Today turned out to be one of the best days of my entire working career.
This morning, we had our monthly company-wide meeting. Our new CEO likes to hold these meeting every month to let us all know how things are going with the company, do a little 'rah rah' session to get the troops excited etc. I like that he does this. I love working for a company that is very 'transparent' to their employees. They tell us exactly how much money we made this month, how our earnings are doing for the quarter etc. It's nice to know what's going on in your company and know that they are stable and profitable, especially in today's uncertain economy. During the meeting the CEO mentions me by name and compliments me on the great changes I have been making the UI of the application (see my previous blog for the whole gory story). it's so nice to have yourself complimented by name in front of the entire company. Of course he mispronounced my last name in front of everyone, but I won't fault him for that! :) Later in the same meeting, my boss also mentions me by name and compliments my changes too. That's twice I've been complimented in a meeting in front of everyone. That felt so good to hear. Normally, I'm one of those 'stealth' employees that noone even notices. This whole UI thing has really moved me into the spotlight and it feels great to be recognized for it. In addition, I found out after the meeting that I had tied for second place in the department's monthly 'employee of the month' rankings. Granted I didn't win, but considering how close I was, wouldn't that have been an amazing meeting if I'd gotten complimented twice AND won department employee of the month?
In addition, this evening, I participated on the 2008 Corporate Run. This is a 5K (3.1 mile) 'mini-marathon' that is organized such that different companies put together teams of runners/walkers and we all meet and participate in this mini-marathon. Once the marathon is over, there's food, music, drinks etc and everyone from the company hangs out ans socializes. My company participated in it last year as well, but I didn't go because I thought it was a FULL marathon. I knew I wouldn't be able to run a full marathon! Of course I later found out it was only 3 miles. Hell, I can do that! I may not be able to run 3 miles, but I can easily walk that. So, this year I signed up immediately.
I arrived at the location of the Run and met my company. I had arrived fairly late in that I only showed up around 20 minutes or so before the race started. I'd had a heck of a time finding parking and that had delayed me for some time. The race starts and we all move to the starting line - a great sea of people. The starting gun goes off and we all take off. I tried to run, but didn't have enough energy to do much of that. I'm no marathon runner. So I alternated between mostly walking and some running the entire distance. Midway through the walk I met up with a coworker. We walked and ran together the rest of the race. She encouraged me on by saying that my boss was behind us and she wanted to beat the boss to the finish line. So, as we walked, I'd periodically look back. If the boss was getting close, the two of us would try to run for a while to stay ahead of her. Of course, since I'm not particularly good at running, I could only run for short bursts. I kept ahead of the boss, but over time, with me walking she would get close behind me. Whenever that happened, I'd start running for a bit to put in some distance ahead of her then I'd go back to walking. These little bursts of running to keep ahead of the boss continued for the rest of the race. As we approached the last turn of the race, I was ahead of her, but not keeping an eye on her. Suddenly, she comes out of nowhere and on the last turn runs right by me at top speed. (She knew I was just trying to stay ahead of her). She took advantage of that last turn to sneak up and run past me. Of course, I couldn't have her getting ahead of me, so I took off running after her. I managed to pass her and beat her to the finish line by several seconds! I'd won my little race! :) I damn near killed myself on that sprint at the end, but I beat her. As I sprint toward the finish line, there's the CEO of the company (who'd long since finished ahead of me) cheering me on. I make it across the finish line with a time of 44 minutes and 37 seconds. Yeah, it's a crappy score, but hey, it's my first 'marathon', so I'm happy. I stumble to the company booth, panting and out of breath from that sprint. I then sat there and relaxed and had some food and drinks with my coworkers. It was a fun, if tiring evening. I'm glad went.