Business, large and small, as well as the people in them, have stereotypes. People who look at their enterprises from the bottom line, people who work extra hours to make their enterprise successful, who have to make tough choices regarding their employees or best business practices, are often classified as selfish, greedy, or just bad people.
I respectfully disagree.
Businesses are always made up of people. Individual people make individual choices, often complicated ones. Corporations are not BEMs from outer space. Corporations are tools that people use to carry out business practices. In our great country people can choose how they behave and face the consequences or benefits of it. Potential customers can make the same choices.
I found a new calling in website design and development in 1998 when I took a position as a Data Manager in Surgical Oncology at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. I was running the data systems for the Pancreatic Cancer research team, which put me right at the center of all of the latest information. When my bosses realized I had some experience in HTML, I was also assigned the task of upgrading the team's website. I did so, creating news sections and public education outreach, based on my experience in writing consent forms for patients undergoing clinical trials. Within only six months, visitors to the site and donations to the research fund had tripled. My old apprenticeship with my uncle, a commercial artist in New York City, was finally paying off.
In my business frame of mind, as well as in life, websites and online promotions are about enhancing communication between people. People and their needs are the primary driving force. The capabilities of a machine are not an end unto themselves, but serve the needs of the people using it. Hence the company tagline: Real. Human. Interaction.
In 2004, life was uprooted when my husband's job was transferred from Houston to Atlanta and we settled in Dunwoody. I retired from medical research to start our family. SDOC and website design stayed part of the picture and became the "full time" job. (Well, full-time inasmuch as the three children will allow!) Like every other Dunwoody Mom developing their own product or business (and there are a lot of us!) I'm working to support my growing family and to provide for their education and other needs as they grow. Simple.
Why "Working Girl"?
Working Girl from 1989 starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford is one of my favorite pictures. The movie spelled out that in business people can choose to be human or inhuman, even in the workplace. Some of the best lines in the movie come in the final sequence:
Miss Baxter (terrified that she's going to get chewed out for using the phone in Tess' new office): "Maybe this would be a good time to go over what you expect of me?"
Tess: "I expect you to call me 'Tess'. I don't expect you to fetch me coffee unless you're getting some for yourself. And the rest we'll just make up as we go along."
In a small town like Dunwoody, where everyone has only three degrees of separation from anyone else, it's important to remember we're all people first. It's not hard to do business and make a living while treating each other well at the same time.