution.
When Grandpa went to bed Sunday night, he didn’t know why the water problem was a problem, or what we were doing about it. As I spend my entire day touring and meeting, and quickly checking emails in between meetings, my grandfather pondered the situation at my work. Was it a break on the city side? Did we share the building with someone else? Was there a blockage? Is a pipe broken? Has the issue been resolved?
So, he began calling me.
I will tell you this. When either my grandpa or grandma calls, I answer it no matter how tired I am, or what I am doing. I answer that call. But today I could not.
And so, because I wasn’t answering the phone, grandpa started to get a little agitated. Wanted to know the situation. What he could do. Did we find the entrance to the tank? Could we get the right wrench to get the bolt off? Were the sump pumps running?
But I wasn’t there to answer the calls.
I don’t find it funny or cute that my grandpa was so intent in getting the information that he wanted. I saw the man he was – the capable and strong one that could have helped his granddaughter’s company deal with something that is his expertise. But instead he couldn’t help, he couldn’t get in his car and drive over like he would have years before. He just wanted me to answer the calls and tell him exactly what was happening.
And so, when I finally had a chance to check my phone and see all the calls and messages, the tears came. Stress of the audit, not enough sleep, too much work, worry?
I think it is because I didn’t answer the call.
June 17th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Answer the call.