Volunteering as a team during the holidays is a Referential tradition. As we did last year, we sorted food with the FOODBasket Food Sorting team of The Health Trust. We sorted and helped with storage and display of fresh produce which is offered to their AIDS Services and Family Resource Center clients. The photo shows just part of the food we helped process. We are in the heart of Silicon Valley, a place of great wealth, but also of great need, as this paragraph from The Health Trust website makes crystal clear:
Silicon Valley is a place of innovation, opportunity and affluence. On average, it is one of the healthiest, wealthiest places in the world. But not all residents of Silicon Valley share in that wealth – or that health. More than 13 percent of children in Santa Clara County are living in poverty. More than half of the adults are overweight or obese. Nearly half of the county’s older adults are considered impoverished. More than 19,000 adults and youth are homeless.
Our time as a team is one way we can help contribute to their vision of a healthier Silicon Valley for everyone.
The year is going so quickly, hard to believe that today is the first day of Fall. Even in sunny California the weather has turned a bit cooler, a leaf or two is about to change color, and pumpkin spice is ubiquitous.
In the Southern Hemisphere it’s the first day of spring so our two team members on their way to Australia will experience another week of warmth and sunshine! We hope they have a chance to enjoy it between rounds of customer interviews and filming. Here, we will sip a pumpkin spice latte or two to usher in the new season!
It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.
–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Hard to believe it but school is about to begin for our interns, and school starting is often seen as the sybolic end of summer. It’s been great having them with us. Two are employees of one of our clients, which we have hosted in our office, and one we claim as our very own. So many benefits, for both them and us.
They have learned much of the ins and outs of customer advocacy but that’s only the beginning. With very little experience in an office beforehand they also learned communication skills, how to dress, business etiquette for meetings, and that lunch with your friends might allow for a different set of manners than when in a work setting. They all go to great colleges but there is a lot about day to day behavior in the workplace that they have no way to learn until they are in the workplace!
We benefit as well. Nothing like having your documentation tested by someone with fresh eyes and that has never used any of the referenced applications! We’ve been able to accomplish much more with their help. While we might have to do some teaching or reviewing they have been able to contribute from day one, allowing us to get to ‘wish list’ projects. Having interns also provides a growth opportunity for Referential staff. Mentoring others is valuable experience and we did match each intern to staff for the bulk of their work.
Being honest, we’re looking for a great pool of talent to help us not only in the summer but throughout the school year and just possibly to join Referential, or one of our clients, once they graduate. We’ve had interns for years and the set we have now is great, we’ve been very happy to work with them. And we must thank them for introducing us to a wonderful fried chicken restaurant, another benefit!
Two of the team are headed to Belgium. After a grueling day of travel, which includes a quick stop in Iceland and a multi hour drive, they will arrive in Belgium. One of our clients has customers there and wants interviews and video which we’ll turn into video testimonials, quotes, case studies and more. The team is taking what looks like thousands of pounds of camera and lighting equipment, plus all their personal items, carefully packed into many rolling, hard sided suitcases and two backpacks.
Their time in Belgium is completely booked, and short, as they return to the US late Friday. While they likely will have no time for sightseeing we have been lobbying that they return with Belgian chocolates for the office!
Not too long ago we got a mailer from the local Yogurtland. “Employee savings inside. Post immediately.” They sent coupons for each employee to receive their first 3 ounces free. If you’ve never been, and some of us hadn’t, you choose frozen yogurt from a variety of flavors, filling your cup with as much or as little as you’d like. Then it’s off to the toppings and boy do they have a lot of toppings. Everything from versions of candies to nuts to lots of different types of fruit. On top of your yogurt you add your toppings, again as much or as little as you’d like.
The coupons entitled us to the first 3 ounces of each person’s free and, as a nice treat on a hot day, the company paid for the balance and we had a team meeting sitting in the sun! It was interesting to see the choices everyone made. Most of us sampled two flavors of yogurt and the toppings ranged from a tiny bit of candy for one to quite a few lychee for another. It was all delicious.
Thank you Yogurtland!