Finding, Giving TLC At The Office

Katie Young
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Wednesday - June 21, 2006

Nearly six years ago my mother bought me one of those good luck bamboo plants from Longs Drugs. It came in a little pot about two inches in diameter and stood about six inches tall.

She bought it for me the day I started at MidWeek for both “good luck” and to decorate my desk.

Since then, that plant has outgrown its small ceramic container and found a new home in a larger jar.

No longer a small and timid plant, my bamboo tree now measures an astounding 2 feet 7 inches and reaches halfway to the ceiling.

I was gazing it the other day, thinking about how we have both grown together at MidWeek.

Over the years, my co-workers diligently tended my plant - always checking if it needed a topoff of water or if a few leaves needed to be pruned - just as they have tended to me, helping me grow as a person and a writer.

Six years has flown by. So as I sat at my desk, studying my bamboo plant I started to cry because I just gave notice that I will be leaving my full-time position here. (Young View readers, not to worry, my column will continue on - but please note the new e-mail address at the bottom of the page.)

I’ve written before about my full-time position here and everything our editorial staff manages to put out in just one week’s time - two MidWeeks, military papers, community inserts and more - with a small staff of 11 full-timers.

The reason we are able to do it is because we work amazingly well as a team. That makes leaving even more difficult as there is really nothing to dislike about this job or the people I work with.

Why am I leaving then? Because of my neck problems, which still need more time to fully heal away from a 40-hour computer and desk work week.

What will I miss? Everything. I’ll miss my other cubicle neighbor, regional editor Carol, popping her head over the ledge every time she hears me rustling with some sort of crunchy snack, talking-story with Yu Shing and stealing Kleenex from managing editor Terri’s office. I’ll miss watching sports columnist Steve, who sits across the way, hassle our chief photographer Nathalie with his inflatable baseball bat and being able to hear my editor Don’s deep laugh from across the room. I’ll miss every smile and every interesting story.

There have been two people who have made my time here especially meaningful and that’s MidWeek publisher Ron Nagasawa and editor Don Chapman. Both have not only believed in my abilities but have given me every imaginable opportunity to excel. It’s not easy to find bosses like that.

Nor is it easy to find co-workers who are at the same time your colleagues and your friends.

So needless to say I’ve been crying a lot these days. It’s never easy to leave something behind, especially when it has only just hit you how much your job has become a part of you.

I never thought I’d miss my tiny cubicle, newsprint on my fingers, the long walk up the hill to MidWeek from my car or the familiar sounds of co-workers saying, “Good morning!”

But I will.

As I wrote this column, Nathalie popped by to check up on my plants one more time. She even took a moment to ask, “Who else needs some tender loving care?” in her captivating French accent, and proceeded to spray the top of my head with a plant mister.

See, that’s what I’m talking about - tender loving care. That’s when a job is more than a job, it’s a family. And that’s what MidWeek has continued to provide for the last six years - for both me and my bamboo plant. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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