Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Arrow Road

They told me when I started working there that I'd never work at a place like that again. 

And I think for the most part I probably doubted that. What was so special about this place anyway? 

But this week as one of our team members passed away, it made me think back on my time that I worked above a little a little PR agency tucked away on Hilton Head Island..on Arrow Road
It was my first job out of college and, as they say, a "stone's throw" from the beach. I had interned over the summer and, following a boy back to our hometown, found it to be the perfect job after graduation. 

My office sat right above the ovens in the bakery so in the summer the smell of fresh cookies would sift up in the afternoons and in the fall pumpkin and pecan pie would fill the air. I shared my office with a newly hired graduate from Appalachian State named Katie and we quickly became best buds.....our days mingled with equal parts work and gossip. 
Me and Katie at her wedding

The work wasn't the glamorous advertising scenes you see in Mad Men. In fact, it was far from it....we worked on every kind of account from a husband and wife who had a dream of opening a "crazy straw" business to a clinic that did mass spaying and neutering of dogs and a mobile trailer.
We named desserts for the bakery such as the "Rooty Tooty Fresh & Fruity Fruit Cake"
We launched a ballroom dancing company
And got many a local into City or School Counsel 
and once.....once we even hit it "big time" doing the PR for HGTV's Green dream house which landed in our town. We met Carter Oosterhouse and I remember smartly dressing in a green skirt, green shirt and green shoes....since it was the "green house." Facepalm. 

But we had fun. We were a family. 

We celebrated birthdays and weddings and babies and kids going off to college. We ate lunch together in the conference room nearly every day. We gathered together to ooooh and aaaah over dates and plan out outfits. We cried together over breakups and un-returned phone calls. We looked at endless pictures of vacations and pets and babies. 

We made silly videos and dressed up for Halloween. And we sat in our boss's and VP's offices piled high with dusty books from an era when books were your go-to for information rather than the easy access of Google. Offices whose walls were crammed with crookedly hung black and white photos from the glory days of the agency and of these men's youth. A big box fan sat in the corner to cool off the space on days when the A/C just wasn't enough to breech the heat of the beachfront summers. 
Copy & Paste Halloween Costumes.....classic!

It was not "national accounts." It was not the "dream job" in which I now sit but, looking back, it was some kind of special....with a group of some of the most special people I've ever known. And I see now how true it was when they said I'd never work in a place like that again. 

We'll miss you Porter. 
XO, A 


Jenna said...

It looks and sounds like a wonderful office to work in. So sorry for your loss - will be thinking of you and all other who were touched by him.


Katie said...

I'm sorry ashley. that sounds like such a great job and what great memories you have too. and i'm sure you looked cute in your all green outfit. :)

P!nky said...

Sending you love and prayers today. He sounds like an amazing man and it sounds like an amazing first job! xoxo

megan said...

So sad. Sorry about your friend. Co-workers turn into family!

Lindsay said...

Sounds like pretty cool place to work, it will always be something special, as are the people you worked with. I'm sorry to hear about your friend, that is rough. My thoughts are with you today.

Whitney said...

so sorry to hear about the loss of a friend :( Its never easy- but it does make you think long and hard about life and how precious it really is. I recently lost a great friend at an early age, and i kept asking God "Why?" . Then my mom told me that the reason may be to remind everyone that's still here with us to take advantage of life. Hope your day is filled with memories or Porter :)- Whitney

Katie said...

Aw, so sorry friend. I have some great memories of old jobs too..they totally shape us I think! :) thinking of you.

katie michelle said...

This is such a sweet post. Sounds like a great job with even better people. Lots of hugs, my dear.

My-cliffnotes said...

Sorry about your friend, this post is so sweet!


Jessie said...

Very well written post. Sorry to hear about your loss