What do a Canadian cattleman & 90’s summer jams have to do with my new job?
August 24, 2018 by Clinton Bowman
Twenty-two years ago this summer, I experienced my first family reunion. It was a humid summer affair near the lush Ozark National Forest, and it brought together family from across the U.S. and one Canadian cattle farmer. It was the same summer that gave way to the eternal classics—Blackstreet’s No Diggity and the Smashing Pumpkins’ Tonight, Tonight. I was 12 years old.
At that age a family reunion is essentially a license for fun. For me, it meant near-limitless cake, followed (not surprisingly) by a spirited cousin dance off. It marked the first time I drove a 4-wheeler. And, I got to meet the legendary family funny man, my great-uncle, in the flesh. Yet surpassing the fun, the greatest takeaway occurred after we said our goodbyes. I left knowing that I was a part of something bigger. I was a part of a grander story. Cue the music.
Now, you may be thinking, that’s nice, but what does any of this have to do with 2A? Well, last week I had a flashback to that summer of ’96. You see, I just started at 2A in the beginning of August. Fortunately for me, only a few weeks in, I got to party down at the Meet in the Middle party, which unites 2A teammates from east and west King County at a central location on Mercer Island. For me this meant I would finally get to see nearly all the team in one place, put faces to names, and get to learn a bit more about my new team.
The party kicked off with tunes and treats under the clear summer sky. And before long we were served up choripans with a chimichurri that was alone worth the trip. The fun in the sun then continued with colleagues making diving football catches into Lake Washington, while others soaked up the rays. Ultimately, the day crescendoed with some new colorful team swag and glorious cookies.
All in all, it was an incredible Friday away from the office. But beyond the fun, I learned that this group of individuals is intent on cultivating authentic, deep connections with one another. The party was a step toward building the collective story of us, to fortify a team. Reflecting on this, I now know—as I did that summer nearly two decades ago—that I am part of something larger than I anticipated. And, I couldn’t be more excited. No diggity, no doubt.