Here to stay

I am celebrating the start of a new chapter in my life…actually, it’s probably less of a new chapter and more of a sequel.

Because on Monday, after working in a totally different industry for the past two years in Marin, I’m going back to work at the Petaluma Visitors Program – and I couldn’t be happier.

That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for what I gained in the time I was away from the PVP. I’m coming back with skills I didn’t have before. I thought I understood multitasking but now my game has really been upped. My recent  job could was like being a Chinese circus performer that that has to keep a dozen plates spinning at once; lose focus and in a matter of minutes, it all comes come crashing to the floor. Except in my case, instead of plates, we were spinning logo’d mugs, branded tote bags or embroidered jackets.

I also learned how to press forward – in a gracious but determined way – until you get the answer you need. And because the company differentiated itself by providing outstanding customer service, I’ve learned how to always communicate a smile over the phone.

But what I didn’t have in my job in Marin was relationships and a community…where the people are more important than the bottom line. When I left the PVP in 2013, I was choking back tears as I said goodbye to the staff and volunteers. That’s how much these people meant to me.

But when I said my goodbyes on Friday, it just wasn’t that hard because I didn’t have the same kind of emotional connection. Now I understand how wonderful it is to develop a community within the workplace. It adds so much fulfillment and gratification to work with people who you really care about. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to reconnecting and rebuilding relationships with the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Visitors Center.

And, it’s going to be an exciting time to be promoting Petaluma as a destination. There are new hotels in the works, the SMART train will start running in 2016 with a ticketing station right at the Visitors Center, Lagunitas is expanding, and winery tasting rooms are starting to pop up downtown. And we know how much Petaluma loves events. You’d be hard pressed to find a weekend on the calendar that doesn’t have a festival or fair happening in Petaluma…so there will be plenty to talk about.

If this wasn’t reason enough to be rejoicing, I won’t have to commute! Sure, it’s been fascinating to watch the amazing “Bigge” cranes that always remind me of a book I used to read to our son when he was little; it was titled “Machines as Big as Monsters.” But adding two hours a day to my life because I won’t be sitting in traffic on 101? I will be much less cranky. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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