I had the biggest surprise today as I walked up to my office and saw stars on the ground at my feet … stars with my name and those of my team. It was a “Walk of Fame” for National Boss Day! I smiled from ear to ear and saw that other members of The Graduate School at UMBC’s Leadership Team had similar walks in front of their doors as well. What a thoughtful sentiment! Later in the morning, as I was having a staff meeting, Natasha and Miguel (who work with me as part of Graduate Student Development and PROMISE) reminded me that I had a meeting in the conference room. Soon, others were coming by to let me know that it was time for the floor-wide meeting. I’m often late for meetings as I try to finish that last email or phone call, so having people come to my door to “get me” for the meeting wasn’t unusual. I didn’t suspect that anything was different, but I was in for something big!
I adjourned my team meeting and went to the conference room to join the rest of the floor and was met with the biggest surprise. The other members of our Leadership Team were outside of the conference room and as our colleagues invited us into the conference room, we were met with heavenly classical music, candlelight, dimmed lights and a full buffet of delicious food! The conference room had been transformed into a private dining room! It was absolutely beautiful. There were lamps, floral arrangements, table clothes, and other items that really changed the decor of a typical meeting room. As the 7 of us sat around the table (representing each of our areas on the 2nd floor of UMBC’s Administration Building: Graduate Dean’s Office, Associate Dean’s Office, Graduate Enrollment, Progressions, Financial Services, International Education Services, and Graduate Student Development), we were told that we were to enjoy the food, talk about anything other than work for an hour, and relax. I laughed as Natasha, one of my GAs, promptly came over and took my notebook away. Others followed suit and removed portfolios and planners from the premises. Our task was clear. We were to enjoy ourselves. Well, we know how to follow orders … we talked about families, vacations, travel, history, movies, and even laughed at some of our own idiosyncrasies and chuckled as we recounted stories of a past faux pas or two. We also talked about how happy we were to have the chance to work with such wonderful people, acknowledging that our situation was indeed special.
The food was delicious! Our colleagues took time to remember everyone’s special favorites, so we had everything from super healthy things like carrot juice, green juice, salad, and tuna sandwiches, to beans and rice, jerk chicken, and fried chicken, to treats like cracker jacks, a fruit tart, peanut M&Ms, brownies, and oatmeal raisin cookies. On top of that, we each had $100,000 candy bars at our place settings, and special cookies — chocolate chip! — in special ribboned packages with our names in a star.
The Graduate School at UMBC is a special place to work! Here are the names and pictures of our wonderful colleagues: http://www.umbc.edu/gradschool/contact/staff.html in the Graduate School! We also have great colleagues in the office of International Education Services.
We’re very thankful to our colleagues for a great National Boss Day! Here we are, just before we ate. (L-R: Brian, Lisa, Renetta, Jill, Arlene, Robert, and Janet.)
I really enjoyed the entire day. We all did! We even had a special video from our teams, our entertainment for the afternoon. Thank you to everyone for the heartfelt video! I have it here so that I can enjoy it over and over again.(Thanks Alicia, our resident producer!)
I also say a special thank you to my team, Miguel and Natasha, who are a joy to work with! Thank you for loving what we do!
Awww! This is sooo cool. It pays to be a great boss, I see! Congratulations and good for you to take time to actually give up your notebook and talk about fun things (go Natasha!). 🙂
This was a wonderful tribute to you and your colleagues. I loved the stars at your feet. I will be stealing that idea:-) Kudos to you. I’m proud of you and the job that you are doing.