Today was my last day at Service Ideas.

I started working there in 2009 – a Graphic Designer with no marketing experience whatsoever hired on to be a Marketing Communications Specialist. To say I was terrified would be an understatement, but I was also excited at the opportunity being given to me.

Just a fresh-faced young pup
Just a fresh-faced young pup

Over the course of the next 5.5 years, I learned a lot during my tenure at Service Ideas. Within my first year, I memorized our entire product line. I could rattle off product codes, tell you how many parts were available for any particular product, and sometimes even what country it was made in.

My second year of employment, I brought the catalog project in-house and designed it from cover to cover. To date, it is still one of my proudest achievements.

I started blogging for the company in 2010, and have been blogging ever since. I would like to think that my general tone has been consistent throughout my blogging career. I met a number of interesting fellow bloggers during my time at Service Ideas and will miss interacting with them.

I was very lucky to be able to travel as part of my job. I was able to attend 4 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Shows, 3 Catersource Shows, 2 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) events, and 2 North American Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) shows. I will never forget being able to experience Portland and hope to one day have a chance to make it back again.

Melissa, me, Tina and Megan

I was also very fortunate to work with some truly wonderful people. Over the course of the years, I’ve seen my fair share of friends come and go. First Susan, then Quinn, then Heidi and John. Each loss hit me harder and harder, but I was still so grateful for everyone who was still around.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to your coworkers and friends. I have often shared the thought that whether you want it or not, your coworkers become an extended part of your family, because you see them sometimes more than your own. With that thought in mind, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the idea that I will not be seeing part of my family everyday anymore.

Today was a very surreal day. It didn’t feel like the last time I would walk through the doors of Service Ideas, punch in, grab a cup of Caffe Verona coffee (black) and go back to my desk to get caught up on e-mails. Despite the fact that I know it’s the end, my mind can’t quite wrap around the concept.

Not anymore, retro ad lady!

Tomorrow I will begin a new journey. I will start working at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, a local non-profit. While I was home during my maternity leave, I began kicking around the idea of working for a non-profit. I wanted the work I was doing to mean something, not just the betterment of myself. I wanted my work to better other people as well.

It’s my hope that I’ll be able to make a difference in my new role. I’m discovering that case of “first day of school” jitters – will they like me? What will I wear? Who will I talk to? What if they don’t like me?

I’ve discovered that nothing in life is ever constant – nothing is immune to change over time. It seems like 2015 is going to be the year of changes for me: new “me,” new job, and hopefully soon a new home. Change is good, and I’m eager to embrace it.

Yes, the door has closed on my time at Service Ideas, and there are parts of my job that I will miss. However, a new door has opened for me, and it’s time for me to walk through it and see where it takes me.

To close out this post, I’ll leave you with a quote I left for my coworkers. It’s one of my favorite quotes from Douglas Adams:

So long, and thanks for all the fish.