Luckily, there were a few outlets provided by the City Manager’s Office to build connections with staff members outside of the mandatory, in-office relationship. Not only is this beneficial for the comfortability in the office, but also the efficiency of the department.
One very unique gathering the office organizes on a monthly basis is called the City Manager’s Dutch Luncheon. This is an opportunity for anyone from City Hall to spend an hour, over lunch, with the City’s Manager and other inter-department colleagues to get to know one another or even give suggestions or concerns. I ended up being able to attend one during the first month of my internship and it was really great being able to meet people who worked in Fire, PD, HR, Engineering, and the City Clerks Office and learn about their day-to-day work lives. I also had a great conversation with the City Manager, John Gillison, which was fairly important considering the fact I was interning in his office. Although this was a lunch experience surrounded by a bunch of full-grown and established adults, I thought it was a really valuable experience and I was happy to do it.
Another little gathering my specific department held was a Staff Get-Away Lunch. Usually these lunches take place after a new restaurant is open in town and luckily there was during my internship period! We went to an “adult arcade” style eatery to munch and bowl. It was great to get out of the work environment and have some fun together as a department– the outing even ran a little long. That lunch really connected me with a lot of staff I hadn’t known too well so it was an extremely beneficial event.
Putting myself out there at these gatherings was a little challenging since everyone was already very well acquainted, but after I did, I felt a lot more comfortable and welcome in the office.