I was thinking very much about a moment, nearly seven years ago, when our fledgling company got together for a dinner in 2005. Justin leaned over to me, and said: Look at all these good people. Tonight, I felt overcome in the same way – looking around, seeing so many individuals that I’ve worked with and shared time with, so many talented folks I love and respect. Indeed, so many good people I feel lucky to know and to have been around.
What I like most about the watch is that it seems a throwback to an earlier era of business. The whole idea of watch ceremonies makes me think back to a time when people stayed with a company their entire careers.
To me, there’s an air of nostalgia about the watch… and it’s even more pronounced, given the fact that I worked in tech the duration of my time with Emmis. I feel like nowadays, most people bounce around quickly and often, with the idea of ten years in one place an antiquated notion.
This morning, I arrived at work a little earlier than normal… as we were notified about a company-wide meeting at 8:30 AM. On walking out the elevator, we were greeted at the front door and told there were multiple meetings taking place. I could see a few people inside the office, standing at the end of the corridor looking towards the elevator. But I was told to head towards the office Annex area.
On walking in, I saw a series of chairs circled around our old ping-pong table and pretty much knew what was in store: I was being let go.
The idea came up for multiple people to all get similar full-size t-shirts… and incredibly, people started to order them independently (from The Mountain and Fab). Meagan had the excellent idea that everyone would hang out at a bar together somewhere (karaoke, maybe), and each shirt would slowl be revealed through a series of photos posted onto Flickr or Facebook. With Chris humongo Allison-faced shirt being the last image in the set.
Luckily for me, I ended up winning the hand. Chris C and Mike both had Jack Ace, but I ended up taking the pot with two pair. In hindsight, this seems like it was a risky move on my part. I was a bit blinded by full house opportunities, but an Ace or a two could have easily resulted in a loss for me.
For a lot of the afternoon, the skies got progressively darker. There were periods of rain, but all updates on the Chicago Sport & Social Club site said that games were on. In the two years we’ve been playing, never have they cancelled a game due to weather. Today was the first day where we had rainy conditions on a game day, so it looked dicey.
But… when game time rolled around, we all got dressed and made our way to Skinner Park. Despite some dreary looking clouds overhead, the rain held off and we were good to go.
It was a pretty hot day outside, for our fifth game. There was some speculation whether the game would actually happen, given the heat… but I remembered an even hotter day from last year – and if we played that time, I figured we’d play today.
Luckily for all of us, our game was later in the evening… so we hopped over to Union Park and had some dinner/drinks, prior to our game.
So something happened near the 5th innning. The other team had tow people on base, and the person up at the plate just belted the crap out of the ball. It was a harder kick than we’d seen the entire game, and got further to the outfield than expected. By the time we got the ball back in our hands, they were already rounding the bases.
Bringing the score in their favor, 5-6. We held on for the next two innings, and I think it was in the bottom of the 7th when something absolutely amazing happened.
After the game, several of us opted to stick around and hang out on the bleachers. We had some more beers to sink, and just took in the other game that started after ours ended. A nice, relaxing way to ease into dusk.
Today, a group of us said goodbye to Jeff – who leaves us after five years of managing our servers and infrastructure. A group of us went out to Epic Burger, for a farewell lunch.
Our name this year is Mandatory Fun, which is a play off of a phrase used by Chris C in one of his company-wide emails. I forget the original context, but the email spoke about some required function, and his phrasing was something like: “This will be a fun (mandatory) event.”
When we took submissions for names and the votes tallied out, this is the name that won.