My 9th Christmas lunch with Giffords Attorneys... geez I am part of the furniture. But it is a happy comfortable place. So many memories...
In March 2014 I have been part of the team for 10 years. I started with them when Nathan was in Grade 1 and will he will be going into Grade 11 next year.. almost his whole school career wrapped up with mine.
These are the people I spend my day with every day, 5 days a week. They get more of me then family, friends and hobbies put together. Six hours a day from 8am to 2pm (I'm very lucky to not have to work a full day!).
Most of them I have worked with for almost the entire 10 year period. They have taught me, supported me, loved me. They are part of my extended family.
Sheila : In the back ground. Drafts my transfers. A lady of immense knowledge. Also personal strength which has helped me on my journey with Kyle as she has walked a similar path to me. When we do bump into each other she is always wanting to know if Kyle and I are ok.
Judy : Started as a Primary School teacher. Raised 3 boys while Graeme built his practise. Supported him and eventually did her Law degree and Conveyancing to work with her husband side by side. When my job was travelling on the roads to see clients Judy always let me know that she said a prayer for me each morning when I set out asking that I be kept safe.
Sheugnet : Their daughter in law and office events organiser. Hysterically funny when she talks about her other life as coordinator for fashion shows. She always pays special attention to the detail. Who of us can forget the balancing of the feather in our team building event. Married to Tom.
Graeme : Took a chance on me nearly 10 years ago. I had no experience in Conveyancing but he wanted me to be part of the team. Taught me everything I know while being supportive of the challenges in my personal life.
Marion : Part of the team 5 years back she left only to return this year. Marion and I work side by side in transfers, along with Sue. A very dry sense of humour... the 3 of us in our corner are known for our very pleasant demaneours on the phone... until we hang up!
Tom : Yakaburaha!! That's Thomas on a Friday... all week fairly quiet and come Friday he will walk around the office humming... to my chirp "It must be Friday!" As you can see in the photo he doesn't know when to shut up... always a chirp back.... loves to try and push me over when I'm in my heels... the day I do tip over he won't know what to do with himself!
Ron & Cindy : Our 3rd married couple. Ron does our general running around and nothing is ever too much for him. Cindy works does our Returns. They both have personal challenges which makes working sometimes very hard but they are always friendly and smiling regardless. Both such caring people. They became a couple after I started working for Giffords and I watched their romance bloom and lead to marriage.
Penny : Walker, tennis player, always on the go! What hard year for her as well. Yet here she is smiling. What stands out about Penny is when a job needs doing she gets on with it. No dithering about. It just gets done.
Wendy : Ah what to say about Wendy. She is the honorary office Mom. So much more than the Bookkeeper. Although she can find those missing couple of cents to make the accounts balance - just by us calling out her name. Wendy runs the office. Wendy the printer isn't working. Wendy the ceiling has come down. Wendy there is no milk. Wendy Wendy Wendy... probably the most said name in the office. Yet always done with a smile on her face she goes from desk to desk to do what needs to be done... a 14 hour day fitted into 7.
Besides that a very special friend to me. A mother figure when I've needed it. She has really been there for me every step of the way over the last nearly 10 years. So many happy memories.
Sue : The third part of the Transfer team. A recent granny. Sue really makes me laugh. So quiet and dainty until one of her clients irritate her. Out of the 3 of us Sue definitely has a way of putting down that phone!!
Karen Singh (1) : One of the 2 new members to the office and I don't really know well. But always friendly which is what counts in our little team.
Irene : The 2nd new member. You would never say she was mom to a teen!
Cecilia : Her and I have been down similar roads with crazy ex-husbands so can relate to each other. She faces her own challenges medically. Yet there she is front of office each day.
Kaz (Karen Singh (2)) : She calls me her "Star". Always makes me smile. Will often sneak up behind me and give me a hug just to say hi.
Sarikha : She has been there 10 years in April 2014. Her and I have shared laughs, friendship and memories for 10 years. I was at her wedding. Watched her through both her pregnancies. We will often pass each other in the passage and wonder out loud if we've seen each other yet today. We work in opposite corners of the office and can go all day without connecting but we both know in crisis we are there for each other.
These are the people woven into the fabric of my life. Each of them special and unique in their own way. I am truly blessed to be a part of a special team of people. We are not just colleagues. We are friends and family. We support each other, love each other and pay special attention to each other’s lives. Some people question my decision to stay in one company for so long. I suppose the answer is easy : money and status and experience in different places isn't always the answer. Sometimes you need to know the place you are going to each day will be a support, not a stress. I'm lucky and I appreciate it every day.