Fun with my colleagues at our district office

How often don't we work with people for years then we don't even know who they truly are?

I am in the same boat. I often do not have time to bond with my colleagues from other sections in our district. Besides my being located at one of our satellite offices, I rarely make contact with many of them because we have so many different sections. Take for example, my colleagues in the corporate services component, the ones who help to ensure that our schools receive financial management support. Now and then we see one another and exchange pleasantries.

On one occasion I arrived very early for a meeting with a colleague in the Corporate Services Department.. The other colleagues and I started chatting about all kinds of things - the weather, our children, life at the coalface and life in general. The mood was jovial and as time passed, we became more relaxed. Eventually I had to run out of their office to be on time for my meeting.
That pleasant exchange we had changed the dynamics of our relationship.

Recently I was part of the jersey knitting initiative, where we were going to knit jerseys for the 150 children at the Steinthal home in Tulbagh. I advertised the campaign at the district and a few colleagues joined by sponsoring wool. Then one day, I received an e-mail from Uline Goliath, one of our School Corporate officers, informing me that their team was going to be part of the #Jerzy4kidz campaign. As time progressed,Uline sent me a mail, elated that Ruth, who has never knitted a jersey was going to try to knit one for the children at the Steinthal Children's Home in Tulbagh. We celebrated Ruth's knitting journey. Then I was informed that we can expect six jerseys from the team. Soon after an excited Uline informed me that we can expect nine jerseys! I was over the moon. Things were hotting up and we were just loving it. I couldn't wait for our meeting and our own jersey handover ceremony!

Finally today arrived, where we agreed to meet for the jersey handover by the team. What a glorious occasion it was. There we had Michelle with her crossover orange creation, Ruth with her green gift sporting a fabulous cable in the centre, Andrea with her pink and blue designer knits, Florence with her beautiful knitted showpiece and Uline with her four stunning creations. I was in seventh heaven. Other colleagues joined in the excitement, Colleagues from the specials schools unit floated in and out to come and admire the amazing designer outfits splashed across the desks. Even Vuyo our courier and Fairuz, the secretary, came to celebrate the handover.

We laughed and enjoyed our camaraderie. The noise attracted more visitors and admirers of the jerseys. Then it was time for the photoshoot and quickly the information centre young man was roped in as photographer. Even he got caught up in the activity, taking various pictures and juggling all the cameras shoved into his hands.

"I am really enjoying this, said our impromptu photographer. Any other shoots still? Can you guys set your cameras and place it here, please? " He was owning his new portfolio, calling the shots and we obliged.
During all this excitement, Flo said: " now you can see, Sharon, we are versatile. We have many skills, we can do a lot of stuff. We are not just paper pushers." Florence's colleagues agreed boisterously, and Refilwe donned a dramatic stance to underscore the point.

I must add that Florence repeated her refrain at regular intervals during all our frivolity. And, her point stuck. Flo made absolute sense. Often we live past our colleagues and we do not realise that they have so many gifts, talents and energy that they are willing to share with us - if we allow ourselves to.

This is the kind of collegiality that we should encourage in our workplaces. We should feel a sense of belonging. We have to look after our wellbeing in the workplace by creating spaces to get to know one another better.

I had glorious fun and dollops of blessings today... Thanks, Uline and all my other colleagues for transforming my day and making the rest of the day one enjoyable experience.


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