The small company where I have been working for the past year and a half or so (at first full-time, later part-time) had some traditions. Whenever someone had a birthday, there was a birthday cake (usually chocolate) and a card signed by everyone. On Fridays, a bunch of us would go out for lunch together at a local pub or restaurant (usually the Lions Pub near Coal Harbour). On Chinese New Year, we would all go out for Dim Sum at a local restaurant. There was a summer picnic, often at Kits or Jericho Beach, and during the holiday season, a nice Christmas buffet dinner downtown. I did make it for one non-annual tradition, an ‘offsite team-building event’, which was mainly an excuse for us all to indulge in go-cart racing (which was a blast!) The first day I started with the company, I experienced one of the traditions the company had for anyone leaving (which was fairly rare), a farewell lunch at a nearby restaurant. Following a certain circular pattern, today, at the company RIPE B2B, I attended a farewell lunch, only this time it was for me.
While there were some times when I found it painful not to have not enough to do at RIPE (and I have no idea why it was always spelled like an acronym), and it’s a shame that it didn’t pan out as the place where I would be able to spend the rest of my career, I’m still glad to have worked there. In retrospect, the familial scale of the company (about 12–15 people) in an old converted building in Gastown meant that I was able to work on some small projects while the rest of our life in a new city, coast and country began to sort itself out. The bus commute was short and easy, and I could frequently leave work and go straight to a concert, Gamelan rehearsal or lecture.
I got to meet and work with a lot of smart, friendly people. I hope they all do well, and the new project that they are working on ends up becoming a big success. Even if it’s not a huge smash-hit and they don’t get bought out by some bigger company, I hope most of all, that they keep having those little traditions.