Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Can You Trust Your Number Two (Assistant)?

Part 3

Matthew had an insatiable work ethic. He was known to put in long hours at the office. He usually arrived at work before 7:00 a.m. and did not return home until 7:00 p.m. on most evenings.

After years of keeping this grueling schedule, Matthew’s health began to take a toll on him. He was having trouble sleeping at night and keeping food on his stomach. His doctor diagnosed him with high blood pressure. Matthew began missing work on a regular basis, taking days off, calling into work sick. At times, he was so exhausted that he couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

In Matthews's absence from work, Barnabas began running the department. Everything began to run through him, key phone calls, memos, and projects. He also took it upon himself to run the department meetings.

Barnabas developed relationships with key employees, taking them out to lunch and/or just sitting around bantering whenever time permitted. He allowed the employees to come and go as they pleased, telling them that he would cover for them if need be.

Barnabas also began cultivating relationships with Mathew’s boss. Whenever he was in his presence, Barnabas made a point to speak to him. Once, when Matthew’s boss asked Barnabas how things were going, Barnabas responded that he was busy because Matthew was away from the office, and he, Matthew, was having to pick-up the slack. Pretty soon, Matthew’s boss began to confide in Barnabas more and more.

When Matthew was at work, and he ran the division meetings, Barnabas sat at the opposite end of the conference table and laughed and joked with a few of the employees while Matthew was talking. Matthew never said a word but it was obvious to some employees that it was disrespectful.

Barnabas was a sociable person, unlike Matthew. After work, Barnabas loved to frequent many of the local hotspots and oftentimes invite employees to go with him.  One night after a few beers, Barnabas was overheard by a couple of employees that he could run the department a lot better than Matthew.

Soon, Matthew's mental exhaustion began to take more of a physical toll on his body. His doctor ordered him to stay at home. When things did not get better, Matthew was placed in the hospital for a full week.

1 comment:

  1. Why as Americans do we not take better care of our health along the way? We push until we drop. I think we fear we will be replaced and cannot miss work for the fear of being replacable. Where is the balance?