Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday Beauty

Hi Everyone,
Another chilly morning and...there were flurries in the air yesterday as I cooked dinner.  The temps are steadily rising all week though and I am hoping and praying that the weekend forecast holds.
As I mentioned yesterday, we had an off-site luncheon yesterday.  It was really lovely and the food was so good (Caesar salad, some antipasta, rigatoni with broccoli rabe and roasted tomatoes, sausage and peppers, BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes and a TON of desserts).  Everyone received an envelope with two $100 gift checks inside AND we were out of the office for 3 hours.  I mention all this not to rub in what a fantastic place it is where I work, but as a preface for some talk that went on during the luncheon.
Bobby, our CEO, talked a little bit - mostly introducing new employees and thanking everyone for what they do each and every day.  He said that we are reinstating a suggestion box in the office.  We had one years ago, but people wrote in stupid suggestions (like wanting free ice cream in the summer...which we had at one point until someone kept emptying the freezer at night and taking ice cream home!!).  Then he opened up the floor for anyone to offer up suggestions for things that would improve the environment in our office and said he would hand out gift cards ($100 gift cards to Target, Lowes, Zapppos, various restaurants, etc.) to anyone who made suggestions.  You would not believe what people said:
  • Someone suggested an on-site nurse in case anyone felt bad during the day
  • Another person wanted a day off on the anniversary of their hire date...because their vacation had not increased since they were hired.  Everyone gets 4 weeks as soon as they are hired...I'm thinking that is very generous, but maybe that's me.
  • Someone suggested we have a massage room and massages offered during the day.
  • Someone suggested a nacho machine in one of our kitchens (we have 3 kitchens!!).
I wish I had snapped shots of Bobby's face as these suggestions were made.  Really???
Some decent suggestions were made:
  • One person asked about going to a 4 day work week.  Bobby had apparently already said he was in favor of this (which I would LOVE), but HR shot it down because it wouldn't work for all departments and, therefore, wouldn't be fair.
  • One person suggested putting together classes at the FREE (yes, free) gym we have access to.
 Anyway, bottom line is I can't believe how so many people don't realize how good they have it and just want more and more and more.

OK, my rant is over (for the moment).  On to the beauty portion of this post.  This was one of the centerpieces on the tables at our luncheon:

So pretty and colorful!  I love the little bowl that has two birds on it.  It is a welcome sight on my desk this morning as it is grey (and chilly) outside.


  1. When you write about the lunches, pretzel days, and now this thoughtful, incredible gathering, I always think that you work for a great company that really seems to value its employees. Maybe a nacho machine really is important to some, but I think you're right that some of your co-workers don't know or appreciate how good they've got it. I've worked at schools and hospitals (not known for generous benefits) and didn't earn 4 weeks of vacation even after working there for 10 years. Just last week my husband's company removed the coffee and coffee makers in the break room and said that people are welcome to bring their own, but the company will no longer provide coffee due to the "detrimental effect on the budget". I do hope that employees can come to recognize and appreciate all the good things, and maybe even thank the CEO some day. And thank you for sharing that truly beautiful centerpiece!

  2. What Bonny said, and I would add that I taught for 30 years at one of Ohio's Big Urban high schools. On Teacher Appreciation Day, we got...A. Cookie. I am serious. ONE COOKIE from the school's cafeteria. And we had to go to the student cafeteria to get it. Pass.

    We provided our own coffee, coffee makers, sugar, cream, etc. We provided our own supplies except for staples and a stapler and ONE dry erase marker. We provided our own classroom kleenex but we could "encourage NOT ASK students to bring in boxes."

    I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I'm so glad you have such a wonderful workplace. I wish there were more like it. And I know that you appreciate how terrific it is. Maybe someone should put a suggestion in that box that some ungrateful employees should spend a day in an urban school with a teacher and see How The Other Half Lives.

  3. I can echo everything that Nance stated in her comment. I love that your CEO shows his appreciation in words and actions. One suggestion that I would make to my former employer would be to handwrite an appreciation note randomly to employees - minimal cost invoked with massive payoff. I would have treasured something like that.

  4. As my mom used to say . . . "Some people's kids!"
    It's always amazing how much people expect or wish they had from their employers. (That said, I've seen some of the perks my daughter gets from her employer in the tech industry in Silicon Valley and they are totally OVER THE TOP. So maybe that's where some of these ideas come from???) It sounds like you work in a very nice environment with a leader that values his employees. What a bonus! XO

  5. What everyone here says. It sounds like a lovely place to work with a generous and thoughtful leadership structure. Are you hiring?

