Tribolum.com Making Light of Things

Family at Work

It wasn’t without trepidation as I looked again at the email asking if I could host a small group of techies at Google. It was a good mutually beneficial arrangement: I’d be able to reach and preach to these tech professionals on pragmatic tips to keep themselves safe from the latest (and evergreen) online scams; and they’d get to have their meeting at our pretty nifty office.

The trepidation came from the fact that the only date that seemed to fit everyone elses’ schedule was on Faith’s birthday. A quick passing consult seemed to me like she was ok with me having to work an event on her birthday, but my spider-sense couldn’t help tingling.

On the day of the event itself, I felt terrible about spending the evening of my wife’s birthday at work. It’s not that she made a big deal about it or anything - it just felt like a misstep on my part.

As I rushed about to ensure that the logistics were all in order, I told the facilities folks who were helping me out that it was my wife’s birthday and how it nagged me a little that I had an event to take care of.

It didn’t take more than 20 seconds for them to pull together a small bunch of beautiful purple roses. They were meant for an earlier welfare initiative of theirs but they were so quick to come to my rescue. I gratefully accepted this lifeline.

When the event was over and I got home late in the night, I brought the bunch of roses into the room. Lit only by the light of her mobile phone, I saw Faith smile as she saw the flowers in my hand.

There was a nanosecond of a dilemma, but soon as she pulled the earphones out I told her how the Google gang pulled this together. There was an initial puzzled look on her face. I can only imagine the conflict of emotions, but my wife accepted my apology, and then said that it was nice that the fabled hospitality of the Google facilities team extended even to her on her birthday.

I’m thankful to have married a wife who forgives my mistakes, and on this occasion, very grateful to the team at work for caring far above and beyond the demands of their job.

This is what it feels like to be part of the Google family. Really, really awesome.