Welcome to the first blog post of the Job To Be Done website, and thank you for visiting the site and for taking the time to read the blog! It is now the end of 2022, and I am looking back down the road that I started travelling so naively in 2014. As I have related in the book, the idea of writing a book didn’t even enter my mind when I started researching my Dad’s logbook 8 years ago....the project seemed to have a life of its own, and grew like Jack’s proverbial beanstalk until it took over a good portion of my life. Back in 2014, I was a Correctional Officer, working at a maximum security provincial jail in Maple Ridge – I was considered a “senior staff”, having about 15 years of experience at that point, and often worked as an acting Supervisor. It was, and is, a tough way to make a living – my coworkers and I faced (and they continue to face) a grindingly negative environment with little or no support, appreciation or recognition from our management or employer. By the time I retired in January of 2022 morale was rock bottom and employee turnover was sky high – it is truly a shame that a job that is so vital for society and so personally challenging is so poorly appreciated by the public or the employer. But I digress... Finding the time to research and write while working shift work was challenging, but in 2018 I won a promotion to full-time Correctional Supervisor and soon found a post with a regular Monday-to-Friday dayshift pattern. With regular “normal” hours, I soon developed the habit of rising early each workday and spending an hour working on the book before heading off to jail for the day. On the weekends I would set aside two hours or so each day to research, write and rewrite. Slowly but surely the manuscript expanded and I grew increasingly confident with what I was producing. At one point I reached out to my co-workers in the B.C. Public Service via the online employee newsletter and explained my project and asked for any stories they might have about family members who might have served in Bomber Command – the response was remarkable. Stories poured into my inbox from people all over British Columbia, and it showed me that there was enthusiastic interest in the story I was trying to tell. Some of the stories shared involved other branches of service, like the army or navy, but the family's pride in their fathers, uncles and grandfathers who served was palpable in each of them. The response also presented a problem: I had asked others for their stories, but I could see from their volume and variety that the book would never be finished if I didn’t maintain a razor focus on telling just one, that of the Coffey crew. So the stories I was told became an inspiration, but they did not become part of the book. There was one, however, that I would like to share in my first post, as its power and poignancy I have never forgotten. My correspondent (I will call him Dan) told me that his father had recently died and been cremated. Dan had his father’s cremains at home with him and was pondering how best to honour his Dad’s memory. He settled on a plan to take a portion of the ashes to Germany. You see, Dan’s father had never known his own Dad. Dan’s grandfather had been a “bomber boy” with the RCAF in 1944 and had left behind his wife and yet-to-be-born child in Canada to head overseas. He had been shot down and killed over Germany and was buried there. Dan wanted to finally reunite, in some way, the father and son who had never met. I am sure you can see how stories like these inspired me to carry on with my project. Thank you again for reading, and I hope you will join me in future, as I share many stories that I was unable to include in the book. Future topics will include “Sweetheart” jewellery, escape and evasion photos, bum compasses, George the autopilot and a story about “wakey-wakey” pills. I would love to hear from you if you have any comments, suggestions, reviews or questions!
The Job To Be Done is scheduled to be published in January 2023. All the best to you and yours, Clint
Clint L. Coffey is the author of The Job To Be Done, coming soon through FriesenPress. Check back soon for new blog posts