Friday, July 01, 2005

Saying Goodbye

Today is my last day at the second-best temp job I've ever had.

The best temp job I ever had was at the Seagram Beverage Company. I could never have imagined being happy working in an office until I met that incredible team of brilliant, funny, sweet people. They eventually hired me into the best job I ever had. I was busy all day helping hard-working folks sell Ginger Ale all over the country. I learned to love customer service on that job. I also learned to hate greed.

When Edgar Bronfman Jr. sold the company, I was "adopted" by one of the purchasers. It didn't take long for my job to morph into the worst job I ever had. Two long years later, my position was eliminated from that company, and after cartwheeling out of the building, I started temping again - at the worst temp job I ever had. Thank God that only lasted two months.

When I first started temping at this place, I was more than a little trepidatious. My only experience in this industry was at the above-mentioned awful temp job. I was starting over at a brand new temp agency, and my agent assured me that the company I had been at was "one of the worst" places in the industry to work, and that where I was about to go was "one of the best." The money was right, the location was workable. I bit.

I think I talked at some point before about how beautiful the corporate campus is. The buildings are all windows, and the interior is flooded with sunlight. There are blinds for when it's too hot, but I never had to use them. There are trees indoors and outdoors. There are skylights.

The window at my cubicle looks out over a pond with fountains, trees, flowers and jumping fish. I watched a family of Canadian geese grow up, from the mother goose sitting on the eggs, to the hatching, to the babies growing up to look just like their parents. When I realized a week had gone by without my seeing them, and they have likely fully matured and flown off, I almost cried. Granted, Canadian geese are nasty pests, but I'm an animal lover, and I loved those chicks.

There is a beautiful gym downstairs, and all those fancy corporate extras like a drycleaners and a wellness center. They have Massage Therapists come to the conference room from time to time. (hmmm... I'll be licensed by next winter...)

The cafeteria looks like the poolside cafe where I breakfasted in Cancun - palm trees around the tables, three-story high glass ceilings and walls, umbrellas over the tables. The prices are low, as the company pays for a portion of the operating costs. A three-course lunch was between five and eight bucks. The company struck a deal with Starbucks, and there was free Starbucks coffee and Tazo teas available until 2pm every day. Free Starbucks coffee. With Toriani syrups. *sigh*

Every now and then, on random days, lunch is free for everyone. For no reason. Just 'cause. One day it was a free outdoor bar-be-que. Happy summer!

My boss has been an absolute pleasure. He's a quiet, unassuming man with an open face and a ready smile, behind rather thick glasses, about my father's age. He has photos of his family prominently displayed on his desk, amid mounds of papers. He is always in a meeting or on the phone. When he needs something, he asks if you might be able to get to it "sometime today." This makes you want to drop everything and do whatever he asks immediately. We once became quite sentimental remembering the different types of antique typewriters we'd used. If all bosses were like him, well, Dilbert wouldn't exist.

My co-workers! Well, they're all individuals, and there's not one in the group I wouldn't love to buy a drink. Everybody here is friendly, kind, and helpful to an artsy chick who knew nothing about finance, but was eager to help out. They know what they've got, and I envy them. I'll miss them.

Their customers build schools, hospitals, and apartment complexes, all over the country. For three months, in a small way, I helped with that effort. I will never, ever forget that feeling.

Right now, popping up in my inbox, is a notice to all employees that one of our IT guys has been deployed to Iraq. The company is accepting donations of snack food, disposable cameras, pre-paid phone cards, etc. The company is compiling a care package for him.

I thought that the last great company had been scattered to the corporate winds in the year 2001. I didn't think companies like this existed anymore.

One does.

Thank you, MBIA. It's been a great three months.


Jess said...

And I hope there is something fabulous in your future. You deserve it!

Jennirhiow said...

i'm so glad you had such a wonderful experience with this company, and i hope you will continue to have such great experiences. *hugs*