Notes on Being a New Employee at the My Place Company Picnic

Company picnics could be stressful for new employees – all those long-time folks know each other well and can easily chat about most anything. Meanwhile, the new people are busy observing the landscape of conversation topics, balancing food plates, and are probably avoiding any causes for embarrassment, like spilling on your boss and other likely mishaps.

But the people gathered at the recent My Place Hotels outdoor party at Aberdeen’s Wylie Park quickly alleviated all those feelings of apprehension. Co-workers from all aspects of the company suddenly are on an even playing field, showing up in their shorts, summer hats, kids in tow, yard games under arms, and sporting smiles, making for an immediately pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.

Huge amounts of food, free access to adjacent activities including mini golf, go-cart racing, and all that Storybook Land has to offer also helped ease any apprehensions of the new folks.

It’s also a great time to approach company principals and have a casual chat – Ron Rivett himself was there, all smiles and open to talking about anything from the great park location and fine sunny day to the nuts and bolts of the ever-changing hotel industry.

As many might expect, Ron remains a fixture surrounded by stories and laughter at every company event.

Ron puts his employees at ease, even though the new folks perhaps can’t help being apprehensive. They try not to be star struck – never mind that a casual Google search notes him as a celebrity: “American entrepreneur known for being founder of Super 8 Motels which grew to be the largest budget hotel chain in the world…” and now the wildly successful My Place Hotels of America.

But hey, it’s a casual company picnic. Everyone is there to relax. We don’t have to tackle industry shop talk. Instead we chat about that great barbecue on the buffet, we get a cold drink, and get to know each other through sport and downtime.

My fellow My Place Social teammate Fox Fesler put it best:

“You can tell a lot about a company by the way they celebrate themselves, and it’s safe to say My Place knows how to celebrate. From delicious food and drink to kicking butt at racing go-karts, our co-workers – now quickly becoming our friends – play just as hard as they work.”

Now we know each other a little bit better, have fond memories of a sunny day in the park, and are looking forward to next-year’s get-together as well as what’s to come in between.