Many years ago, I went to my father’s funeral, and it was an amazing testament of how people felt about my dad. I started hearing stories about my dad that made me think “He did that?!??!…..What did you say?!?!?! He helped you how?!?!?!” In short, to me, my father seemed to be a bit different in his professional world, than he was in his home world.
Recently I had the honor to attend Brian Hendrickx’s funeral. The members of his family struck me as having the same thoughts and feelings that I had. Caring. Giving. Thoughtful. Going the extra mile. Always there. Humble. Kind. Never complained. It occurred to me that Brian was the same guy personally that he was professionally. Maybe times are a little different now than 25 years ago when my Dad died, but I like the thought that I really got to know Brian for who he really was, not just a great guy you worked with.
I had a theory. After many years of working and hiring in the Hotel business where I was taught to really hire the resume over the person, when I started my own company, I would hire people that I could see being a member of my family (The good ones, not the crazy Uncle Ed types). Members of your family you can be honest with, they know you, and you them. You understand their strengths and weaknesses, and you accept them with the caveat that you may be able to teach them a thing or two, and you in turn learn a thing or two. I have done this with SRE. Everyone I have hired, I can envision sitting at the Thanksgiving table with, or simply going out to the grocery store. People that are there for you when you least expect it. And people you want to be there for.
Brian was a member of my family. The SRE family. Just like in his “Real” family, he was a brother, a father, a caretaker, and someone who you could always count on to be there.
I’ll never forget you Brian Hendricx. Thanks for helping to make SRE a better family.