My work family got together last night to say farewell to Alec, who you see above posing with the owner, Jason. We had appetizers and drinks at a pub, and had a great time with employees past and present sharing stories of how intimidated/scared/worried/etc. they were when Alec first started as manager.
Alec is moving to the D.C. area with her husband, Eric. Eric just got a job with the secret service, and have been waiting for months to get the word of when to be at training. They leave IL on Wednesday and will be in Maryland for who knows how long.
Here is Alec with the apron I made her, to remind her of Common Grounds (there have been lots of compliments on the aprons I've brought in to wear), and to help her on her domestic adventure. Alec is excited to have "lots and lots of babies" and be a stay at home mom. I told her to let me know when she gets pregnant so I can come see her in her mama glory, and get to sewing on a baby sling for her.
Here are some of the troops. Above is Nikki and her boyfriend Roger. Below is Alanna, the former manager before Alec, and her husband Jeremy. She and I got along swimmingly. She moved to IL in 2005 also, and she was teasing Dan and I that even though our plans are to move out of this area when he is done with school, you never know how you will be sucked into a place - she and Jeremy swore they would leave too, but they just bought an old house and are fixing it up. I'm hoping to see more of her and share more stories. She seems wonderful.
Alec is amazing. In the quick six weeks since I started, she and I have become quite close. She really is my only friend down here, and having her move is both exciting and lonesome. She is herself at all times, and I've never seen her be ungenuine. She is funny and big hearted, but has a tendency to rub people the wrong way because she doesn't tolerate rudeness or being taken advantage of, which reminds me of Ciara, which is comforting.
This is Jordan with Alec. Jordan is just a sweet girl. She helped organized all of the the evening's events. She came in to work on Alec's last day so Alec was free to talk to regulars and hug and cry. All of which happened.
Below is Jason with managers, past, recent past, and future. I'm glad there is a history of having people who stay in touch, as I can already tell my next year here will make a lot of these people dear to me.
Alec with MJ (above) and below are Maria, Alec and MJ. The only person that couldn't make it was Izabel, as she was working the shop. All girls! I told Jason that I wasn't used to working with so many girls - he just shurgged and said I'd get used to it.
So now I'm no longer the Manager-in-waiting. Starting Monday I've got to keep all the balls in the air. Yay!