When Joe started working at USFSB in 1995, it was because his brother was ill.  That alone had quite an impact on our young family.  The hours he worked between his law practice and USFSB and the time he and all of us spent with his brother became stressful at times.   Added to that, I was also working at my full-time job.  I did not begrudge the time we spent with his brother and, in fact, thought it was important to be part of the medical care and decisions.

On one hand, we wanted our children to spend a lot of time with their uncle, but we, also, had to be careful not to expose them to too much or make it too depressing for them.  The illness and the time we each spent dealing with his care, dealing with his father, our children and their activities all took a toll on our family that we probably didn’t realize as we were living it.  Our children were very cooperative, but looking back, I think, although, it was all a life experience, it was hard for all of us.

After it was all over and Joe began his career change at USFSB, it was hard for me to feel like I should become part of it.  In some ways, it was one of the stresses we dealt with for so long that even though Joe was growing the business and I could see the potential benefits for our family, it had somewhat of a negative impact on me, especially in the light of becoming an owner/employee there.  It was just so different than anything I was used to and I didn’t think I had much interest in working there.  Plus, we had never worked together before and it just didn’t seem ‘right’.

As I mentioned before, after college, I spent 20 years working in a large office of 20-30 people.  I always worked as part of a research team conducting environmental health studies and I also had experience in human resources.   Many of the employees were members of unions and there were very specific rules and regulations to keep track of as well as the rights and well-being of the employees.  In our particular office, there were also a number of professional including physicians and doctorate level epidemiologists.   I enjoyed working in this type of professional atmosphere and learned a great deal during my time there.

When Joe asked me to join him at USFSB, I was reluctant to leave a career that I enjoyed to go to such a small office.   That, in itself was an adjustment.  I went from interacting on many levels in the diversity of a large group of people to a very small group of people that were very single-minded and, in my view, did not work very hard.