When we hear the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” we usually hear it in the context of being apart from loved ones and the desire that grows to be reunited when separated from them. Today’s application of the statement is in a very different context – coworkers.
With periodic vacations, trips, and various reasons to be out of the office, it isn’t unusual for at least one of our small work team to be out of the office some during any given week. As a small team, we fill in for each other as needed. That can make for some hectic times when one or more are out of the office, depending on the needs that arise. As one of two community managers on the team, I fill in for Patti when she is absent. To be honest, she is so good about getting things done and preparing to leave that I get off very easy most of those times.
One of Patti’s responsibilities is to be the first responder for customer service issues that arise via our social media channels such as when customers post on Facebook or Twitter. She makes contact with the customers and gets the ball rolling to try to gather the needed information to resolve any issues. She follows up with other internal resources and the customer as needed until matters are resolved.
Today I realized just how lucky I’ve had it previous weeks when Patti has been away. Nearly half of my time today was doing things that Patti would normally have handled. My plan to significantly reduce the 119 emails awaiting my action was barely touched as other issues popped up during the day that took priority. It didn’t take me long to think “Patti, come back!”
I’m sure she’s having a wonderful, much deserved trip until later this week, but I sure will be glad to see her in a few days.
The phrase may be used more often in other contexts, but it still applies for great coworkers who enjoy working together as a team. Leap year lesson #289 is Absence makes the heart grow fonder.