Sep 15 2011

Why We Occasionally Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Why We Occasionally Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day

No kidding – next Monday is September 19, and that is, among other things, International Talk Like a Pirate Day. We’ve done a variety of things to celebrate it over the years, not the least of which was a series of appropriately-themed singing telegrams we sent to interrupt all-hands meetings.  I can’t remember why we ever started this particular thing, but it’s one of many for us.  Why do we care?  Because

We are serious and passionate about our job and positive and light-hearted about our day

This is another one of Return Path’s philosophies I’m documenting in my series on our 13 core values.

I’m not sure I’d describe our work environment as a classic work hard/play hard environment. We’re not an investment bank. We don’t have all 20something employees in New York City. We’re not a homogeneous workforce with all of the same outside interests. So while we do work hard and care a lot about our company’s success, our community of fellow employees, solving our clients’ problems, and making a big impact on our industry and on end users’ lives, we also recognize that “playing hard” for us means having fun on the job.

It’s not as if we run an improv comedy troop in the lunch room or play incessant practical jokes on each other (though I have pulled off a couple sweet April Fool’s pranks over the years). But as the value is worded, we try to set a lighthearted and positive atmosphere. This one is a little harder to produce concrete examples of than some of our other core values that I’ve written up, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important.

Whether it’s talking like a pirate, paying quiet homage to our unofficial mascot – the monkey, stopping for a few minutes to play a game of ping pong, or just making a silly face or poking fun of a close colleague in a meeting, I’m so happy that our company and Board have this value hard-wired in.  Life’s just too short not to have fun at every available opportunity!