Robb's travel schedule took him to a small city just four hours outside of our own, and he invited me to tag along for the drive, the hotel stay, and a morning on my own while he is leading a training seminar.
I really had to think on this offer... run away from it all? No obligations once I get there? Breakfast buffet? A morning in the hotel lobby with my laptop? My children are safely tucked away in their home away from home (with my parents)?
Um, okay. I'm in.
As we rolled into town yesterday, our first stop was in the corporate office so Robb could prepare for his seminar in the morning. He set up chairs and tables, displayed posters and storyboards, and tested DVDs and laptop connections. In the meantime, I looked around, observing the careful things that make their office.
And that's when I happened onto the wall of Cowboys.
At this office, they present a Cowboy Award to an employee each month. After all, as they say (and have posted in their office), "A cowboy believes that if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right the first time."
Of course. My personal motto.
And on the wall, larger than life, is a collage of all their award winners. But the pictures are not just your typical mugshot of the smiling employee. Not in this town - they go all out. Each employee is dressed in western garb, holding a gun or a whiskey bottle, and posing for a picture developed in sepia tones. Some of the women are in strapless, ruffly gowns worn by the barmaids of the saloon. Some of the men are dressed in chaps and leather vests. Some of the men are smiling a goofy grin; others have embraced this as their moment to claim their inner cowboy, so they are glaring at the camera with a surly expression known only by Black Bart himself. And one was wearing his casual Friday attire, accessorized with a holster around his waist.
Everyone was wearing a cowboy hat. After all, it's the Cowboy Award.
Try as I might, I just couldn't envision this in the downtown, corporate office.
"You want us to do what? And I have to wear what? And you're going to hang it where? And how do I win this award? Okay, then. I'll steer clear of those qualifications."
Things are just different in a small town.
As I write, Robb is teaching them how to excel in customer service, and I'm camping out in the hotel lobby of their neighborhood Marriott... wishing I brought my cowboy hat.