One of the hardest parts of my job has nothing to do with medicine. It is dealing with employees. People can be weird, unpredictable and even mean. They can also be wonderful.
In the 20 years I have been in practice I have worked in both solo and in a large group. I have hired, fired and supervised over 50 different employees. Some stayed for only a short time, others stayed for a number of years. They possessed varying levels of loyalty and trustworthiness. One employee in whom I placed significant trust was let go when I learned she was dishonest on her time card and with the use of the office credit card. Others started off well only to lose focus over time when outside family issues proved to be a distraction.
There is one employee who has now been with me for almost twelve years who has continually displayed a level of selfless devotion that I find humbling. When she was pregnant with her fourth child she realized that she would not likely be able to return to full-time work. Although she wanted to stay with me she put the office ahead of her own wishes. She sought out one of her best friends and trained her as a replacement, giving up her position in order to insure the office continued to function.
After her son was born she made herself available on a fill in basis. She covered other employee days off or illnesses when she could for 4 years before returning to a permanent part-time position. Her responsibilities at home have made it impossible for her to work full-time and limit her availability. Because of this, as the practice has evolved and grown she has told me that she understands that I may eventually need to hire someone else. Over the last few years she has approached me many times to tell me that if I needed to replace her with a full time employee she would understand and that it would be okay with her. She loves working for me but doesn't want me to feel obligated or trapped by her limited schedule. She repeatedly tells me to do whatever I need to do for the office.
Her commitment to serving me and my patients, the way she honors my needs and the needs of the practice and puts others ahead of herself embodies an aspect of love described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13. One of the descriptions of love listed there is "love does not seek its own way.” Simply stated, love puts the needs and feelings of others first.
This aspect of love is crucial for successful relationships. When husbands and wives put one another first grace, forgiveness, and trust follow. When church members care more about others than themselves arguments and divisions disappear.
I am pretty certain I do not deserve such love and devotion from an employee, but I am deeply grateful for it!
This is part 6 in a series on love and relationships based on 1 Corinthians 13. If the series has touched you in any way please click on the share button to tell your friends. You can have the remaining posts in the series delivered to your inbox by clicking on the subscribe link. Have a comment or s story to share? I would love to hear it!