First and foremost - a very Happy New Year to you all. Hope everyone had a good end of 2013. Or are just happy that 2013 is over. Whichever, let's view today as a positive.
That said, one of the things that you're required to do by law on this day is to take stock of your life in some way. Being a law abiding sort of guy, I dutifully sat down to do so this morning- and was somewhat startled to discover that I have a twitter account. And have somehow gained a few followers since the last time I remembered that it existed. (it's @the42ndvizsla if anyone is interested btw).
What amused me most however was the last entry I made, now some weeks ago.
A little backstory first - Where I work we have a mandatory all staff meeting once a month. All, in this instance, being a couple hundred people more or less. Being a very 'up with people-y' kind of place, these meetings customarily begin with the handing out of service awards, which is nice and all. They go more or less in sequence, first introducing new hires, then folk who've been there 1 year, then 3 years, then 5, then 7, 10, 15, etc. I myself have been recognized the last two years in a row as having been there for 5 years- which shows that someone involved in the tallying has a somewhat puckish attitude towards the whole process- but you get a nice pen and I hate to make a fuss, so I just let it ride.
So the process goes like this; managers who are recognizing an employee line up on one side of the room waiting their turn at the microphone. When it's their turn they say a few nice words about the relevant employee, have said employee walk up and receive their token of appreciation (seriously, the pen is awesome), and then move on to the next manager/employee/token. This is what life is like when you work at a non-profit.
The process of making the aforementioned 'few nice words' can, however, be a bit stressful if the manager in question isn't comfortable speaking in public.
At last month's meeting, one such manager - in a fit of nervousness - dealt with the pressure by relating every single thing she knew about the employee in question. At great length. For over ten minutes.
The employee in question - who was receiving his service award for three years of service - sat quietly as story after story, anecdote after anecdote and fact after fact were related, slowly sinking further and further in his seat. By the time the speech was finished he went up to get his service award (I forget what three years is, having only received that one once. I think it might have been a watch) and thanked everyone for celebrating his three years, noting that he had passed his sixth year anniversary somewhere over the course of the speech.
The next manager up started off by thanking 'Tommy' (not his real name) for his service as well. As did the next manager after him. The following mentioned over the course of her comments that this was the best Tommy Meeting the organization had ever had.
I don't think anyone heard anything from anybody after that point in the meeting because it was more or less at that point that everyone seemed to remember that they had Twitter accounts and suddenly #GoTommyGo* was trending. Someone in our social media department began retweeting the whole bunch of them, which shows a certain level of task-orientedness at the very least, and word of Tommy's awesomeness began spreading through the Twittersphere. I fully expect him to have a reality show on the Discovery Channel any time now, as that seems to be how these things go.
*not the actual hashtag, but I did just give you my twitter account, so it ain't hard to look up...
As a result, I'm pretty sure no one in attendance at that particular meeting could tell you much of anything about the budget forecast, but could probably in a pinch tell you at least two of Tommy's hobbies and where he went to grade school, which should probably be viewed as some sort of triumph for the information age.
I promise to try to remember to use it this year.