In the email, I suggested we each write a haiku about Laura, if they'd be interested in that, and then we could make her guess who wrote which one. To my surprise, and utter delight, they jumped all over the idea.
"I've got the denim duster," one replied, alluding to something Laura had shared with them about wearing such a garment many years ago.
Because Laura is known for wearing very high-heeled shoes, another replied, "Dibs on her shoes for my topic. It'll be a haishu," she added.
Someone else wrote back saying, "If one was about sneezing, it would be a haichoo!"
After reading those responses, this feeling came over me about my new job: "These are my people. Two of my favorite things: word lovers and witty repartee."
On the day, Laura was in an all-day meeting, and we blew up 75 red balloons and after situating some moveable whiteboards to block off her workstation area, we filled it up with them.
When she eventually returned from her meeting, we yelled surprise, and I read the haikus to her, while she tried to guess who wrote each one. Here they are for your reading pleasure:
From Brandon (on the team that
En ingles ni esponol
Thanks for being you
From Matt (Zimbra is our email system):
She meets so we don't have to
Zimbra pings again
foundation beneath our feet
thus we stand as one
From Amy (alluding to Laura's running):
Stretching to the finish line
Victory is here
From Zach (who accidentally bent the little card he had on which to write his haiku, so just incorporated that in):
But our thanks are true as -- beer
Happy Boss' Day
From me (alluding to Laura's habit of twirling her hair with two fingers while she's reading or thinking; RHEL is one of Red Hat's products):
Fingers twirling hair about
From Jared (who is not a writer by trade; we had to adjust his 5-6-6 to make it 5-7-5):
Gamecock football is here. Be-
cause of the Clowney
From Ashleigh: (who debated as to whether "acid washed" should be "acid-washed"):
Trimmed with Billy Squier buttons
Were you acid washed?
With most meaningful f-bombs
All day, every day
From Arrie (who wrote the "haishoe"):
steady on her feet she runs
at break-ankle speed
A fun time was had by all, and Laura just loved the surprise!