Just gobsmacked

3 09 2008

There’s no other word for it. I got the biggest surprise today—and a most pleasant one at that. A real warm fuzzy surprise, and totally unexpected.

The small team I’ve been working with on the big project for the Queensland company had their final meeting with me today. But it wasn’t a meeting. It was a ‘surprise party’ to say “Thank you”.

So, how do you have a surprise party from the other side of the country? You enlist the help of people at this end (my husband and good friend Bobbie), and get other things happening at their end.

The meeting starts. They want me to connect via webcam but as I haven’t used the webcam or headset on the new laptop, and as this was a last minute request, the technology beats me. So we go back to a standard Skype conference call. Which is a pity because they wanted to see my face while the surprise was happening.

Steve D sends me a file which is a PowerPoint presentation created by Sarah P (I think), and I open it. It’s a neat presentation thanking me for the work I’ve done on the project and compares a good technical writer (me!) to Da Vinci, with a doctored photo of the Mona Lisa with my face. Cute! Then there’s my name spelled out with a suitable word for each letter, the last of which is A for ‘anal’. Which I then proved by pointing out that someone (Sarah?) forgot the ‘f’ in H for ‘helpful’!! and that Hamish B didn’t pick it up in proofing it. Lots of laughs about that one. And no-one suggested it was a deliberate error. LOL.

Then after the great presentation has finished, Mel K (my boss) asks my husband to do his bit. He reaches into a shelf and pulls out a gift and card for me! The card was signed by many members of the team, and the gift is the Ricky Tims Convergence Quilt book. I was blown away. My husband then pours me a glass of wine (that was part of the surprise too), so I can take the toast from the others… at 2 in the afternoon!

I was blown away for a few reasons:

  • The choice of gift was absolutely appropriate and the card was signed by many members on this project
  • My husband was complicit in all this without my knowledge—he received the gift and card and hid it from me without me knowing; he was in regular contact with Mel regarding the timing of all this and setting up the toast etc.
  • Bobbie was involved somehow (choice of book would be a given, but I think it was mailed to her by Mel and she ‘couriered’ it to the house without me knowing); somehow Mel and Bobbie got each other’s email addresses and/or phone numbers—again, I suspect my husband…
  • The time and effort that went into getting all this organised behind my back was particularly special as I know that the team is working their butts off on this project and are moving corporate offices at the end of this week

Thank you guys! It was a terrific surprise and a great send off. You’ve been a fantastic team to work with, and it won’t be ‘goodbye’. I promise.

I almost forgot… One other cool thing. Sarah P asked if I’d mind if she named her next fish after me. Then later she referred to her “fish called Rhonda“. ROFLMAO!



3 responses

3 09 2008

It was a delight to be asked to participate in the “secret” planning and I would have liked to have seen your face as it all dawned.
Congratulations Rhonda.

3 09 2008
Char James-Tanny

How lovely 🙂 Enjoy the book!

4 12 2008
A fish called… Rhonda! « At Random

[…] fish called… Rhonda! 4 12 2008 Back in September when I left a major project, Sarah P, one of my colleagues in the Brisbane-based company, said she was going to get a fish for […]

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