Last night, I slept at my cousin’s apartment which happens to be right next to the 9/11 Memorial. Even at 10pm last night, security was present, blocking off streets and redirecting traffic. This morning, there was an NYPD officer at every corner, every subway entrance and at every building entrance. Who could have imagined the events of September 11, 2001 and now, no one can forget them.
I can tell you every detail about that day, from sitting in my 6th grade social studies classes, watching students leave school one by one to sitting outside at recess wondering with my friends what was going on. I distinctly remember meeting my mom at the bus stop and thinking how weird it was since our bus stop was only three houses away. I remember the entire two-minute conversation I had with my dad and the feeling of relief I had when I knew he was alright. I remember the first images I saw and the great sadness I felt. I remember it all.
At the time, all of my parents worked in Manhattan as well as almost all of my aunts and uncles. Our lives could have turned out a lot differently that day. I know it effected my dad and stepmom, who lost lots of friends. I know my aunts and uncles will never forget watching the plane burst into flames as it hit the first tower. I can’t help but feel eternally grateful that my loved ones returned home safely that day, when so many others didn’t.
As I commuted to work this morning, I thought about those who lost their lives 12 years ago today. The only crime they committed was going to work. They were innocent. Now being someone who goes into Manhattan every day, what happened that day hits me even harder. All those people did was go to work like they were supposed to. Today is truly an example of how quickly life can change.
We should not sit and cry all day today, though we might want to. Hug your loved ones a little tighter and celebrate your life. And never forget what happened on 9.11.01.
When I started my job almost four months ago, I had no idea what to expect or who I’d be reporting to. Quickly I realized the person I’d be working most with (aka my boss) was located in Chicago. So this is fun, I thought. How exactly is going to work?
Coming straight from college, I’ve always interacted in person with my supervisor(s). We would communicate through email, occasionally over the phone and absolutely meet in person at least once a week. So not having my boss in the office was definitely something I wasn’t used to. But, working virtually is a way of life for most people here and in larger companies across the nation.
Most people at my company are telecommuters, which means they work from their home office most of the time. Some people split time between their home and work offices while others come into NYC everyday. It is more of a personal preference and thankfully, my company is flexible in letting employees work from home. Not having my direct supervisor in the office has been an adjustment for me but here’s why it works.
- Technology: Conference calls and live meetings are an integral part of life here. We have the ability to conference several people into a call at once. Live meeting allows people to share their computer screen’s in order to explain a document to their audience. This visual aid makes training new employees so much easier. We rely heavily on these tools and others to help us feel like we’re all in the same room.
- Understanding: Most of my team is in Chicago, which is an hour behind me here in Manhattan. We all are conscious of the time difference when scheduling meetings and are very understanding of each other’s schedules. Some of us get to work earlier while others stay later. Being aware of everyone’s schedules and best times of productivity is a key factor is our team’s efficiency.
- Trust: My boss does not need to see me to know I am doing my work. Similarly, her boss doesn’t need to see her to know she’s working..super hard I might add. Of course, there will be some situations when employees must come into the office. But, on the whole, there is a level of trust between supervisors and their team. Because of this, there is more flexibility in where people work from.
Last week, Spin Sucks published an article about working from home versus working at the office. The article cited pros and cons to each, but studies found it came down to the ability to focus. Whether my boss is sitting behind me or sitting in Chicago, I have to keep myself motivated and focused on the task at hand. Limiting distractions is the biggest factor into staying focused. For more tips, check out the Spin Sucks article here.
I have learned that having a virtual team and office can be just as rewarding and productive as having your team right in front of you. It’s been a great way to improve my communication skills as well. Do you work virtually? Is it a challenge? Let me know!
For the last three weeks, I’ve gotten to walk through the streets of Manhattan on my way to work. As much as the congested streets and cold weather can be annoying, I feel extremely lucky to be walking these blocks and avenues. There is something about the bright lights of Manhattan that captivate me and bring me to life.
Since a very young age, I’ve walked (or ran on some occasions) through the streets of Manhattan. Both my parents brought my brother and I into the city, to bring your child to work days, to see the Christmas tree and to go to New York Rangers hockey games. My mother even took us to the Ground Zero memorial only three months after the attacks. I’m so glad I was raised in the city and am blessed to be a part of it every day.
Not everyone is a city person. Some don’t like the noise and others can’t stand the traffic. I completely understand that but there is something about the city of New York that rejuvenates me. When I walk through the city, passing Radio City Music Hall, glimpsing at the Empire State Building, I become inspired. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but the city speaks to me, telling me that anything in the world is possible. So many people came to Manhattan to start new lives; the city gave them the same hope and promise of opportunity that I feel everyday.
I can wholeheartedly say I am a city girl. I love the hustle and bustle of a city and find all the bright lights magical. This love affair with cities even impacted my decision to attend Temple University. As you probably know, Temple is right in the middle of Philadelphia, another city I left in love with over the last four years. The view of City Hall from Temple’s main campus was on of the best views I’ve ever seen. That being said, nothing will ever compare to NYC. Sorry Philly friends, but Manhattan will always be #1 in my book!
There have been several songs written about the great city of New York. However, I am partial to one in particular: Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. Both parts of the song refer to New York as a place where dreams are made and where people are inspired. Perhaps the most inspiring part is hearing these lyrics come from two artists who grew up in the streets of New York. You can tell that the city made them who they are; their passion for the city they love is contagious.
The next time you happen to be wondering around Manhattan, take a look around and see all the opportunities that lie ahead you. I can almost guarantee that some part of the city will inspire you. Until then, both parts of Empire State of Mind are below!