By R. Christopher Haines, President and CEO
I didn’t think I was going to survive. But I did. It was rough, but I’m here to talk about it. I made it through four nights on vacation with no cell service. The Glacier National Park area of Montana is special to us and is the source of the Marias Technology name. But it’s off the grid in many places.
I had a little connectivity. Once a day we’d drive into civilization to allow everyone to connect with the outside world. And I could get a little email at the lodge every once in a while via some crude Wi-Fi, connecting to which resembled techniques used in the early days of television. Stand on one leg while you touch your nose and aim the aluminum foil in just the right spot, and an email or two might download.
I’m not going to lie to you, it was tough. I’m just a connected person. It’s not about trusting the people back at the office while on vacation or being worried that everything is going to burn down. Connectivity is just a part of my life. Going back years and years to the first Blackberries, I’ve always been online. When it comes to work, I really like what I do. I like to see what’s going on and I pride myself on responding to people as soon I can. I know they understand that I’m on vacation, but I still like to get back to them.
I really don’t want to hear the lectures on work/life balance. Some people work to live, but I live to work. As I mentioned, I like what I do. And if it isn’t for Marias, I like working on the causes I volunteer for. I don’t need to go offline for days and detox, because connectivity isn’t overwhelming my life, it’s a part of my life and who I am. I spend a lot of time with my family and they know the role that work plays in our life. Without it, we wouldn’t be vacationing off the grid.
I’m not knocking you if you’re the person who doesn’t look at email after 5:00 each day or goes offline on the weekend. I’m not saying that makes you a bad employee or not a hard worker. I’m definitely not special because I’m constantly on email. That’s just the way I’m wired.
Besides, I have to know the Dodgers score. And how do you win an argument without being able to look something up? It’s not like people have encyclopedias laying around anymore.