Written By: Michele Pearl, Director of Product Management
I am humbled. I am thankful. This company, these people, have been incredible.
I started working at One Door, Inc. (back when we were RBM Technologies) in November 2015. It was, and is, a cool smaller company doing really interesting things in the retail software space. We are uniquely positioned to help the largest retailers across the globe perfect their retail merchandising execution by taking a more collaborative approach. We are growing, geographically and vertically, so it’s been a really exciting time to be responsible for Product Management.
And then life got in the way.
Between July and September of last year, I had lost my father and my stepfather, and my husband of 27 years had been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Our 22 year old son, who was home from Montana to help out with his dad, was suddenly plagued with a rare genetic disorder that nearly cost him his life. (He was given 5 days to survive without a new liver and received a transplant on the 4th day).
My husband’s cancer was a rollercoaster. Tumors shrunk, but new ones appeared; he’d have energy one day, then couldn’t get out of bed for days at a time. I worked as much as possible during this time, but the tacit understanding from my boss, Tom, and the leadership at One Door was, “Do what you need to do. The team will keep the trains running.”
By early December things had stabilized somewhat, and I was mostly back in the office. We were very hopeful about an upcoming clinical trial and eager to start that in January. It looked very promising, but in the end, wasn’t at all effective. By late February my husband was gravely ill and I was by his side at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The following weeks were marked by great hope and great disappointments. He fought like a warrior, but after only 6 months, cancer won.
I think about what that time might have felt like while working at a different company. As it was, it was like a tsunami of incredibly challenging obstacles; one after the other, almost unthinkable in size and scale. Having worked at both startups and large companies; all in the tech/SaaS space for the past 20+ years, I have seen the best and (in my estimation) the worst of people management.
The message was loud and clear from One Door’s management: “You are valued. You are worth the investment. You are a human being that we care about.”
Now, I admit to exhibiting Labrador-like loyalty when I feel it’s warranted, but after the way One Door treated me during the most trying of times, I am both loyal and motivated to be my best. This is what happens when your company treats you like a human being.