Summer observations lead to change in loyalty

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great excitement that I write to tender my resignation from our organization, effective immediately. While I've enjoyed my tenure among you, I've decided to accept a more appealing offer from the competition.

This other group offers a looser, more lively corporate culture and a free-flowing, collaborative working style. What's more, they've eschewed much of the red tape that defines the working experience for so many of us. I've been watching them all summer and can confidently say that for these folks, the work week is truly a breeze.

Below are but a few of the reasons that I'm leaving The Grown-ups and joining up with The Kids.

First: The Kids have adopted a superior approach to meetings. I had grown accustomed to the drudgery of checking colleagues' calendars in Outlook, sending politely professional emails, fielding RSVPs and jumping through hoops to find a time that worked. I was comfortable with this norm until I noticed that The Kids merely holler out the window. Those who are within earshot (typically their cousins who live across the street) reply immediately, and if they're available, they show up. If not - usually because their boss (Auntie Christine) said "No" - they don't.

Furthermore, it has come to my attention that my current colleagues don't actually want to attend my meetings in the first place. (What a heartbreaking thing to overhear in the men's room.) By contrast, The Kids' meetings are joyfully attended by all, as they involve bikes or a swingset or ice cream or touching some sort of exotic bug. I don't know when The Kids review the budget or discuss Performance Improvement Plans, but I haven't seen it happen yet. Perhaps they accomplish those functions via email - or two tin cans tied together with string.

Another attractive benefit The Kids have going for them is their definition of remote work. While I was thankful for the privilege of working from home or the coffee shop, The Kids are far more imaginative. This summer I've seen them conduct business at the Hinsdale Pool, Brookfield Zoo, Uniquely Thursdays and Maggie Daley Park. I've even heard rumors of an upcoming retreat to Grandpa Ron's house in Wisconsin. I don't care how luxurious the chairs are in our boardroom; they can't compete with a go-kart.

I realize that this transition will involve a steep learning curve due to the dramatic difference in staff demographics. While most of our colleagues with The Grown-ups are, in fact, grown-ups, The Kids maintain a lean, youthful org chart. From what I've gleaned from my spot in this Adirondack chair, there are three key players in our local branch. Henry, age 8, is active and hands-on, always eager to provide direction. Charlie, age 6, is an imaginative storyteller who's oozing with natural charm. Ironically, The Boss is clearly Sophie, age 19 months, as the other employees fawn over her and heed her every whim.

Last week I saw Henry take a cookie out of his own mouth and pop it into Sophie's, simply because she pointed to him and said, "Bahbah!" I've never seen that kind of company loyalty described in Harvard Business Review.

Hold on, folks. I've just chatted with Chief Executive Mommy and it seems that The Kids aren't allowed coffee. Like, ever. They are also held to a strict 7:30 bedtime and a zero-tolerance alcohol policy. Even the Boss takes mandatory naps! (A rule of dubious legality.)

Never mind, everybody. See you at the office on Monday!

- Peter Celauro is a former

contributing columnist. Readers can email him at

[email protected].