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We'll Miss You Mr. G

While I'm sorting through pictures and video clips of the sewing room makeover project that just wrapped up, I thought I'd share a little project I worked on before the sewing room madness started.

A few weeks ago my department received the news that our Director would be leaving the company.

Changes in leadership are always difficult to deal with, especially when you've become familiar with the culture of your work-environment...and it's always difficult to find a way to express gratitude to those good leaders who encourage positive attitudes and playful productivity.

I don't really think there is a perfect way to say thank you & we'll miss you in situations like this, but when my manager mentioned the idea of getting him a weekend get-a-way, it inspired the idea of a vacation-themed gift-basket to go along with it.

Originally, I was thinking I would focus the gift basket around a day at the pool--filling it with water games, floaties, goggles, etc.  However, as I was browsing the racks at Target the pool-theme just wasn't working out.  The narrowed-down theme left me with very little selection when it came to the items for filling the basket...and so, I made a change of plans.

I knew that I wanted to use bright colors in the gift basket, so I looked for a piece that could inspire the color scheme.  The piece that I found happened to be a brightly-colored set of beach towels.  They had the vibe I was looking for, plus they weren't too girly (since this basket was for a Mr.), which was an added bonus.

As I doubled-back through the store isles, I had a new vision in mind.  This time, I placed anything in my cart that fit two criteria...1) the object was brightly colored, and 2) the object could be used on a vacation. 

This sparked the idea of, it's been a while since your last vacation...maybe you've forgotten how it's done...which I thought would work perfectly for someone that is a work-aholic.

Each of the items that wound up in the basket received a tag that explained the vacation activity they represented...


...have a few drinks...

...learn a new language...

...take a swim...

...catch up on all of the TV you've missed...

...read a good book...

...tea time...(Mr. G would say shaweet tea)

...go fishing...

...play a game with the kids...

...take your wife to see a chick-flick...

...throw the best party ever...

...sit down and actually enjoy a cup of coffee...


For the tags, I used these tabs that I found in the scrapbook section (by all of the stickers)...

Then I wrapped them around a shortened BBQ skewer, and taped them in place.

For the message, I typed up a memo to give the basket a business-like spin.

The message reads:

We realize it has been far too long since your last vacation, and fear you may not have the tools needed to properly position you for a successful, relaxing experience.  Because of this, your team has compiled our most effective job aids, deliverables and best-practices, which we have reviewed through a rigorous Beta program.

Through each vacation taken by your staff throughout the years, we have gathered extensive data.  Our reports suggest the implementation of these best-practices will yield 99.9% gains in vacation satisfaction; while reducing costs of writing-off the value of your time.  The benefit-value of this investment will undoubtedly drive the future of your well-being.

We advise you to open the attached flags and determine how you will incorporate each best-practice into your Vacation Success Plan.  When your vacation ends, please send us feedback on your experience via the End of Vacation Survey below.

 End of Vacation Survey

1.        Was your vacation truly amazing?    Yes!   Ci!  Oui Oui!  Hai!

Finding the right words for the memo was simple!  I just referred to one of my old training manuals and pulled out key terms, like properly positioned, job-aids, and undoubtedly drive.  You can probably pick out a few more!

...and of course, everything within the business world must end with a feedback survey, right?  (Mr. G. would call it, the gift of feedback).

When everything was combined, I touched up the basket with a bit of printed tissue paper...and that was it!

I still think it's such a small way to say thank you for everything Mr. G. did for our department.  In fact, he will probably enjoy all of the cards the staff has been adding to the basket more than anything else.

Regardless, we all wish him well.  We all will miss his quirky sense of humor, and his enthusiasm for creating a positive work environment where having fun was just as important as working hard.

What other items do you think would be fun in a vacation gift basket?  Perhaps, a deck of cards...or maybe a manicure set (pamper yourself kit) if the basket were for a woman?  What else would you use?

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