Tuesday, May 15, 2007

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Though I never quite got to any sort of country that you all would recognize, I did actually travel outside the boundaries of New York City today.

Yesterday was a day, spent in NYC, that released every one of my dormant hay fever allergy sensors. I sneezed and blew my nose over and over and over, until my nose was quite rosy. I somewhat feared what today's trip to the deep suburban woods would bring. But my fears were unwarrranted, and my taking along a huge supply of tissues and allergy pills was unnecessary.
Could be an instance of taking the umbrella keeps the rain away.

Enough of the ego-centric health concerns. Let us get on to the luncheon celebration.

In my past careers, not much respect was given to years of service on the job. In fact, sometimes it was quite the opposite. If one stayed long at the fair, one was taken for a fool.

My current employer is a different sort of woman. There is a benefit in having a wise individual as the head of the company. In our case, she believes in annually honoring employees in many ways, and one of them is the annual luncheon held today.

Employees who have worked 5 or 10 or 15 or even 20 years are given tributes by their immediate bosses, and gifts, too. (And a very nice lunch at a lovely place on the Hudson River, that was once a home owned by the author Mark Twain.) Those reaching the ten year mark actually are giving money to let them take a trip to any place in the world that they would like to visit. I do not make this up.

I was at the luncheon today because my five-year anniversary comes up in July. I will get a bit of a cash bonus at that time, and today was presented with a symbolic gift of one of those miniature zen sand gardens.

The day was lovely, weatherwise, and those of us needing transport from the city up to the party site met up at the showroom location in the heart of NYC's Seventh Avenue fashion district. As is usual with our company, not all logistics were perfect, and our little mini-bus/van was almost an hour late. (I thought of the zen garden that I knew I would receive later.)

Anyhow, it was a jolly group of folks waiting on the sidewalk, representing all sorts of departments within the company (retail stores, design visuals, buying, merchandising, quality control/production.) The beauty of this company (for which I admit that I sometimes work way too long and hard) is that every department is recognized.

Eventually we reached our destination, and joined the lunch party at the end of the cocktail hour. Beautiful setting, beautiful canapes on silver trays, fine wine, happy people. It is an occasion to see lots of folks from other departments that you do not see for months, though you may e-mail/call them regularly.

The head of the company, Eileen Fisher, as always was present and as always, very friendly, low key, and fun.

Delicious lunch was soon served in a big dining room with lots of windows overlooking the riverside at the bottom of a sloping hill. Lots of round tables with folks that do regularly work together sitting together. (After the delicious appetiser of a stack of grilled vegetable rounds on top of grilled (I think) goat cheese, I had the sea bass, bok choi, and more wine. Dessert was some incredible chocolate glazed scoop of ice cream, the chocolate on top rising in a peak. Under this turned out to be a selection of fresh berries. And then coffee and petit fours ... mini carrot cake, cheese cake, chocolate scrumptious bits. Anyway, it was good.

But. There were lots of people being honored, and even though everyone was cautioned not to take too much time, lots of people (Not Me, be assured) did take too much time, so that eventually it took on the feel of the Golden Globes. It is a wonderful idea to thank everyone for his/her contributions, but ... this took hours. When I got to make my "thank you" remarks, I reminded the room that there were even more folks celebrating longevity with the company in other locations across the States, and that someday we might have to have an international video hook-up for this luncheon.

Eventually, back on the bus/van along with other slightly dozy, wined and dined and appreciative/appreciated colleagues. The driver was kind enough to let some of us off at an uptown cross street before he continued to make his way down Second Avenue back to the showroom starting point.
That way, I could just hop on to a crosstown city bus to take me through the park to the west side.

So, I got back home in time to write this tonight. Even better, tomorrow and the next day are days off, so who knows, I even draw or paint before the next installment. In any event, today was an opportunity to see how many hard-working, creative people contribute daily to success of the company for which we are fortunate to work.

Pleasant dreams to all.


  1. What a lovely day and how nice to be appreciated. The setting sounds wonderful.

  2. I am so glad they aprreciate all your hard endeavours, you sound as if you had the most wonderful day and I so glad that the hayfever did not cause a problem, where will you go I wonder when you get the go anywhere ticket?
    Enjoy the days off and paint till your heart is content.
    Thank you so much for your lovely comments.

  3. What a super employer to have, how nice to have your hard work appreciated.

  4. Hello Frances,

    What a lovely day , I'm so impressed with your boss and her kindness in showing appreciation for your toils, so refreshimng to her of a boss who really cares. Like the idea of being able to take a trip anywhere!!

