(Morris Hall) Rather than let his TOM team down for the Shad Hall Exercise, RC Student Jason Hart made the difficult decision two weeks ago to skip his favorite uncle’s funeral in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
“This is the way my uncle would have wanted it,” said a distraught Hart. “He always said that when you make a commitment to someone, you can’t break it. Well, I made a commitment to my TOM team to cut the 4mm pieces of red wire and to attach the green diodes to the plates. I couldn’t leave them hanging just so I could pay my last respects to a man who essentially became my dad after my biological father died when I was three. My absence in Shad would have totally screwed up the production process we worked so hard to design.”
Teammate Nancy Maphey agreed with Hart’s decision. “Jason did the right thing,” said Maphey. “We developed a continuous production process for twelve people. If we had to redesign the process for eleven people at the last minute, who knows how long it would have taken? Maybe two-three hours? Who is Jason Hart to expect his teammates to spend two-three more hours on this project just so he could deliver the eulogy at the funeral? And to be honest, I really don’t care if his uncle’s last request on his deathbed was to have Jason deliver the eulogy. I didn’t have two hours to spare that week with the STARS Party and Head of Charles and whatnot.”
While Hart was already leaning towards skipping the memorial services, his discussion with Jack Ossinsky, his TOM Professor and Section Chair, confirmed his belief that Shad was the way to go. “Professor Ossinsky reminded me that if I went to the funeral, my absence would be ‘unexcused’ because an uncle is technically not a member of my ‘immediate family,'” recounted Hart. “While I probably could have afforded the absence in TOM since I aced the midterm, I definitely would have put myself in danger of a 3 in Marketing since I hadn’t spoken in class since Xerox. My aunt begged me to be a pall bearer, but her happiness is hardly worth a 3 in Marketing.”
After Hart told his mother about his decision, she surprisingly supported his choice. “I told Jason that he should maximize his time at HBS. He’ll have plenty of father figure funerals over the coming years,” said Mrs. Hart. “But he’ll only have one Shad Hall Exercise in his lifetime. We can always find another person to deliver the eulogy at the ceremony. It’s not like his uncle is going to know the difference, right?”
More than two weeks after the funeral and the Shad Hall Exercise, Hart still believes he made the right choice.
“I learned a ton during the exercise and even made a good comment the next day in TOM about why our production process performed the way it did. I also won the respect and admiration of my sectionmates for putting them before my family. And my mom says ‘I was at the funeral in spirit’ and that “I can always check out the grave over Thanksgiving.’ Everybody won.”
“In the end, though, the most important thing is that I have no regrets. You won’t see me on my death bed saying, ‘I wish I went to that Shad Hall Exercise instead of going to my uncle’s funeral.'”