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.