Though many judge a company’s integrity based on its business decisions, integrity is perhaps more powerfully evidenced by the actions taken behind the scenes to support employees, customers, partners and communities. Just ask Zebra Quality Technician Nicholas Heenan. As he called out in a surprise email to us: “An employer that lives up to its stated ideals is a rare treasure.”
Read his story:
My wife has Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Because of that, we had been told by numerous fertility specialists that we would be unable to conceive a child. After a few years of futile attempts to defy the odds, we began to plan for the rest of our lives, without becoming parents.
Of course, we then received the most wonderful news of all…that a little girl would soon grace us all with her presence!
After a smooth pregnancy, Vivienne Josephine Heenan entered the world on September 6th, 2017. Unfortunately, that smooth pregnancy was not a portent of things to come.
Three weeks into life, our daughter contracted a virus that entered her spinal fluid and brain. The virus caused seizures, which turned out to be only a symptom of an embolism, resulting in viral meningitis. She was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW) via ambulance from our hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin.
She spent three weeks at the hospital, fighting desperately for her life. That first full day at CHW coincided with my return-to-work date. After informing my supervisor of the situation, I was instructed to go back and take care of my family in Milwaukee that night. The next day, my daughter’s condition was stabilized, and she began the anti-viral treatment that, coupled with an indomitable spirit, saved her life. I returned to work on her second full day in hospital.
Though I had only been an employee for four months at the time (hired in July 2017), my supervisor worked with me, allowing me to leave a little early each night if my work was complete. At the time, I was in Prepress at the Greenville plant. Every night, I was able to leave anywhere between 8:30-9:00 pm (I work second shift), in order to get a head start on the two-hour drive back to Milwaukee to be with my family. In the morning, I would drive back in time to start my shift.
I learned quickly that Zebra treats its employees as family. I am a person, not an employee number…and that means the world to me. I am encouraged to display my goofy side, which allows me to perform my job with enthusiasm each and every day. We are able to have fun while we work hard, and what more could you want in a job?
In a society where such integrity to live up to a stated ideal is becoming increasingly rare, this company will support you when you need it most. I can think of no higher praise for an employer.
Thank you for sharing such a personal story, Nicholas. We are all deeply moved by you and your family’s strength, and we are grateful to have you as a member of Zebra Nation.