Recently, as I arrived at our Raleigh, North Carolina offices one morning, I saw my reflection in the glass of the Customer Experience (CX) labs for which I am the Global Business Operations Manager – and saw someone I hadn’t seen in a while.

In that moment, reminiscent of the past year and the journey I’ve been on, I thought to myself, “What a great place to work.”  So, I snapped a photo and posted it on Instagram.

You see, this past year has been a year of transformation for me all because of my incredible job at Cisco. Thanks to the benefits we receive from Cisco, I was able to obtain a couple of medical procedures that helped me to live my best life and refocus on my health. This has led me to be a better employee too!

My first surgery was to repair my shoulder joint after I had torn a tendon that was causing a lot of pain and reduced range of motion. I had the best care and recovery because of my incredible benefits at Cisco.

For about a year prior to my shoulder surgery, I had also been learning about the modern weight loss surgeries out there and started a program down that path. After my shoulder healed, and my insurance expenses were paid up for the year, I pushed forward and completed the program for Bariatric surgery.

Specifically, I had duodenal switch surgery which, of all of them, had the best chances of reversing my diabetes. I’m now 70 pounds lighter, and my type two diabetes has been completely reversed. In fact, all my vitals have normalized, and I am off ALL my former maintenance medication. I feel better than I have in years and I’m starting to transform to a healthier person.

I’m grateful to Cisco for not only having great benefits that enabled me to have these surgeries, but to work for a team and within a culture that steps up in times of need.

During my recovery, my husband and family never had to worry about how we were going to put food on the table or survive day-to-day. I had full pay during my downtime and recovery and was under no pressure to return until I was ready. My boss and team were very supportive and worked extra hard while I was away to cover my responsibilities.

I carry a busy load on my shoulders at Cisco as the Business Operations Manager for the CX Labs team. I make sure that all our internal support teams have the lab solutions they need, when they need them, for testing, designing, deploying, fixing, and provisioning our end-customers networks. Managing over billions in equipment in nearly 300,000 square feet of labs at 17 locations across the world – meeting the support team’s needs is a huge responsibility.

But my team never made me feel as if my need to step away to focus on my health was a burden to them. They were there, ready to fill the gap, and ensured our business needs were met while I was out. This is the true definition of a great team!

It is one thing to have a great job that you love doing. It’s another thing when your team, organization, and company have your back during both good times and hard times. And I have so many stories of how Cisco constantly shows up to celebrate and empower their employees.

As the co-lead for our Raleigh, North Carolina chapter of the Cisco Pride Employee Resource Organization (ERO), I’ve known for years that Cisco is a great place to work. More importantly, I’ve known that Cisco is a company with heart that truly supports diversity and equality – not just in the way they talk, but also in the way they take action.

Last June, for example, the Pride ERO worked with our corporate team to fly the Pride flag above campuses around the world during the month of June, annually, for Pride month. This spoke volumes to me because it was yet another way that Cisco showed – to the world – that we have each other’s backs and are there for one another.

When looking for a company to work for, don’t just look at short-term benefits, but look for a company who has your back during hard times, one that provides the right level of support for your needs, and has the culture to back you through those tough times. These things make you a better employee and better person.

I posted the photo I took that morning on Instagram with #LoveWhereYouWork to show the beginning of my transformation and my excitement for working at the #1 World’s Best company.

Today, I am more active and more productive than I was prior to these surgeries. I go to the gym several times a week, and I am focused on total health – body and mind.  It’s a win for Cisco too, because I am simply a better employee knowing that they were there for me when I needed them most.


Ready to work for a company that’s got the benefits to back you? We’re hiring. Apply now.


Bob Short

Business Operations Manager – Customer Delivery

Cloud and Shared Services – CX Labs