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650 workers did 3,000 hours of overtime so a colleague could look after his ill son

Proper heroes

650 workers did 3,000 hours of overtime so a colleague could look after his ill son
08 March 2018

How nice are your co-workers? They might make you the occasional cup of tea, or bring in a cake now and then, but ultimately they probably hate your guts. Every time you go to the toilet they mutter about what a prat you are, and sometimes they make rude gestures behind your head. 

Maybe not, though. Maybe, like the colleagues of German assembly worker Andreas Graf, they’re really nice. Graf’s son Julius was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of three and required nine weeks in hospital, during which time Graf’s wife died of heart disease. Horrible. Just horrible. Life can be savage. 

Struggling with that one-two punch, 36-year-old Graf understandably booked off all the holiday he had in order to look after his son. He assumed that, when that time was up, he’d simply lose his job.

However, thanks to the efforts of his company’s HR manager, that wasn’t necessary. Pia Meier sent an appeal out to the rest of the design company’s employees asking them to donate overtime to him, and all 650 of them, even people that didn’t know Graf at all, agreed. Over 3,000 hours of overtime were amassed within a fortnight and given to Graf, allowing him to take a whole year off work to care for his son, who should then be well enough to go to nursery school.

That’s nice, isn’t it? Like, it would be nicer without the death and cancer, but what a lovely example of the generosity of humanity, for hundreds of people to donate a shift or two to a guy going through a hard time. Proper ‘putting your money where your mouth is’ kind of stuff - it’s easy to make an oh-how-sad face when something bad happens, or sign a card or whatever, but hauling stuff around a factory for five hours for someone you don’t even know? There’s something very real about that, very real and very impressive.

(Image: iStock)