At my last work place there were little pranks and gatherings among the staff that created a sense of unity,”spirit” and ultimately, relationship. Zebra duct tape had significance, there were notes about significant birthdays and traditional gift exchange opportunities. A more recent addition this year were gatherings by staff participating in “escape” challenges.
There were a couple of staff who really spear-headed these events but everyone felt included in the jokes and invitations were always open for participation at any level. I remember the principal remarking how special it felt to have these kinds of activities happening between staff because of the relationships it fostered.
Now I’m in a new work place and I’m learning a new culture. So far I’ve learned these staff have had a silly sock exchange for birthdays in the past but are now going to take part in “CauseBox.” The day I started work was someone’s birthday and I saw the little bouquet of flowers from a member’s garden appear on her desk along with cards and chocolate in the work space.
Last week, one of my team members mentioned that our lead mentor had a birthday coming up and she wondered about pulling down an old pinata from storage and filling it. Of course everyone got on board to secretly stuff this colorful paper bull and today we hung it on the deck and took turns whacking it with a broom. It was joyful and silly and satisfying and the birthday girl felt well celebrated.
I’m looking forward to participating and getting to know this group of people in future off-the-record times together.