It's not you, It's me
By Aimee Travis, Free Agent
Do I have your attention?
I wanted to start with a joke. If you know me, you know that’s who I am. But this means so much more to me than a laugh. Those simple words carry so much meaning when you hear them. Often it sends chills up my spine or gives me a lump in my throat but this time, it brings a sense of respect, honesty, and love.
I’ve been in a relationship with Together & Company for over five years and much like any partnership there has been a lot of great memories created and lessons learned. When I moved back to Ohio from Boulder, Colorado in 2011, I was looking for an opening in the catering world that would be a great fit for me. As much as these companies were screening me, it was just as important for me to qualify them. Together & Company was only the third company I looked at, but after seeing their mission statement, my search was over. Their personality on social media (shameless plug: follow us on Facebook & Instagram), green initiatives, plus the fact that it was a woman owned business pushed me over the top.
Hold on... my little ol' Columbus has forward thinking companies?! I mistakenly thought I was a big shot coming from a city like Boulder. Short story even shorter: they took a chance on me and I began to build my bond, and a strong relationship, with this company.
Respect, much like other traits, is one that can only be received when given and from the day I started I was told to be “firm, friendly, and fair.” This is a work ethic that I have learned a great deal from and has allowed me to build respect with everyone I come across, personally and professionally. In this customer- driven industry we are tempted to be the “yes man” and commit to things that we aren’t fully behind. When you are firm in your beliefs people see a sense of experience and passion for what you do. When you are friendly (this is an easy one for me) you create trust and better communication. When you are fair it shows that you can see both sides and want to come to an agreement… kind of like quitting your job but having the team rally around you because they know it’s the best thing for everyone.
Honesty can be a tricky thing at a work place, you never know how management, co-workers, and clients will take it. This was not an easy choice to make, but once I had decided to move on, I had to make the difficult decision of how I should tell my team. I sat down for a regular meeting with my manager and I slid the oh-so-formal resignation letter over to her. I was very honest that it was important to me to be closer to home and to explore another field. Because of this, I was given full blessings and a ton of support. In fact, everyone was signing up to write references and our leader, Angela Petro, was the first in line to coach me on resume building and interview techniques.
Love is something that comes easy here. As I mentioned before, jokes and laughter are a big part of who I am. While I am regularly trying to lift people’s spirits, this company has been able to do that for me. My TC family (including the many clients I work with) has given me a home. When times were tough in my personal life, I was given the support and encouragement I needed to get through. And I was able to do that for the others on the team, getting to know about their families, passions, and becoming a listening ear when it was needed most. For a truly strong relationship like this, it takes two… like Together & Company, haha get it!?
Of course there have been tears, but that's not who I am, nor is it the culture that Together & Company built itself on. I always try to find ways to lighten the mood because we really are a FUN company that is serious about food. This all brings me back to the famous line I started with; It’s not Together & Company that is ending this chapter - they have taught me so much - it’s me and my ambition to try something new.