Tragic events impacting several families came down to a father choosing his son over his job.
It’s a story that has been playing out in the local and national media for some time, and ended yesterday with jail time for the dad.
A Philadelphia tugboat pilot, Matthew Devlin, was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday for putting aside his work to deal with a family emergency, a decision that ended up costing the lives of two young students who were on the boat he was navigating that day. His wife called him on his cell phone to tell him a routine surgery on his son had gone bad, and he spent the rest of his time on the phone and sending emails form his laptop, distracting him from his job at hand. His actions that day led to a tragic crash.
In another time, the pilot would never have known about his son’s near-death scare. He would not have been an easy phone call away. But today we know second by second what’s going on with our children, as we track them via text messages, phone calls, email, etc.
And today, the ideal parent is considered one who sacrifices everything for their kids, jobs, dreams, etc. Worklife balance has become code, in some respects, for employees setting aside work for family matters. And this is clearly not just a woman’s issue, as witnessed by this sad tugboat story.
The question is, have we parents gone too far? Sometimes work has to take precedence over our children, no? (more…)