Having never been to a company picnic, the initial concept had me of two minds. On the one hand, a good deal of my social circle consists of colleagues, so that's not so bad. On the other hand, well, let's say there are some folks I'm content to spend 40 hours a week with, and that's all. I'm sure the feeling is mutual.
However, morale and camaraderie being important and all that, I went out to the nearby suburbs this weekend for a barbecue at the weekend retreat of our interim CEO, Julia Taft. I was also enticed by the promise of this taking place on a farm, and there being the possibility of saying hello to some livestock of sorts.
Pulling up to Julia's farm was rather impressive. It's set back from the road by a long driveway, and the grounds consist of lots of wooded hills and tennis courts and a pool and horses grazing away. One couldn't help but be impressed with the perks that being the former head of a major development agency of the U.N. (such as Julia was) can bring, but a chance sighting on the refrigerator door provided a bit more context. As I was storing my cheesecake in the fridge, I noticed an engagement announcement clipped from the Post pertaining to Julia and her huband Will's son, William Howard Taft V. Ah. Those kinda Tafts. At the conclusion of the afternoon, I congratulated myself on not once attempting to impress Julia's husband that I knew that his great-granddaddy was the dude what got stuck in the tub. Oh, DC...
Impressive pedigrees aside, Julia and Will were lovely in letting the InterAction hoi polloi take over their nineteenth-century farmhouse. The InterAction staff are an eclectic bunch: our Iranian IT guy comandeered the grill, making Persian style meat and fuming about his team's recent loss to Portugal in the World Cup. Our Afghan and Sri Lankan admin. staff took their kaftans and hijabs down to the tennis courts for a spell. The metrosexual member services director parked his Suburban Assault Vehicle out front and played with his kids in the pool. The septuagenarian former Ambassador to Somalia, and current InterAction VP, brought a Honeybaked Ham. And the red-headed, sunscreen-slathered midget joined her fellow twenty-something wonks-in-training in prancing about the grounds, discussing the finer points of swimming pools and cheese doodles with the scion of Presidents. An unusual way to spend an afternoon, but not a bad one.