Dear Dr. Goodnight,
First off, thank you. Thank you for…well…everything. My job. My husband’s job. My benefits. His benefits. Our flexible hours. All of it. I am very humbled by what you have given your employees. I have spoken of it often-here and here and here. I know the reaction from a lot of working mom readers is “well that isn’t the norm.” And they’re right. It isn’t. I am one lucky woman to have all this. And while I have it made, it makes me so angry that other people can’t get with the program. Such a simple idea as “treat your employees with respect and you get quality work in return” seems like such a foreign concept for the majority of American companies. Thirty-five years of profit on this philosophy. How much more evidence does there need to be? But I digress. You know all this. You did it!
I just wanted to speak out on behalf of the working mothers of SAS. You have done right by us and I am eternally grateful. While I am appreciative every day, from my 7 hour work day to my dinner being made by the cafeteria when I am in a hurry, today it really struck me. This gratitude comes after the following morning that would have been practically impossible anywhere else.
My husband dropped off my infant and I at onsite childcare (we carpool) and he went to drop off our other son at the subsidized daycare he attends. As I do every morning, I headed to the nursing room to feed my son. A problem arose this morning when that process wasn’t working (I won’t bore you with those details…but it was stressful). While I listened to my classical music in a dim lit room, I cried in front of my smiling happy infant. It was a hard morning. I had to help him but I also had to work. So what did I do? I whipped out my phone and called the healthcare center just 1/4 mile away from where I sat and asked for a lactation appointment as soon as I could get it. 11 am. Great. I fed my son a bottle, got a hug from his teachers and walked to my office (where my understanding manager was supportive of my being late). On my lunch break, I walked back to daycare and got my son to buzz over to healthcare for our appointment. The FNP talked with me, examined me, examined him and hopefully we have an answer. I then used the provided nursing room to weigh and feed my baby ( he’s doing fine, just in case you were wondering). I didn’t pay a dime out of pocket. I then got him back to daycare in less than 45 minutes…just in time for his lunch.
While it was a crazy Monday morning, THAT was worth its weight in gold. Within an hour I had peace of mind, a full baby and was on my way back to work. I literally had tears in my eyes for how grateful I am to have that. I immediately typed this out because I couldn’t stop it from flowing from my fingers.
So thank you again for making my life better. Hopefully one day, more employers will see the world like you do. It can’t come soon enough.
To the LWM reader: As of today, SAS is, once again, listed as the #2 of the top 100 companies to work for in America. They have been on the list every year in existence and is currently the only company to be #1 two years running. It is a model for many companies across the world of how to treat your employees. I also wrote a piece for SAS today about empowering me as a working mom and how I get to combine passions in my life.