I began working at Rinck Advertising as the Media Billing Coordinator in February 2018. I was brand-new to Maine, having just moved up here to be near my now ex-wife’s family. We had a baby on the way (our third) and between that and the move, I was so happy to find what seemed like a great company, full of personable and genuinely nice employees. What struck me the most was how caring the owners were. My daughter ended up being born in early May and I was shocked when I found out that Peter and Laura were allowing me to take advantage of the full Paternity Leave benefit despite me only working there for a couple months (this typically does not apply to brand new employees). That went incredibly far in helping me feel comfortable at a new employer and to spend those precious first days with my newborn daughter that some dads don’t get to experience.
Fast-forward to March 12th, 2020. The day that I got divorced. I had only just recently moved away from all friends and family to a new state, now suddenly finding myself as a single dad of 3 with absolutely no help around. I gave my ex-wife our house, and everything in it so that when my kids were there, they’d feel comfortable. At 37, it was time to completely rebuild my life. Abandoning my kids to move back near family and friends was never an option I was willing to consider, so I gained equal custody of them. I got off to a great start – finding a comfortable little 2-bedroom apartment. I went out and purchased all new furniture, kitchen stuff, clothes for the kids, etc.
So how important is it to have a kind and flexible employer? Well, to me it has meant everything.
Six days later – on March 18, 2020 – we were informed that because of COVID we would now all be working remotely from home. Schools shut down. Daycares shut down. I became a single dad of 3 (ages 1, 7, and 11) working remotely full-time in a 2-bedroom apartment with 3 kids who constantly needed to be entertained, fed, taught and all that fun stuff. It was an interesting period of my life, to say the least.
Rinck remained my constant. They were always there for me. They stood by my side even on random days when I had to flex my work schedule to afternoons and evenings. They were understanding when I had to take sick days for my kids. They were flexible enough to allow me to work remotely from alternate locations – like my father’s house in Pennsylvania when I was so over flying solo and just needed some quality time with family for a few days. I knew if I got all my work done, on-time, that I didn’t have to worry about trivial things and was able to do what I needed to do to endure, grow, and thrive.
That flexibility and understanding that Rinck provided for me is what allowed me to endure the most tumultuous period of my life. I don’t want to call it a comeback story – but it is one. I met my new wife, Amy, in September 2020. We got engaged in October of 2021, and now married in March of 2022. Through her I’ve learned what a happy and healthy marriage looks like. My kids adore her and now have a loving mother-figure here at my home. Speaking of homes, I was able to get out of the tiny 2-bedroom apartment and purchase a wonderful new house, with plenty of space, and a big yard for the kids to enjoy and play in. We rescued two puppies recently and now life is as about as good as it gets.
So how important is it to have a kind and flexible employer? Well, to me it has meant everything. It allowed me to drag my life out of the gutter at my lowest, withstand unprecedented situations like COVID, and gave me the flexibility, time, and energy to focus on myself and my family to make sure that we could eventually thrive. So, for that I will forever be grateful. Thank you, Peter and Laura. Thank you, a thousand times. It means the world to me – and I find myself where I am today in large part because of you both and I’ll never forget that.