August 15, 2008

Last Day at RMI

My last day, probably the only day I’ve woken to rain since I’ve been here. Boulder is invariable sunny, cheerful, and warm. As if to push me on my way, a front blew in yesterday on a chill west wind, with some of the first true rainclouds I’ve seen. Normally the rain seems to skip over Boulder, where it is snuggled up against the mountains. It lands further east on the Colorado plain, over places like Greeley and Fort Morgan. Not today.

Yesterday we holed up in a little conference room far away from RMI and ran through Chapter One paragraph by paragraph, picture by picture, graph by graph. Today I have three pages of hand scribbled notes, mostly small things, typos, misaligned text, etc., but enough larger pieces to keep me busy next week as I travel. It’s all coming together and we are moving on to the next pieces of the puzzle.

We rode in the wind and the rain and the lashing trees. It was exhilarating and fun. Then we settled in for the evening at a trendy restaurant on Pearl street for wine, appetizers, and dessert. While there, we ran into other co-workers who had the same idea for entertaining some new client partners who just arrived in town. The rain let up for the walk home. I spied a long haired black and white cat coming out the front gate of one of the picturesque cottages in my neighborhood and we had a lovely chat and pet. It makes me look forward to seeing my own feline alter ego in a few short days.

This morning a few of us dashed out of the office to stand in the rain for free tulip bulbs. On the downtown Pearl Street Mall thousands of tulips bloomed this spring. Then they faded and were replaced with midsummer flowers. The city of Boulder buys new varieties of tulips every year and a two block line had formed by the time we got there to happily accept this year’s bulbs. People casually chatted under the cover of umbrellas and hoods about the best times to plant and how to propagate the precious bulbs.

I will miss this laid back office, where everyone just does their job because they want to, not because their boss is peering over their shoulder. In fact, the bosses are in such demand on so many projects that they are usually flying to far-off locales and not even in the office. People work on evenings and weekends because they have a drive to get things done, but no one bats and eyelash when someone takes off for a mid-day tulip run. We trust each other to get the work done.

This afternoon they have rolled open the garage door facing into the courtyard and fired up the grill. Even though it is raining, hamburgers and barbeque chicken keep coming. Everyone gathers just inside while David, the HR manager, braves the rain to keep the hot food coming. A small crew of workers here to install some new office furniture take advantage of the generosity to dig in and join the conversations taking place over key lime pie.

Today is my last day in this office, but I am looking forward to the next few weeks. Tomorrow I load my car for the long road back. I have a little free time yet before school starts and my life tries once again to go spinning off the rails.

I’ll be back soon; I’m not that easy to get rid of.

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