When Work Trumps Sister

15 Nov 2015

family businessIn a previous blog, I said that there is no crying in social media – and that we can’t take things personally.  Imagine, however, what happens when your best friend and the person that you’ve had an instinct to protect is part of that equation.  Twenty seven years ago, I got a phone call that would forever change my life.  On the other end of the line was my Dad, telling me I was going to be a big sister again, but this time, it was a girl.  I was going to have a little sister.

While my sensibilities wanted to reject the idea of another girl in the family, especially nine years younger, I found myself excited.  I could impart wisdom, give advice when asked, and form that incredible sister bond everyone talked about.  Well, it took a little while before I considered my sister a friend, and didn’t find her to be a burden.  I can’t tell you when the change happened, but now, she’s not only my sister; she’s my best friend.

I’m sure people can imagine the bond my sister and I share, as many others feel the same way about our siblings. Now, take that bond – and add work into the mix.  Yep, my sister Stephanie and I both work for #Strella.  Stephanie and I are as thick as thieves, but working together adds a level of complication. In Rachel’s blog last week, she talked about working with her husband, Nathan. While I can’t speak for that dynamic, I can say that a sister’s bond is one-of-a-kind, but working with a sister can be challenging.

While I’m fiercely protective of my sister, I sometimes have to put aside my feelings and consider what is best for the client.  If she makes a mistake, I have to put my indignant half on the back burner, and determine whether or not our client is being ridiculous, or if the error is, in fact, a grievous one.  Most of the time it isn’t a huge deal, and her diligence catches up with her before the problem becomes full blown.  However, my protective instinct usually has to be suppressed in order to fully evaluate the extremity of the situation.

While there are negative aspects to working with my sister – including our incessant shop talk while I’m hanging with her and husband and the silent competition over who is making more money – the positives outweigh the drawbacks.  I always have someone with whom to commiserate when clients make ridiculous demands, when work has to supersede binge-watching Netflix, and when the Wi-Fi signal isn’t strong enough for both of us to work.  I also have someone on my side, through thick and thin, when the chips are down, and I know that in the end, we’ll always have each other.


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