Working with My Kids

Shipping season is a familiar experience for all of us here at Chez Tayler. When the kids were little the experienced it as an influx of chicken nuggets and fast food. Now they’re my work crew so they experience it as work days …after which I buy them fast food. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have only my adult children on the payroll. A few of them are poised to launch into college classes and other jobs in ways that will make them unavailable to me. But for this time, it is only Taylers at the warehouse. I felt a little nostalgic about that possibility as I drove them over, as if this might be the end of an era. Which it might very well be. I don’t know what is coming. I don’t know that they’ll be available next time I hit shipping season. Which leads me to want to savor this experience a bit. (While also shipping packages out efficiently.)

I’ve spent some time thinking about past shipping seasons and the variations I’ve had for my crew of workers. The times when one or more of them was not in a good mental health place to work. The times when they didn’t know how to be good workers and they melted down mid-work in ways that made more work for me. I contrast those memories with what happened on Monday when, yes, two of my three workers hit mental break points (one depressive, one sensory over-stimulated) which caused them to need to stop working earlier than planned. But they were able to articulate the need, and they were able to manage it so that the impact to actual work completion was minimized to one less body in the assembly line rather than full disruption for crisis management. My kids have come a very long way and we all have better emotional coping skills than we used to.

I like working on shared projects with my kids. I like seeing them take ownership of their work station and optimize for not only their efficiency, but also to help the stations on either side of them also be efficient. Whatever comes next, it is nice to have this particular shipping season. We’ll ship things out again on Friday.

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