Death and an Apprentice

dy_lan_3_503b1e822cb9342ca25c534d58866fe8Not long after moving to Narrabeen a close friend of mine who is covering the automotive cause in his final years of high school asked if he could do work placement with GDL.
Dylan had often got his hands dirty in the workshop in the past and had proved to be of some worth with a spanner on those occasions, so naturally we said yes.
A heap of forms were filled out and about three months later we had Dylan with us. Dylan was to do a week long placement from Monday to Friday, working a full day, something that high school students normally struggle with. We knew from previous experience that this would not be a problem for Dylan and anticipated a fun and exciting week of opening new doors for him and possibly lining him up for a full apprenticeship once he finished school.
When the time came for Dylan to join us it was a dark day for him. He started on the Monday but on the weekend past he had learnt of the death of his teenage cousin. We did not know the cousin but knew he was battling his illness over the past year or so and on that weekend he had lost that battle.
dylan2This obviously had affected Dylan and he was not himself for that week. To his credit he stuck with it, he did the tasks needed and was more then willing. It was something we had not ever thought we would have to deal with but in reality this is a real issue in workplaces that we may yet have to face again in the future. How do you assist a grieving college or employee whilst still insuring the job gets done?
The reality is that there are times in team members lives where there are more important things and it was important for us to recognise that.
dylanA few years down the track we found out from Dylan that it was just the distraction he needed and possibly helped him with his grieving process. We may have worked him too hard that week as he has since decided he does not want a career in the automotive world but in fact wants to get into radio. We are fortunate enough to still have Dylan in the shop from time to time helping us out and maybe in the future we could have him again but hopefully at a time when life has not caused him such pain.

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