Prestige Chicago Takes on Habitat for Humanity – Part 1 of 2

By Michael Sharifi – Senior IT Recruiter

On March 22nd, 2013, twelve extremely junior Prestige craftsmen and Ted embarked on a challenge more daunting than filling the most urgent req. An obstacle more difficult than a Cubs World Series (or Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl….or Tony Romo Playoff Win) faced Prestige’s Chicago Office, but in the same way that these warriors would tackle a challenge in the workplace, they dove head first into the plywood, table saws, and fence ties that awaited them at the Habitat for Humanity site.

Fueled by glazed donuts, dark roast coffee, and a wide variety of Wendy’s dollar menu items, our chilly day on Chicago’s South Side was instantly sparked by the motivation, trust, and humanitarian dedication placed in us by our site leader Paul at 8:15 AM. Understanding that we were all at varying levels of craftiness, but instantly realizing that we were a team more unified than the ’85 Bears, Paul saw the opportunity to lead us in a manner fitting of Mike “Da Coach” Ditka.

My team (Ted, Nina, new free agent signing Kara, and myself) began the day by fixing up the fence surrounding the property, efficiently making the most of every last fence tie to ensure that the site was compliant to city codes. Though the Dream Team was now loose and ready to take on the world, no one saw the curve ball that Paul was about to throw.

While the four of us struggled at times to achieve our goal of making it to lunch with more than 37 fingers combined after dealing with the unstable table saw, we hit a home run when it came to sawing down 100 feet of lumber to a 5-inch width for window framing (despite at least 20 short circuits) .

As both teams basked in our combined triumph after lunch (the other team having successfully mastered everything you could ever do with drywall), a few of us had the pleasure of accompanying Paul on a Home Depot run for 500 lbs of more drywall. Unfortunately, this quarter ton of gypsum plaster would topple over and crush Ted in the van on the drive back like a Julius Peppers’ sack, but teamwork prevailed as we were quickly able to pull over and lift the drywall off before any real damage was done.

Sadly, our day was cut a little short due to an unfortunate mishap (AKA locking the keys and all the drywall into the van), but our team did not give up until we did everything in our power to try to open the locked doors. Well, everything short of calling AAA.

Despite the hiccup at the end, we all learned a valuable lesson about our office and being able to work as a team to accomplish our goals in any setting. While we are still rookies when it comes to home building, it is very clear that when united for a cause, be it supporting the community or recruiting the best candidates, there is NOTHING that can keep this office from achieving success.

Look for Part 2 by Shannon Shubert next week!

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