Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why I Love My Coworkers

My coworkers in digital advertising are such an amazing group.

The president of our division had a baby recently, and before she went on maternity leave, our entire team - approximately 70 of us - conspired to throw her a surprise baby shower and created fun gifts based on inside jokes around the office.

Our senior marketing manager recently collapsed in the gym and was hospitalized due to a genetic blood disorder that she didn't know she had. We immediately swooped into action with a gourmet fruit basket (she was on a strict diet) and sent a box of our company's various magazines for her nurses. And Jenny, one of my favorite coworkers, went to Build-A-Bear and created a teddy bear based roughly on Amie's likeness (blond hair and trendy outfit). The funniest thing about the bear is that when you press the bear's paw, you hear a message from one of our sales associates: "Hi, Amie. It's Sam. We're working on an advertising proposal with print. We're thinking of doing a sweepstakes. Do you think that will work?" (inside joke)

It's even funnier that we sent her the bear - and that she loved it - because there was a recent conversation in the office in which she had belittled the idea of paying $80 to build a teddy bear. Jenny had jokingly argued back that you were paying for the experience of creation as well as the joy such a gift can provide. I think Jenny won that argument.

And our senior vice president had surgery this week to remove a nonmalignant tumor from the roof of her mouth and will be spending some post-operative days in the hospital. Today we ordered a fruit basket (for her family to share in her recovery room), a box of chocolate penguins (for her kids) in addition to a box magazines for her caregivers. Other departments and individual colleagues are sending their own gifts.

I love how we go out of our way to celebrate each other's birthdays, rejoice in each other's success, and rally together when one of us falls. Sometimes I consider telling them about this blog because I want to share my reflections on some of our daily interactions. But I'd like to retain my blogger anonymity with regard to most of my life in the city.

Needless to say, they don't need to read these entries to know that I enjoy working with them. I moved from southern hospitality to the cold north expecting to enter a brutal workforce. That is certainly a metropolitan reality for many, and it certainly isn't peaches and cream in our office every day. We debate, bicker like teenagers and often agree to disagree, but somehow I fell into an amazing group with whom I can grow, learn and succeed. And in New York City. Imagine that.

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