    So you've been with them nearly 5 years, that is wonderful and glad you feel appreciated.Makes it all worthwhile.

  5. I am sorry WHAT!! How can you dismiss that menu with "anyway it was good!" GOOD! It was marvelous and I want some now .. please iiaigne me lying on floor screaming and stmaoing feet at your life which always sounds far far more glamorous than mine... on the other hand better not to imagine it as it is not a pretty sight! AND you wen tto Marks twains house.. you madame are cruel!!but you do write a wonderful blog I always come away feeling very much as if I have mixed with NYC high glam.

  6. Could I send a copy of this to who ever runs the civil service these days - Thirty four years -GOT THAT? THIRTY FOUR PIGGING YEARS-and what does one get for passing all those milestones - a glass bowl, with the dept logo on as well!!
    Calm down, calm down.... lovely blog - I really enjoyed it.... when I stopped screaming that is!

  7. Gosh that lunch sounded good. What a pleasant change to find an employer who appreciates their staff.

  8. What a super company to work for.
    Isnt it nice to work for someone who actually treats you like individuals and not worker bees.
    What a setting and lunch it seems.
    I do so look forward to your blogs.

  9. It is good to see a company that recognise your hard work and loyalty. What a lovely day for you and well deserved.

    warm wishes

  10. Lovely day and lovely food! Sounds like a really good company, glad they appreciate you.

  11. sounds amazing recognition, a lesson for lots of companies there methinks

  12. what a lovely day & what a great way to be apreciated by your boss. It all sounds so grown up to the work environment here.

  13. Sounds like a pretty perfect day Frances. I am so glad that you are recognised for the long hours that you put in. It is so nice to be appreciated.

    Even better, your precious days off. Please don't do laundry or shopping, just take the chance to be creative, the way you always speak so whistfully about.

    Take care as always - Jacqui x

  14. You deserve it dear francis you work so hard and what a lovely place to hold an event sweet drams [dreams but i like the spelling mistake]..x

  15. Hello Frances,
    Congratulations on your five year award.Sounds like a lovely evening ,did you wear an Eileen Fisher outfit? Hope tomorrow is a painting day, inspired by the Zen garden or a lovely walk in the park. Have a happy relaxing couple of days whatever you choose to do.
    best wishes Milly x

  16. Hello Francis,
    So glad you had the most wonderful day, and pleased for you that you have been recognised for your sheer creativity and long hours you put in at work. The feast sounds marvellous, indeed fit for a Queen. Wonderful blog Francis, enjoy your days off, you deserve them, and happy painting.

  17. What a lovely day, Frances! It's good to know that there are companies that value loyalty and hard work. So it's Eileen Fisher...I wondered! Gorgeous things. My tall and slender sister-in-law wears Eileen Fisher. I always feel too short to do the clothes justice, but love them.
    I hope your two days off are perfect and full of whatever activity pleases you most.

  18. Haven't called by in a while (on account of trying to reduce my blogging addiction!)and so lovely to catch up. You evoke a wonderful picture of your life and work in NY. Not to mention those fabulous clothes. Can't you persuade your very efficient boss to start mail order to the UK? You have a captive audience!
    I dream of visiting MOMA. A friends daughter is currently studying fashion photography in NY and she seems to spend a lot of time there. She says it is truly inspiring

  19. How satisfying to work for a talented woman. You inhabit another world. It sounds lovely. Any jobs going? I could do a nice line in gardening clothes as long as I don't have to wear high heels.

  20. You take me to another world Frances. I sit here alone in my little library eating my sandwiches and reading of your delicious lunch. What a fantastic day you had, how good for the soul to be appreciated (unheard of in the Public Service in the UK!)
    Enjoy your time off, draw and paint and write some more. I love to read of your 'opposite' life. And thank you for your kind comments. May I ask do you have Irish roots?

  21. Frances I was so happy to read this because it does seem to me that you work extremely hard for Eileen Fisher. I am mightily relieved to know she recognises that and thanks you for it. The day sounds just delicious (and not just the food). I hope you are really enjoying the days off and not suffering too much from the hayfever.

  22. That woman is marvellous! I used to work in Human Resources in the legal industry and only one of the companies I worked for had that ethos - and that also happened to be the most successful. Employees felt valued and gave their all. Food sounded fab!xx