Take a Break

August 1, 2023

Several years ago I wrote an article about how baseball can be like running a hardscape business. I made several comparisons to commitment, dedication, team camaraderie, and dealing with tough employees. I only wish we made nearly the same amount of money that baseball players make!

Time has rolled around again for another of my annual baseball trips. Each year we go to a different stadium for a series and follow the Red Sox on the trip. This year we are headed to Wrigley Field to see the Sox play the Cubs. We were scheduled to do this trip in 2020 but Covid got in the way. I can’t wait to see the second oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball in Wrigley Stadium. Yes, the Wrigley family owned the Cubs and the ballpark many years ago.

In our traveling group we have about 10 of my fellow Rotarians, their adult children, and several people that just want to see a new park every year. This will be our 21st year, and we have been to some great places over the years. It’s males only, you must be 21, and yes, there are a few adult beverages consumed.

When I started going on this trip it was not so much to see the other stadiums (that is nice, however) but to get a break from running the business. We need to remember that a mental health break is needed now and then so you don’t go crazy. It can be very beneficial to just get away from it all for a few days and not think about anything work related, just fun and games. When I had my hardscape business, we shut down the company for the first week in August every year. My son has continued this tradition with his excavation business. No work is scheduled for that week. Our employees liked knowing they could plan something fun that week and no one had to cover for others being off. Everyone came back refreshed and ready to get back to work.

If a few days or an entire week won’t work in your business, consider a non-holiday day off for all. Build camaraderie amongst your employees by planning a day of fun. Take your crew to the Fisher Cats, go cart racing, axe throwing, or a day of golf. The NHLA golf tournament is at the beginning of August. It’s a great opportunity to mingle with your peers and have some fun. No matter what you do, it’s important to remember to slow down, take a break, and enjoy your family and friends.

— by Bill Gardocki, past president of NHLA (1994 & 1995), now a hardscape educator.

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