This year was my 10th anniversary of working for Redgate. The actual date was a bit ago, but they held off my celebration until I came over. These are nice at Redgate, better than at some companies where I’ve seen someone in management just give a mention during a company meeting and a token gift. At Redgate we get a really nice gift, which was a Garmin Forerunner 645 for me.
At Redgate, the CEO comes around and does a 5-10 minute speech on the person, with some of his thoughts and memories, and also shares some stories that others in the company have sent in. There is usually a few embarrassing notes, and in my case, I got this picture, which is likely one that everyone thought would generate the most red from me. It didn’t, though I don’t think there are any really embarrassing pictures or video for me.
There was actually another 10 year anniversary the same day, for Tom Austin. He got a nice bike to ride, and got to share an embarrassing karaoke video with the company. Tom definitely turned red.
It’s interesting because I’ve known our CEO for almost the entire lifetime of his company, since 2002. He was the first customer of mine at SQLServerCentral and now almost 16 years later I’m working for him.
He had some nice things to share, and I also got to stand up and speak for a few minutes about my memories and the times I’ve enjoyed with the company. It was nice.
I also got a large custom card, full of photos. Some memories from it:
A goofy picture at some event. I saw a camera and made a face. It’s also neat to see myself dressed up for our annual awards at Christmas.
So much of my time at Redgate has been events, many of which have gone off amazingly well thnks to the efforts of Annabel (center below). She and I have traveled all over the world to lots of cities, venues, restaurants, and even a few running trails. My boss, Alice (below right) has been to a few, and we’ve shared lots of good times. Sometimes that wears me out.
SQLServerCentral is most of my career, but I definitely to get the chance to interact with customers and talk about our products. Of course, I’m on lots of stages, some of which are like speaking in a movie theater, which I’ve done as well.
The great Grant photo, but also some good trade show memories. My wife on stage with me at the Christmas awards. I’m thankful for all her support.
The current evangelism team. It’s a goo done. Not sure where I got that hat, but it certainly fit with my outfit at the Pass Summit. I also have enjoyed the times I’ve traveled with Carly to lots of events. She is amazing, and I miss her support and work ethic this year as she’s on maternity leave. At least she came to the office one day and let me hold little Elliot for an hour.
I assume the top photos are from our 2012 SQL in the City tour of the US. The second one certainly is Chicago. Another great awards photo, which I was honored to host with our CEO last year.
And the infamous horse photo. For one of our promotions, we wanted some different shots around Cambridge. At one point we went to a playground, and me being me, I jumped on a tow horse. The photo guy took at bunch after being slightly shocked at my antics.
We track these dates and a month or so before, the person’s manager needs to start collecting stories and planning a meeting for the employee’s anniversary. It’s a combination of a tribute and a roast, which the employee gets some input into. They pick their gift, since we want them to have something they’ll use. They also get to decide who comes, the entire company, one group, etc.
What’s strange with me is that I don’t know a ton of people in Cambridge, since I’m in and out, and we’ve had decent turnover. The guy that had his party an hour before me invited quite a few people, maybe 50-60. One of our popular IT guys had probably the whole company in Cambridge, well over 100 people, for his event a year or two ago.
I also can’t always remember who I know and don’t know, and it’s been a busy spring, so I decided to stick with my small Marketing group. I was more concerned I’d think to invite 20 people and then forget about 10 more, so a small ceremony for me. That’s fine, since I don’t love the individual accolades.
The work, which is a few people at random times across a month, and a few others that stop to think about their time with the employee and share stories, isn’t a lot, but it’s also not insignificant. This is a distraction, but it also helps us bond and be a little closer, celebrating a milestone together.
More companies could learn from this. It’s probably a $1000 ceremony with the gift, and certainly with the CEOs time, but it’s worth it.