Today my department had its annual holiday party at The Willows, a lovely old Hawaiian tropical retreat nestled in a busy urban enclave in Honolulu. Once inside it is easy to forget that steps away is a neighborhood of low-rent walkups, on a street littered with furniture castoffs of cast-off roommates.
It’s not easy to get 60-70 people in one place for a celebration. Sometimes we joke that we work for HMSA, Hawaii Medical (Meeting) Service Association. It’s true that the great time suck of a career has got to be meetings. Face-to-face, IRL time is best but probably not always necessary.
The party was a chance for this group of people who are wrapped up in the mission of marketing and communications, image management, presentation, perception and transparency to push away from their desks to focus on each other. The talent in our department is immeasurable. There are those born to manage, those born to create and those born to toss it all into the virtual deep end of the Internet. Our tasks are interwoven, each of us completes those steps in the process that take ideas to execution. And I get to hang out with these people all the time!
I guess this sort of group is predisposed to wanting to let off steam and to having fun. Laughter erupts from all over the department at any time of the day. But when it is crunch time, and when there’s a monstrous task to tackle, the group works as one and the deadline is met and the goal is achieved, under the tutelage of experts well versed in the military-like strategies of public relations. Having worked in newspapers and public relations, I would have to say this is the best operation to which I’ve ever belonged.
My Secret Santa got me a bottle of merlot. A beautiful bottle. A private reserve 2007 Knight’s Valley Baus Family Vineyards swoopy dark bottle of what I expect to be a rich, warming, dark-cherry, mossy, cashmere sweater of a leggy wine that will smell delightful in my balloon glass on a cold, rainy Saturday wino’clock. Maybe on my birthday in a few weeks. I’ll think about how nice someone is, and about how fortunate I am to be part of this group, and how I’ve had a pretty good year, despite a few bumps.