The Importance of Spare Change and a Change of Scenery

It’s always good to have a little money with you wherever you are. I recently learned it’s very important to have a few coins on you as well.

You can take the stairs or an elevator down to the neatly tiled, unbelievably clean public restrooms in Zagreb, Croatia, like going underground to the subway. Upon entering, you give the attendant two kuna – that’s about 40 cents a flush, but it’s quite a flush! The seat spins around and automatically cleans itself before you can even exit the stall. Impressive! At the remains of the Roman amphitheatre in the city of Pula, it’s a different story. I gave the attendant two kuna and eagerly entered the stall only to be greeted by a hole in the ground, surrounded by a porcelain drain, and handles on each wall. Granted, the amphitheatre is almost 1,700 years old, but no pedestal? No seat? Needless to say, it was an adventure. In a small café waiting to board the ferry to the Island of Korcula, I bought a cappuccino to earn the right to use the restroom. I had to re-attach the seat first, but they did offer toilet paper and soap, and the cappuccino was delicious.

Why do I know so much about restrooms in central Europe? Because of Standing Partnership. After completion of seven years of service, employees are eligible for a two-month paid sabbatical. Yes, two months. Yes, paid. Employees are encouraged to take a break from their regular routines and have new experiences. I spent some time traveling through Croatia, the home of my grandfather and great-grandparents. Other colleagues have taken painting classes, reconnected with friends and family and worked on a novel. Would I have gotten to Croatia without this amazing Standing benefit? Maybe, but more likely several decades from now.

My sabbatical not only provided me the opportunity to take this unforgettable trip, but also gave me unstructured time to think about my career, the work I do at Standing Partnership, and how to do that work better to benefit both my colleagues and my clients. So, thank you, Standing Partnership, for the change!


Top to bottom: Zagreb, Croatia; Korcula, Croatia; Pula, Croatia.

  • Justin

    Beautiful pictures, and nice story. I’m glad you enjoyed your sabbatical. I can’t wait for mine in 2013!

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  • Maria

    Love the pics and I can’t wait to see more. It’s good to have you back!