Not easy to resolve family vs job responsibilities

Senior Maintenance Engineer George Daly was a 9-yr veteran of the Plant Engineering Department. A staunch family man with roots in the community, he spent as much time as possible with his teenage kids and prided himself on being a good dad.
By Raymond Dreyfack June 1, 1999

Senior Maintenance Engineer George Daly was a 9-yr veteran of the Plant Engineering Department. A staunch family man with roots in the community, he spent as much time as possible with his teenage kids and prided himself on being a good dad. On the job travel requirements were minimal — until the day the company acquired a plant 400 miles from home.

That’s when Daly’s boss, Engineering Supervisor Pete Moss, told him he would have to spend “a week or so” at Plant X twice a month. He could come home on weekends and would receive a generous housing and subsistence allowance for the time he stayed over.

“You’ll make out like a bandit,” Ross said. “You’ll be getting a nice raise, plus other benefits. This job will be a good deal for you financially.”

“Financially, but not from a family standpoint. Thanks, but no thanks.”

Moss frowned. “I’m afraid you don’t have a choice, George. This new plant is important to us, and you’re the best man for the job. No one is better qualified than you to organize and coordinate shop and field activities, and formulate and upgrade training programs.”

“Sorry,” Daly replied. “You’re asking me to disrupt my whole life. The money’s not that important to me. I’m not interested.”

Moss nodded. “Okay, George, let me talk it over with Sam.”

Question: What would you do in Plant Engineer Sam Hollander’s place?

Plant engineer’s response: Hollander was disappointed, but not surprised at Daly’s reaction. “Since no one in the department is as qualified as George to handle that job, we could probably issue a take-it-or-else mandate. I’d prefer not to do that if I can help it. For one thing, I wouldn’t want to lose George. For another, I respect his decision; between the two of us, Pete, I’d decide the same way. For a third, almost every seemingly insoluble problem can be worked out one way or another if you set your mind to it. Send George to my office.”

When Daly appeared, Hollander said, “Phil Frankel could probably fill that job with some training and would be willing to do so. Would you be willing to take it on for 3-mo until we can get him prepped to take over?”

Daly nodded thoughtfully. “Sure, that I can live with.”