  6. Oh my. You already know how lucky you have it. Those people sound like the kind that, if someone was on a street corner handing about $50 bills, would complain that it wasn't $100 ...

  7. It sounds like you have an awesome employer! $100 just for suggestions in pretty cool in itself.

    Four weeks vacation is extremely generous. Here in Canada, the standard is two weeks (I think it's actual a legal minimum for full-time employees). If companies are trying to lure top talent, they bump it to three. It was five years at my current company before I got another week (bringing my total to three). Managers at my company start at three, but they have to wait seven years for an extra week.

    The place I worked before my current position only offered two and one of those you had to take during the mandatory Christmas shut down. You also had to take it in week blocks (instead of one day here or there) because the HR lady didn't want to track how many days people were entitled to.
    It was a horrible miserable place to work for many, many other reasons.

    On the the best places I worked was Glaxo Smith Kline. Sadly I was only a temp and only there for a few months. But they had the best perks. From June-August, every Friday was a half day. Once a month in the summer they'd have a huge company wide bbq. The cafeteria was amazing, and was subsidized by the company, so a bowl of soup was $1, a cheeseburger was $2. They had an AMAZING fitness centre, AND you could take an extra half hour break if you were taking one of the classes (yoga, pilates, spinning, etc) - that was on top of two 15 minute breaks and an hour lunch. Of course, they are big Pharma so have lots of cash to splash around...

    But it's very true that happpy employees work harder for the company.
    I'm lucky - my boss understands that well, so as long as I get my work done, he lets me make my own hours. He never complains about me taking an afternoon off, working from home or running out for a few hours to do errands. He knows I'll work weekends, and late evenings to make sure our projects are complete.

    But it's true with some people, the more you give, the more they want. The mexico trip was fully paid for by the company, but there were people complaining that it was only four days, that we had to fly economy on a discount carrier, that the company wasn't paying for extra spa treatments at the resort, that they only sponsored one excursion.... meanwhile I'm sitting there thinking IT'S A 100% FREE VACATION!!!!!

  8. You always seem so positive about your job. I almost feel sorry for the boss !!! How nice that everyone got the luncheon and the checks! and the floral arrangement is beautiful.

  9. Some pretty silly suggestions were made for sure, but the fact that your company is even ASKING for suggestions is really good. Hopefully they got some good ideas that can move forward.

    But, you're right. Some people just don't think reasonably about things.

  10. That's why I always hated staff meetings. I never opened my mouth and spent my time thinking about knitting. It would have been lovely to be able to sit and knit while you listen to the drivel-now that's a suggestion I could go for.

  11. What a lovely lunch - and isn't it great to be able to rant with folks who get it?! I hope your boss wasn't so discouraged he stops asking for input.

  12. a four day work week would be nice....I hate to collaborate so I bet the meeting would frustrate me as well. I love the centerpiece and that it is on your desk!

  13. My mom oft quoted: "You can please some of the people some of the time and all of the people, none of the time..." or somethin' like that! Kudos to Bobby, the CEO for the gifts and the question...Your luncheon was a great way to kick off a new work week...

  14. I think knitting would keep your blood pressure down for this kind of staff meeting! lol
    The flower arrangement is beautiful. I'm glad you appreciate your job and workplace; it's a good character trait!

  15. Been catching up on your posts. Love your shawl start, and nice socks too. You mentioned the boys were watching Star Trek, then said Star Wars. They are different, you know. lolol! (I'm a huge Star Wars fan, and have watched some Star Trek in my day too.) I enjoyed The Immortalists. And I love Faulkner! DH and I used to read to each other. We need to start doing that again. Thanks for the reminder on that. As for the meeting -- I think it's so common not to be satisfied. I'm glad you are happy at your job, that's a good thing! Probably forgot something, but I enjoyed catching up!

  16. I generally work a 4-day week -- the only employee at my very small company that does -- and I *LOVE* it. Because it's a very small company, I will never get more than 2 weeks paid vacation and, technically, I'm not supposed to be gone for more than a week at a time. Anyway, as others have said, it sounds like yours is a lovely company to work for!!