Yesterday was my company’s off site. It was taking place down in Monterey, which is an hour south of San Jose. I’ve always heard great things about Monterey, but since it’s a beachy/touristy town it definitely reminded me a lot of Cape Cod back on the east coast. Drove down yesterday morning with one of my colleagues so it was a fun little road trip together. Checked into the hotel to drop off my bag. I was surprised how nice my room was especially with the view it came with. I miss it so much!! After I dropped off my stuff I met up with the rest of my colleagues there and had lunch before we got split up into these Thinking Teams. The whole point of this off site was to bring the company together and have our voices heard as to how we can improve ourselves and the company itself. There were a total of four teams: Communications, Processing, Career Development, and Culture.
I was on the Culture team. Everyone got split into their designated groups and we collaborated with other employees of the company to discuss what’s working and not working so well at our company culture wise. It was a great discussion and a relief to know that us UX team weren’t the only ones that felt that way. But also my team has already paved a path to improve the culture not only for within our team, but to hopefully influence the other teams in our company. I met two great ladies that was at my table and I spoke passionately about the type of things our team does to collaborate and to interact with each other. For example, I mentioned how we have UX Happy Hour to discuss certain topics where we have drinks and to share ideas with each other. Other people are invited to these happy hour’s so we’re very welcoming in that sense. Yet people don’t really know about these sessions that we have, but my team tries our best to spread the word.
After I shared that example as well as a few others with the two ladies in my group, one of them was going to be a speaker to share with the entire company of what our thoughts were. We were the last Thinking Team to present and for a second I was cringing hoping that L wouldn’t call out for me. I totally jinxed myself haha. She got into mentioning how a member from the UX team shared these examples with her. I was thinking ‘dammit not me!’ but it was haha. I had a mic passed to me and I spoke so confidently to a room full of nearly 300 employees waiting to hear what I had to say. I was being pretty goofy when I was speaking and my boss and colleague was cracking up from what I had said in response to someone’s question to me lol. One person asked if we can do the UX Happy Hour any earlier and all I heard was “early” so I replied with “breakfast? mimosas” haha. The whole room laughed from my silliness, but I really had no idea what that lady said haha.
When that entire session was done and we were regrouping with my colleagues, my boss complimented me that I spoke well and drew a lot of attention to our team (in a good way). I got compliments from the rest of my team as well. It was just an awesome feeling. I felt very proud and just even happier to have the job that I have. I felt very grateful to work with my team of smart and talented people. It was a total confident booster.
After all the discussion and what not, it was time to unwind and have some fun. We started drinking at 6PM until 2AM haha. It was open bar and the food was great. My team was definitely the loudest ones during dinner haha. My boss made two great speeches and we kept clinking our glasses. Then we got obnoxious and kept toasting to whoever walked through the door hahaha. It was really funny. Then we decided that we needed to do a collaborative dance off with the rest of the company haha. We were the first ones on the dance floor and screaming “UX” hahaha. That’s how hard we were representing for our team. It was so much fun dancing with my team and boss. Later that night after the music ended and open bar was closed, we migrated to a colleague’s room to hang out. We were goofing around and just having a great time. After all the fun, I returned to my room to take a late night bubble bath. My current place only has a shower so of course I took advantage of this great, free room. It was very relaxing and something that I definitely needed. So many funny things happened in Monterey, but I guess whatever happens in Monterey stays in Monterey haha.
I really love my company, team and job. I’m one very lucky girl. 🙂