This week we’re going to talk about one of my favorite topics: Community.
On Tuesday, I attended a department head meeting and afterward I spoke with Sybil and another woman–I’m going to call her CJ because it’s easier and I’m watching the West Wing. “CJ” started talking about how during her first week with the county she had an illness in her family which required flexibility with her schedule and the need to take time off.
She talked about how thankful she was for the outpouring of support–volunteer leave and coworkers reassuring her to take care of herself and her family–and this moment really stuck with me. This for me said a lot about the organization. I already had positive feelings about Person County, and it was nice to hear other stories and see that message being reinforced throughout the organization. In addition, from an HR and org theory perspective, this was a good moment for reflecting on culture. Many organizations wouldn’t have been as flexible or supportive and I am happy to have selected an organization that cares for its people–and considers the people within as family.
Now I want to shift and talk about this community. My commute from Durham to Person County is roughly 50-55 minutes depending on traffic. During my commute, I have been listening to “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer (I’ve linked to her Ted Talk that preceded the book). In it, Amanda talks about her experiences as a street performer and the connections she built with random people walking by. Amanda also talks about her love of couch and crowd surfing and the connections she builds by asking of others.
I’ve thought about this a lot as I’ve tried to increase engagement on Person County’s Facebook page. I’ve been trying to mix up our content and engage with our audience (with minor success). So I’m going take a lesson from Amanda and pilot a new strategy here. I am asking you to connect with me. Leave some comments and let me know what you want to hear or see. I want to hear your local government stories and lessons you’ve learned as well. Let’s build this community.
Also, check out my fellow bloggers:
Heather is doing some awesome education policy work in Raleigh looking at teacher salary supplements and eligibility requirements for the Opportunity Scholarship;
Adora spent some quality time with–and gained a new appreciation for– city planners in Zebulon;
Ashley helped keep Rocky Mount fire safe on her visit to the fire department;
and Lindsay worked hard to plan an event in Albemarle that promotes civic engagement and engages young people.