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Mommy Musings - No ‘I’ In Team

POSTED August 15, 2012 2:36 p.m.

Just like any other business we here at the paper experience our fair amount of turnover or for some ‘turn around.’ A fair share of the staffers here (myself included) have departed from this building only to later return to its 122 S. Third Ave address. In all honesty ... It’s just that good of a gig.

A large part of what makes this place what it is, would be largely comprised of the people who make up the team. Yes, I know I just used the word enjoyable in context to employment ... Crazy.

Truth be told, I liken us to a very dysfunctional yet cohesive (at times) family, fondly referred to as ‘co-workers.’ It’s a good place to be when you not only enjoy what you do, but find that the people you do it with make it all the better.

Make no mistake the people who staff this building are indeed very much about business. Whether it be our Advertising, Composing, Editorial or Office staff we each take what we do to heart. Our building would be one I would describe as one filled with passionate, good natured people.

We all have our moments and sharing the space we have for so many years, we’re each pretty good at either ‘calling’ one another out on it or steering clear ‘til the storm passes (or sometimes both).

As the demands of business change and technology poses new challenges I have slowly watched this building of individuals morph more each day as a true team.

Now, well into my 10th year in this building it’s truly a pretty awesome thing to witness. Truthfully, it has not always been this way (in my opinion). I can still recall the head scratching and head shaking I would return to my desk with after hearing someone say ‘Well, that’s not my job.’

Case in point, often times it is not, however I often found it mind boggling that a person would not make an effort to try and help the other find the person with the answer.

I grew up in business under the lessons of “It’s Not My Department” by Peter Glenn. It’s an ‘80s book on customer service and being proactive in business. A past boss used to gift it to each new member of his management team and request they read it during their training period.

What I’ve come to learn is that leadership is often is the first place to look as to how a staff operates. Proactive leaders both directly and indirectly inspire their teams to follow suit.

With that said, I can honestly say that the ‘leadership’ which currently occupies this building is very hands on and it is more apparent by how our staff now co-exists.

Most recently this theory was tested to the umpteenth degree as much of our staff gathered in our front office to fold newspapers.

Yes, you read that correctly.

During these summer months we’ve experienced a bit of a rough go of it in the way of carriers. In keeping with the ‘team’ spirit a few of our carriers have been helpful in picking up the slack as we search for a replacement.

One week in particular we were literally given hours notice between when the papers needed to go out and when they needed to be delivered. With time far from on our side, we all gathered, grabbed green bags, newspaper bundles and went to work.

As the Circulation Manager, I saw this as my responsibility. I would need to fold and deliver (if need be) all 1200-plus papers. I’m still not sure I can accurately place into words the overwhelming feeling of gratitude I felt as I looked up and saw fellow staffers jumping into the trenches.

Every department of this building was represented and doing the dirty work, which is ‘not their job.’

Last week, I made mention in my column of doing a ‘re-assess’ on occasion. This would truly be a re-assess moment.

Re-assessing after all is not a negative unless you make it so. Looking constructively on life, personal efforts and our surroundings is often helpful in personal growth.

We are a Team. This is something I truly hope our readers and advertisers get that as they thumb through our pages. There is no one group of classification of staffers in this building which make what you read more valuable than the other.

It is in fact because of the collective team that it all comes to pass each week. I can honestly say for the first time in over 10 years, I no longer feel the need to lend that book given to me so long ago to anyone in this building.

For those I share this office with, who on occasion ‘skim’ my column, please accept my heartfelt thank you. I am humbled and grateful for your kindness.

Teresa Hammond is circulation manager for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at thammond@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.

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