I knew the company-wide "T0wn Ha11" meeting was today, so I dressed carefully and actually blow-dried my hair. I had trouble finding motivation to leave the house. The last couple weeks I haven't had much to do at work, and it's hard to make myself rush in just to sit around surfing the net. (yeah yeah, feast or famine, always complaining, I hear you say...)
Then I remembered the meeting was scheduled for the morning not the afternoon. I figured they would start at 10 AM since no one in our office gets here by 9 AM. Promptly at 10, I snuck in the back door and saw everyone already sitting in the lobby. Oops. I tossed my bag into my cubicle and then quickly and quietly slid in to sit by one of my fellow designers.
They were already at the "pengu1n awrds" (which happen at the end). Big OOPS. They'd given two of three away already. In recognition "For Outstanding Performance and Lasting Contribution", they pass out a $100 gift certificate, a plaque and a huge stuffed pengu1n. They called up the last presenter and my Creative Director walked to the front of the room. I got nervous.
"If I use a pronoun, you'll all know immediately who this person is, so I'm not going to try for surprise..." (I'm the only woman in our department, so I knew it was me as he said that.) "In the past four months, we've had a demanding client, tight deadlines and many, many deliverables. OTRgirl managed this whole project, including four designers in Detro1t and two freelancers here. She kept this whole juggernaut rolling and I was amazed how few times she had to call on me for any help. We're proud to have her in the department and wanted to recognize all her hard work and success."
I was blushing as I went up to get a hug from him. I started to drag off the pengu1n (it's heavy!) and everyone called out, "Speech!"
I turned back into fifty staring eyes, blushed a little more and stammered, "Phew. Thank you. I'm not at all sure what to say." I saw the account lead who'd shepherded us all through this whole process. She looked wistful and sad (since this year's show was the final one), so I continued, "I have to say it was an honor to be part of this project. We had a great team with a lot of mutual respect. I really enjoyed working with each of you. As usual, we can say we survived." (laughter) "I look forward to seeing what comes next." (The client's company was officially sold to The Evil Empire yesterday) I then shuffled back to my chair dragging the penguin by the head while clutching the plaque.
I sat down next to my Creative Director. I leaned over and said, "I thought this started at 10!" He laughed and said, "I was starting to get really nervous! Especially cause this isn't like you. Thank God you came in when you did!"
Last year I was a little hurt that I didn't get the award. This year I didn't expect it at all (since I WAS gone for a few weeks of the process).
That'll learn me to not be late for work...