In honor of Father’s Day, we asked readers to share work wisdom passed down from their dads.
“Don’t lose your head, use your head.”
That was my Dad’s advice when my ski binding broke at the top of a Mountaineers’ ski run, and I sobbed instead of picking up the pieces. His words helped me during my career as a journalist in Africa, whether I was tending to a colleague who had been shot, negotiating with drunken soldiers at a roadblock or coaxing a story out of a weary refugee.
—Karin Davies, Mercer Island (pictured above with her father, Harold Davies)
My dad taught me to work at something I love. It took me until I was 35 years old, but I found and continue to work at what I love. I never gave up because of Dad’s fiercely loving support, so his example taught me an even more important lesson: love and support your kids unconditionally in their career choices. Dad believed in me even when I doubted myself, and that faith kept me going. —Mike Wiegand, Newcastle (pictured above with his father, Bud Wiegand)
The picture is worn because I’ve carried it in my wallet ever since (graduation) day. My dad taught me that action speaks louder than words. You can talk a good talk, but rolling up your sleeves and doing the work is more important. —Mark Taylor, Lynnwood (pictured above with his father, Sampson Taylor)
When I asked my dad why he has worked for the State of Washington for the past 30 years, he told me, “They’re good to me. … Find a place that is loyal and good to you and stick with them, be loyal back. You’ll get farther that way. Also, work with gratefulness.” —Bethany Davis, UW graduate student (pictured above with her father, Phil Davis)
When I was 13, my parents uprooted our family from Seattle to Issaquah to open a family bakery in 1972. While most kids my age were playing sports, I was earning a paycheck. My dad, George Miller, taught me how to ring a register, count money back, work hard, accounting, profit margins, the “golden rule” and, most important, integrity. Thanks, Dad, for being the best boss and my hero. —Mollie Watters, Issaquah (pictured above with her father, George Miller)
My dad was my example, coach, counselor and mentor. I became a civil engineer because he was one. Throughout my life, he was my go-to person. He counseled me to take the right classes and maintain a high GPA in high school, encouraged me during college, celebrated my academic and professional achievements and provided career advice. Although I have 30 years of professional experience, I still miss talking to my dad since his death six years ago. —Glynda Steiner, Mercer Island (pictured above with her father, Glyn Steiner)
Growing up in the 1950s, I waited patiently for the Fauntleroy ferry to land in Harper and return my dad after his marine construction workdays on Puget Sound. Thoughtlessly, I once asked, “Dad, why don’t you wear a tie to work, like everyone else on the ferry?” Thoughtfully, he replied, “Doing an honest day’s work doesn’t always require a tie!” I’ve never forgotten his lesson, nor the worth of all kinds of work. —Judy Kvinsland, Kennewick (pictured above with her father, Frank Otis Barker)
Dad was a dairy farmer and loved what he did, even though there was no paid vacation, sick leave or holidays. He taught me and my six siblings by example. Never once did I hear him complain about getting up early or leaving a gathering early to go milk the cows — he just did it, no complaining, no whining. And he did it with a smile. I thank you and miss you every day, Dad! —Karen Peterson, Everett (pictured above with her father, Richard Barr)
After Daddy returned from World War II, he began working for the Seattle Transit System as a driver. I wanted to be with him as much as possible and persuaded him to let me accompany him while he drove his bus. Although very young, I learned that all his regular passengers loved him. He always greeted everyone with a big “hello” and a smile. I tried to be just like him. He also taught me the importance of always showing up on time. Daddy always began his shift by relieving another driver along his assigned route. He could never be late. —Donalee Murray Rutledge, Seattle (pictured above with her father, Donald George Murray)
Richard Berninghausen. Dad, husband, county adjuster, Army vet. Taught me to be nice, be kind, but be firm — don’t let the customer walk on you. I try to live up to his example every day at work. Sometimes, I even succeed! —Marla Berninghausen Deere, Shoreline (pictured above with her father, Richard Berninghausen)