I’m going to miss the people that I met at work. I’ve never felt so accepted by a group of people before. Sure, I’ve had one or two close friends since late in grade school, but I’ve always felt like it was mostly me against the world. The people here invited me to family dinners, gave me a shoulder to cry on, lifted my spirits when times were rough, and did favours for me on a constant basis. I don’t know how I would have survived everything over the last year and a half without them.
People have always said that people can make or break a job, but that saying definitely can extend outwards into your day to day life, and the people here really made my experience better. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them. I’ve been crying on and off for the last week, trying to hold it together while in front of them all.
Susan – One of the HR ladies, Susan is always friendly. She comes in with a smile on her face, and is always upbeat. No matter how cynical I am, she always has something positive to say. She continually adds light into the whole office. While her whistling always drove me nuts, her attempts to hold back for me always made us both laugh. She was the type of person you could almost play with. Her child like attitude is something that seem to keep her youthful and makes it easy to quickly trust her.
Sherry – Another of the HR ladies, Sherry started not long before me, and as such, we always had a quick connection. I always felt as though she was the welcoming Aunt of the department. She was easy to talk to, and always had an opinion. She is intelligent, funny, and interesting. Every once and a while, she’d bring over a Dilbert comic from her daily calendar that was exactly up my alley. She always made it feel like I was supposed to be at the County.
Joanne – Yet another of the HR ladies, Joanne is a world traveler and with her sightseeing has come a wisdom that is a focal point of the department. Add to that, her humble nature, and you have a great human resources employee. Joanne doesn’t always seem to be the warmest person at the start, but that’s because she carries the world on her shoulders and never asks for a hand. Once you get talking to her, she opens up, and you get to hear all about her adventures. She is also the type of person that goes out of their way to thank someone when they’ve done her a favour.
Graeme – My boss and mentor at the County, Graeme is a strong leader with little control. He’s involved with his staff, and is willing to take time to listen to them. He works hard at making sure the IT section of the department is taken seriously, and is constantly working hard not only to build a great team, but prove why they are needed. I always felt like I was able to come talk to him about any work related problem, even if I was in the wrong. I also felt like he gives people the opportunity for success without causing them undue stress. He also made it easy to work, trusting his team, and not looking over their shoulders every day. I hope one day the County gives him department head status, and lets him build the IT department and infrastructure that the County needs as he deserves the opportunity and has the ability.
Jeremy – Jeremy, in a way, was my immediate supervisor. Taking over some day to day tasks from Graeme, Jeremy was the person I’d go to for certain issues, such as ordering products, services and software. He was always friendly, but fairly closed compared to some of the other people in the department. He wasn’t one to talk about himself much, but he always felt a little like an older brother to me. The best times I had with him was discussing photography, a simple hobby that we share (though his abilities definitely outshine my own). Jeremy was also a peacemaker. Put him in a conflict and he will find a way to end it. This had its ups and downs for me, as we weren’t always on the same side of an issue.
David – While sharing my first name, David didn’t seem all that much like myself. He wasn’t one to stop by and talk. He didn’t play foosball with the rest of us, and from the early spring to the late fall, he would leave and go for a walk after he had eaten his food. While I didn’t have much experience with him, when he did join in on joke e-mails and whatnot, his perspective was unique and funny. He was also one of the first ones to come and wish me well on my way out, something I won’t forget and it was greatly appreciated.
Jaron – When I first met him, he kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t feel like he was someone I could socialize with, but after a set of circumstances lead to a good discussion between us, I realized that he and I are more alike than I knew. Jaron ended up coming across to me like a mix of myself and my father. He has a strange sense of humour, but also doesn’t pry into your personal life. It takes time to get him to discuss personal topics, but when a work issue arose, he was always there in an instant to fix it or walk me through it. Despite his almost “New York” style attitude, he always had a way of disarming people.
Jason G – Out of everyone I worked with, Jason G was someone I admired. His office filled with toys, his Lego screensaver, his willingness to discuss cartoons, and his interest in table top games, he was probably the person I would both most want to be like, and who I’d most like to be close friends with. He reminded me a lot of my best friend Barry, but with an even stronger “computer geek” side. He reminded me that it is okay to enjoy the things that I enjoy, and even better that you can find someone that will put up with it.
Jason B – Jason B started at the county only a few months ago, and already he is one of the people I spend the most time with outside of work. He is both like a little brother and a teacher. He is the youngest in the office, but to counterbalance his age, he is someone that likes to share knowledge and we became fast friends. The County is probably a bad fit for him as he seems to be the type of person that could quickly rise to the top in a small organization where such movement existed. He has a hunger for knowledge, a will to teach, and can be very friendly if you pay him the same kindness and respect. In many ways, he reminds me of Jaron, but with some of the harder edges sanded off.
Brad – My office buddy, co-worker, and all around joker, Brad was one of the first people to really welcome me into the County. We worked side by side in the same office, and while his antics were pretty crazy sometimes, it always seemed to come at the right moments. Brad was also someone that could help me work through logic puzzles in coding, and I tried constantly to do the same for him. He and I worked together on projects, and his PHP skills were definitely better than my own, though he never complained about it to me. I have a feeling Brad will always be with the County, as it is a good fit for him and the County needs him. He can take ownership over projects, he is very good in meetings, and serving the needs of various departments, a balancing act that very few can manage.
Andrea – My surrogate mother while living here in the Bruce, I don’t think there is much more I can say about Andrea. She made sure I was included in everything. Without her, I doubt I would have been invited out for break with the HR ladies. Without her, I would have suffered through the heat in the summer. Without her, I would have spent many more evenings and weekends alone. I really felt like part of her family, so much so that I think her real children kind of got sick of seeing me.
Lisa – Lisa was the only woman in the IT department. She was, like me, invited to go out for breaks with the HR ladies. She was sensitive, but not overly so, easy to talk to, and sometimes “one of the guys” as she added some jokes to e-mails that were going around. A friendly mother of two, despite not feeling like we had much in common, for some reason, I found it relatively easy to talk to her about things.
Randi – A short, energetic Italian, Randi is the Health and Safety Manager for the County, a department of one. A fast talker and advice giver, Randi has been through everything and thrived. He has a story for any situation, and was always one to tell me how great I was doing for the County. He also was one of the few that urged me to stay in the private world or work for myself. It is almost like he could see talent and drive in me, that I wasn’t feeling myself. Working with him can be a great confidence booster.
Doug – Doug is the HR Director. His job is to manage both the Human Resources and Information Technology groups as a single department and he does his job well. Doug is a very busy person, but still finds time to greet people, come to in office Birthday celebrations, and discuss various things with staff members. He’s lighthearted, kind and observant.
An amazing group of people, with a very special group dynamic. It will be impossible to replace, and I’ll miss them all greatly.