A well-known quotation:
“a great employee is like a four-leaf clover: Hard to find and lucky to have”
Those of you that read the monthly newsletter know that this is my first report and when ‘Sefu’ (Romanian for the Boss – Mr Hoy) asked me to do an August report, I was a bit surprised.
To be fair, writing is not my best skill, I am not very good at it and by the time you finish reading these reports you will know I’m right. (especially if you read my report after Maria’s that is always so good, that even I have a tear in my eye!)
Now that Maria is basically ready to give birth any time!…. Sefu probably thought he only has 2 options : no report or my report … then I definitely felt much better!!
But, you know what? I am very determined not to bore you with the figures, turnovers – profit margins of a Farm and Glasshouse – I will leave that for my meetings with Sefu….and a few others that I am not allowed to mention but to share with you something more serious that was a huge challenge for me in the last year, that consumed me a lot, disappointed me , made me wonder and doubt everything – PEOPLE!!!!
A couple of days ago the National Institute of Statistics made public that the official numbers say that (and I repeat ….THE OFFICIAL FIGURES) we have 9 million Romanians that left the country and 750,000 just this year!
9 million Romanians gone! 9 million that left behind a country emptier by the day, that left children without parents, parents without children, hospitals without doctors, schools without teachers and elderly without a family, who then knock at our Residential Centres for refuge –a refuge against loneliness.
On the commercial side – many Companies are under-staffed and so on.
9 million people that could have been an active population, that could have contributed to create a more competitive market: competition goes to progress in any way, a population that could have paid taxes towards social care and pensions – but instead they decided to go for a better life – better civilisation – higher salaries – a better quality of life for themselves.
But of course, the rest of us are paying the price of still being an employee in Romania and I must admit, in the last year I felt the pressure of not finding people and not just people but the right people – it has become more and more intense. Close to frustration and often overwhelming.
At the Glasshouse, in the last 3 years, we increased every year – with more than 50% the production – but with the exact same number of people we started with 8 years ago. I often felt disappointed and tired, that somehow the right person for the job didn’t seem to come.
A few months ago, one of the security men from the glasshouse came to me and said: “Simo, you know what? I will never leave SMILES, I will be here when we won’t have a glasshouse anymore (from a little bit of a different perspective, I would have said “I will be here even when we have 6 more Glasshouses , but he decided to approach it from a different angle. 🙂
But I asked him: Why? Maybe in a year’s time you will get a job that pays you double, you won’t go? And his answer was: “No, this might sound silly, but God blessed me in all these years with everything I wanted for me.”
And he was right, God did the same for me as well. ….and you know what’s incredible…..he is not a committed Christian ….and he had to come and open my eyes in those dark moments for me.
So I said ….. ok…..I won’t focus on what I don’t have……but instead lets focus on what I do have. So, what do I have?
Well, I have a team of colleagues that no matter how many changes have been, no matter how difficult it was (and still is…) for so many years – they all decided to carry on. Beautiful and committed people that showed me that the real value of their work is in the legacy they want to leave to others. Jesus fed 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes. So, what then is impossible to Him?
Then I realised that no matter how difficult we think it might be, God will always provide the means to accomplish the work. And the principle is valid no matter what the activity might be. To us in SMINRO (Smiles Enterprise Initiative) the production and selling of flowers or in SMILES –changing and impacting people’s lives. God will always provide somehow the tools to finish the job.
What else do I have?
I have you…SMILES supporters that continue to contribute and help us whenever it’s needed.
People that sacrifice their time, make lots of financial effort, spend time in presenting to other people the work of SMILES here in Romania – and believe me – it’s a great encouragement and motivation. Suddenly you don’t feel so lonely anymore!
Going back to my starting quote: “having a great employee has nothing to do with luck” !
Sc. SMINRO srl. (Smiles Enterprise Initiative)