This picture is me back at the office afterwards, trying to be humble and humorously anonymous (while still showing off). What's funny is that someone who doesn't have a problem showing off, art director Kathleen, is snapping the pic and simultaneously making model-eyes at the camera, which you can see if you take a second look at the reflection in the plaque.
Anyway, back to me. That's our CEO and founder, Roy presenting me the award. Okay, mock presenting me the award. We had to recreate it on the stage after the luncheon, because everyone was having so much fun at my flabbergasted expense at the "trickery" they played on me. That, and Roy, who is such a heartfelt and inspiring speaker gave the best speech ever, so everyone was too focused and dramatically hushed to do anything else.
Afterwards, I had attendees coming up and saying "wow, he doesn't like you at all does he?" (but sarcastically, of course). Or coming up and saying "I almost cried," or "you sure are lucky to have such a great boss" (not sarcastically those times). And, yes, I am.
I also have really fantastic coworkers and friends. Back at the office that afternoon the champagne cork was popped and the embarrassingly nice and funny and poignant comments started flowing. They were all captured in this neat little flipbook with everyone's pictures and and respective quote about me. This was one of the funniest remarks (especially since I love this movie scene):
"You know that scene in 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' where the bad guy has a villager all chained up and he reaches in and pulls out the dude's still-beating heart and holds it in his hand? That's what Tara does when I need her help. My random, shapeless concepts are the metaphorical shirtless chest of the hapless villager and Tara's laser-accurate, strategic, creative brain is the metaphorical magic, still-beating-heart-removing hand of the bad guy."
The cover of the book is appropriately titled to go with a hardcore comment like that one – but there were also other simply sincere and memorable words from people who don't always have a chance to say them, since I'm usually walking really fast through the office, or scowling at my computer screen, or talking too fast for anyone to get a word in otherwise.
So thank you Karla, Holly, Mickie, Jentry, Kriste, Brian, Kathleen, Liz, Brett, Phillip, Daniel, Lynn, Pam, Caroline, Kande, Felina, Hallie, Amanda, Jamie and Misty.
Roy, I don't mention you again, because it would be ridiculously redundant. I thank you for Third Degree's existence, which is such a big part of what defines mine.