Where does Piece of Work find comfort and joy? How do we hit the reset button and focus on upcoming tasks when life throws a curveball... or two... or three? You will find that both of our answers are eerily similar and are deep rooted in our work ethic.
The background for this blog started with a question on an Instagram story. It asked what your favorite place was, and Les responded the fire station. His explanation: “Some people would say I am just ‘eat up’ with work or ‘it’s sad that I rely on work for comfort’. I feel it is quite the contrary. I think it’s wonderful that the work aspect of our lives means so much. It’s the safe haven where friends provide support and encouragement, sometimes in very weird and unusual ways. It also gives me ability to meet and form connections with all types of people. In fact, it is the best damn job in the world (“Fury” reference). Besides the sheer joy, it simply gives me the opportunity to support Piece of Work. That dream we had 4 years ago would have never become a reality if it wasn’t for the outside work we do day in, day out. It also provides an outlet for when our work becomes seemingly mundane, energy and motivation are lagging, and we are in need of a reset button. It can be as simple as a little project for the station, some fun project for the work that fuels us going. While it may put us behind on other things or use up some valuable material, it is a necessary part of the day to day grind. It may seem I am ‘eat up’ with work, but in actuality, it’s the love for what I do and the personal satisfaction and joy that I get from it that makes the grind more than just worth it...it makes it my favorite thing to do and be.”
For Jacob, it has become the military. “Being in the military gives me a chance to be a part of something bigger, something where my actions can make a difference on a much larger scale. I loved being a fireman, and I do miss it, but it reached a point where I felt that I needed to do more and something else was calling my name. I’ve always been a very prideful person, ranging from pride for my high school sports teams to a baseball league I played in. There is something to be said about the amount of pride you feel when you truly work hard for something. Nothing beats when you push yourself to the breaking point...and instead of giving up (as many would), you then decide to just push further. For me, I first felt this feeling of pride with the Charleston Fire Department (CFD), and I didn’t think I could ever beat that feeling. Then I joined the military, where the grind was a whole new world and I was pushed even further. Where I am now has truly humbled me. Working in special operations and being afforded the opportunities I have has given me more satisfaction that I could have ever asked for. I am so proud to wear the flag on my shoulder every day and to serve my country.”
Long story short, we love our jobs. We find nothing more fulfilling. One of the most common questions we get is whether we would quit our full-time jobs and instead commit full time to Piece of Work. It could be interpreted that by keeping to our original full-time jobs, we aren’t as invested and Piece of Work is more of a hobby...but that couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, it’s more of the opposite. The truth is that there would be no Piece of Work without the fire service or the military. We are two people each with two passions who pursue both 100%. Then, the next question becomes, “What happens when things don’t go right with our jobs?” The answer for us is a no-brainer. We just fall back on Piece of Work. To keep it simply, the two full-time jobs we do have go hand in hand. It’s not either or. One can’t or won’t exist on its own. It’s both, the ebb and flow of the fire station and military with Piece of Work. A perfect marriage. To reference the Lion King, it’s just the circle of life. It may seem crazy to most the number of hours we put in to both jobs, but for us, it’s what gives us pride and fulfillment and we’ve never looked back.