Family first is a message I’ve believed for a long time when it comes to career. Finding the work/life balance is important to me, but after reading the recent story of Major League Baseball player Adam LaRoche who unexpectedly retired from baseball walking away from his career and a $13 million dollar salary, it got me rethinking the phase. The event that prompted LaRoche to make this decision was when his team’s general manager asked him to cut back on the amount of hours his 14-year-old son spent with the team. LaRoche was so upset about being asked to cut back on bringing his son to work he retired.
When I first heard the story I was surprised and couldn’t believe an employer would be so cold towards one of its employees, but after understanding more about the situation I changed my opinion. It seems LaRoche has brought his son to work with him every day for much of the past five seasons. LaRoche has been quoted as saying “We’re not big on school.” But his son does bring school work with him while on the road with his dad, has a tutor and attends classes during the off-season. Who am I to tell another how to educate his son. I do believe our tradition school system lacks life preparing lessons like personal finance.
What I don’t agree with LaRoche is his belief that he has the right to bring his son to work with him every day. As a Major League Baseball player and an employee of a company unfortunately the company dictates the rules. You’ve been lucky enough to have your son with you for a number of years and the company has been flexible. Do you ever stop and think how this make the other employees feel? Not to be overlooked is that you are highly compensated and the company only asked for you to cut back on the time your son spend at work not end it completely. Given those details I’m not sure it’s something to just walk away from.
Take Your Child to Work Day
Take your child to work day typically occurs in April each year. My previous company participated in the event. Unfortunately the building I worked in was consider a technical building and was not allowed to participate, only the main headquarters. I question the policy because we had areas of the building that we traditional office / cubical and there was really no safety issues in those areas.
I wanted the opportunity to take my children to work with me as a learning experience to see how things were done in the business world, meetings were run, white board session conducted, etc. There is value in seeing real life situations, and also great to understand what dad does at work each day. I would often see children visiting our headquarters and it was a reminder, but never a big enough concern to press the issue with my company.
Why We Work
Most of us work out of the need for income to support ourselves and our families. That is the main reason I work. So when I heard LaRoche was walking away from his job, his income over something that most people only get to share one day a year with their children seem really dumb to me. Now I have no idea of LaRoche’s current overall financial situation. I do know over his career in major league baseball he has made over $70+ million. So it’s entirely possible that he has the means to walk about at this point, that not having his son next to him each day in not worth the salary they are offering him.
For me, I’m not in the position to walk away from my salary over something like this. I’m making that salary to help provide for my children. It would be inconsiderate of me and to my co-workers to have my children with me at work each day. Distracting for me, because my main concern would be about them and less about my work. So good for you Adam LaRoche for choosing family first, let’s hope this is the right decision for you.
Have you ever taken you child to work? If so what was the take away/ lessons learned? Would you ever consider giving up your salary because your employer ask you to cut back on a perk or benefit like LaRoche’s team did?