October 29, 2021
To: The next occupant of this desk
From: David Carr, HR Consultant, Human Resources, City of Asheville
I was at this desk for over 9 years! I hope you find your work to be as fulfilling as I did while using this desk!
The people I worked with were wonderful. I hope you find them equally enjoyable.
Here is my advice to you on the use and care of this desk:
First, use this desk as a tool not as a barrier! Whenever people came in to see me, I moved my chair so the desk was not a barrier between us.
When people came into this office, I gave them 100% of my attention! I avoided the distractions of computer screens and smartphones. I was fully present. (This was also important when I attended meetings.)
Second, this desk gets really old after being at it for more than eight hours. I tried not to stay late. I went home! There is no work-life balance – there is just balance. When people ask me what I do, I tell them, I am a collaborator in God’s creation, a significant other to my wife, a father to my children (even though they are grown!), a friend to my cohorts and friends, and then an HR Consultant to the City of Asheville. These were my priorities, thus the City of Asheville got just over 40 hours of work from me per week. The rest of my time went to my priorities!
Third, I emailed less and went to see people face-to-face as much as possible! In fact, if an email took longer than 5 minutes to write, there was emotion involved, and I would meet face-to-face. Emails hurt relationships! I cannot tell you how many people came into this office with a stack of printed-out emails who were in conflict with a cohort just a couple of doors down from them!
Fourth, this was a great desk to handwrite notes to people to let them know I saw them doing something right, or to thank them for helping me with a project or for being a part of the team!
Fifth, this desk was essential on late Friday afternoons! I closed the door, reflected on what went well this week; what got accomplished; who helped me; who I helped. And then I would plan for the next week. This made Sunday evening less stressful and prevented me from thinking about Monday’s work!
Best wishes for the work you are doing here at the City of Asheville! You are part of a vibrant community that makes a difference!