While out for dinner last night my sister and I were having a conversation with TP, another Ionian. We initially started talking about how hard the local farmers push themselves and their crew during harvest, sometimes not even stopping for lunch. That led to TP telling us how her grandson thought that coming and working at her house would be better and possibly easier than going out in the field. She had him working just as hard at her house in the heat, not the cushy easy day he likely imagined.
The conversation made me remember one I had with a co-worker before I left Connecticut about the work ethic I learned at a young age as the daughter of a farmer.
I've been working for my current employer since 1998 and most days I worked an extra half hour or hour or longer. For the first five years I wondered what I was doing wrong. Why could everyone walk out the door on time, every day, and I always felt like there was more I needed to get done? Once I started to move up the ladder, I stopped wondering what I was doing wrong and decided I must be doing something right.
I was in my office working late again one evening back in March and a co-worker, who has the same working late tendencies, asked me how I could still be putting in just as much effort now as I did 14 years ago. How could I continue that level of effort without getting a reward or recognition? Honestly, I had never given it any thought until he asked.
My answer was simple, I was raised with the understanding that a hard day's work was it's own reward. I was raised with the work ethic of a farmer.
My co-worker informed me that was a crazy notion. I suppose to a lot of people, that would sound crazy. Perhaps even more so to my niece's generation. However when you look at the example I grew up with, it's really not so crazy.
A farmer doesn't punch a clock. If they do not show up to do the work, then they have nothing to show for it in the end. If the seed does not get into the ground during the right window of time then it will directly effect the success of their harvest and, therefore, their financial bottom line.
No one tells a farmer how hard to work, what time to start or what time to stop. They don't work until they are tired, they work until it's done. A work ethic that has earned me the trust of my employer which granted me the ability to work for my Connecticut-based company from the family farm here in Oregon.