Today was the day of our company picnic, and I have to say that I enjoyed myself immensely. Lately, I have been working from stupid o'clock to crazy o'clock, so I don't see too many people in the course of a week. It was really nice to see the people from the day shift, and people who tend to work at locations I don't get to that often. I like my co-workers, so having an opportunity to socialize with them was a privilege. The food was good, especially trays and trays of empanadas. To continue the Latin theme, there was a live band playing salsa and merengue throughout the day as well. These guys were tight, and there was quite a bit of dancing going on despite the heat.
The director of conservation of a park adjacent to our property was present as a guest of the organization. She gave us a brief lecture about her site and led a couple of hiking groups. During the hike, she gave us some plant identification pointers and brought up the topic of invasive plant species (I made sure to tell her about the wonderful Eat the Invaders website after we exchanged jokes about Japanese knotweed).
There were also the typical panoply of lawn games, with horseshoes being the departmental favorite... all of us took turns playing horseshoes with the boss. I have to say that I suck at horseshoes, but I'd probably be a lot better at it if I played buzzed.
There were a couple of contests for the more competitive employees- a dessert contest (the winning dish was an intriguing blueberry and lavender trifle- the lavender gave a subtle hint of flavor that complemented the dish beautifully) and a workplace trivia contest, won by our Chief Operating Officer, who has been with the organization for a long, long time. Gotta love friendly competition, especially if it involves snacks.
I'm happy to say that I recognized a former contractor as a new employee- in fact it was her first day on the job. She's still a college student, so her hours will be catch-as-catch-can, but I was happy to see that she had joined the organization. On a more melancholy note, one of my favorite co-workers, a seasonal part-timer, will be going off to college in a couple of weeks. She's an adorable girl, a sweet nerd who studied Latin in high school, and has some funny T-shirts to commemorate the fact. I'm happy that she's moving on to bigger and better things, but I will miss her. She'll be back on her breaks from school, she's been with us ever since she was eligible for working papers, and is universally well thought of.
All told, it was a fun day. I like my co-workers, and I tend to see so little of them. I also enjoyed the combination of pigging out, hiking, and engaging in friendly competition. Even though it's only August, the general feeling is that our busy fall season has pretty much begun, so this was our chance to enjoy each others' company before things get hectic... and enjoy each other's company we did.