By Dionne Blount, versatile reinforcement for Charlotte HQ of Lighthouse Lab Services (but you can call us L.M.S.I.). When examining the things I feel knowledgeable about in my work at Lighthouse, I was led to reflect on all the things I do not know or fully understand. What I feel most informed about is not the quant studio, internal standards, and certainly not validations or incubators. I have no idea how to determine the LoD of one assay versus the other, or if I’ve even framed those terms in the sentence correctly. But, before you start to wonder how I can even work at the nation’s leading, full-service laboratory consulting firm, let’s take a step back. As an Administrative Coordinator, I don’t need to be as well-versed in all aspects of quality lab testing because I am surrounded by the people who are. This is not a piece about statistics and numbers, but about the minds of the brilliant people behind them.
I work with scientists, PhDs, lab techs, attorneys, consultants, and business executives. I also work with customer service workers, high school graduates, and people who did not study for, have an extensive background with, or have work experience in the field we’re in now, myself included. However, everyone shows up and produces high-quality work all around. I feel this company has a beautiful balance of what employees should look like. Here at Lighthouse, we harbor diversity on multiple levels, both culturally and professionally. I’ve gotten to know people from Jamaica, New York, Colorado, India, California, Alabama, and more. I’ve also gotten to know quality experts, accountants, beekeepers, store managers, opera singers, business owners, bakers, artists, and spider aficionados. It’s been a pleasure to dive into the stories, knowledge, and personalities behind that diversity. I don’t pretend to know everyone in the company or every detail of their lives, but what I do know is the hard work and dedication they put in day after day. I see people learning, researching, adapting, anticipating, and challenging themselves. My coworkers open my mind to the potential of what our limits could truly be, as individuals and as a company.
Lighthouse does an amazing job at recognizing and celebrating achievements and talents (Company Meet Up, Kudos, All-Company Wins etc). Nonetheless, I cannot mention these people without giving thanks out of admiration and respect for them and their diligence. Thank you for the late nights, the occasionally lopsided work-life balance, and the overwhelming days where you pushed through and tried your best to get it done. Thank you for the last-minute travel, the stiff necks from aliquoting, healing through the loss of loved ones, and for graciously dealing with the complex clients. Thank you for your professionalism, your courage, and for stepping out of your comfort zone for working through a pandemic at all. There is so much more I can give thanks for, but all the blog space in the world could not fit my gratitude. While I am sure there are people all over the world who qualify for these sentiments, I can only attest to the amazing people I know. To the goofy and the serious, the organized and the messy, the planned and the unprepared; thank you for being you – with us and for us. I am not in this space preaching perfection, nor do I intend to exalt anyone to a pedestal they cannot embody. We are human beings with our own issues, shortcomings, and mistakes – we are all on our individual journeys, learning and growing along the way. While I cannot speak to perfection, I can indeed speak to character and work ethic.
“Not All Heroes Wear Capes”
There is a common quote I throw around sometimes: “Not all heroes wear capes.” A hero is defined as “a person who combats adversity and is admired for courage, strength, achievements and/or character.” We all know a hero and at some point, we have all personified a hero ourselves. While I typically say it jokingly, I do feel I work with everyday heroes. Parents, spouses, siblings, children – overcoming adversities all around me. I wear the Administrative Coordinator title proud, as I am here as a resource providing support for this particular team of heroes to synergize with them. Synergy can be defined as “two or more entities working together to produce a combined result that is greater than the sum of all individual efforts.” I am inspired to work alongside people who are truly a movement all on their own, but also a force to be reckoned with when united with others towards a common goal or purpose. I compare the support I provide to that of Jimmy Olsen to Superman, Bucky to Captain America, Pepper Pots to Iron Man, or Wong to Doctor Strange – as all those characters provided backup to the team of heroes when they needed it most. One of my favorite characters is Natasha Romanoff, who is willing to do almost anything Nick Fury asks of her on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. While I’m certainly no Black Widow (yet), I strongly relate to her on that aspect. I can try my best to master her flips and kicks but until then I’ll be here supporting our heroes.