Thursday, February 16, 2012

Unwavering Dedication

Earlier, while I was browsing the net for interesting articles I could read, I stumbled upon an article from the Wall Street Journal that both inspired me and made me feel guilty. The article tells the story of certain individuals who for the longest time maintained a streak of perfect attendance.

The numbers that were documented were simply amazing if not unbelievable, I could not for instance imagine myself going on a 30 straight years without a single leave especially when while I am writing this blog I was supposed to be in class but decided for no reason at all to not come instead and stay home.

Truly the accounts of these individuals were inspiring.

For example when Antonio de Sousa's car broke down on the way to work, calling a tow truck didn't enter his mind. Instead, he left the car beside the highway and ran five miles through downtown Tampa, Fla., to get to his job as a doorman at the Hyatt Regency hotel. "I was all sweaty, but I made it on time, at exactly 3 o'clock," he says. That sprint years ago kept him on track toward his current record: 26 years of perfect attendance.

"I just love my job," Mr. de Sousa says. He remembers the faces and occupations of repeat guests, greeting them by name and asking, "'How's your business?' People love to talk about their business. Their eyes light up." His boss, hotel manager Derrick Morrow, calls Mr. de Sousa, 53, "the mayor of Tampa Street," where the hotel is located; some repeat guests choose the hotel because of him, he adds. "He is our chief marketing guy out front."

Mr. de Sousa's co-workers even went to the point of affectionately accusing him of timing the birth of his two children, Natalie and John, around his job. Both were born on his regular day off at the time, Monday. He celebrated the births and headed back to work at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, as scheduled. Even he acknowledges it was "kind of weird." He adds, "It was a coincidence." He and his wife Diane, a bookstore employee, have since helped put Natalie, now 21, and John, 23, through college.

Similarly, Stacey Taylor has been showing up nonstop for 25 years for her nursing job at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "If I wake up not feeling well, I just figure I'll soon feel better," says Ms. Taylor, 50. "I don't even think about not getting up." A rare bout with the flu last year came on her day off.

At work, "I have the opportunity to learn something new every day" by listening to doctors and pharmacists, says Ms. Taylor, 50, who has been promoted to acting nurse manager. "And there's always something to do. I'm never bored."

Whether or not their motivations are purely dedication for the work they love or for the heck of not ruining a perfect streak that are simply irresistible, these individuals are quite impressive, especially now in the age of unexpected floods, flu epidemics and flexible schedules. I sincerely hope that I can at least get a page or two from their books.

Source: Wall Street Journal (

Danjun Lucas

Blog Entry #9

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