bill berry

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Happy Static Electricity Day

My first day at Tacoma Power and TPU was January 9, 2012.

I didn’t apply at first. The headhunter called me a second or third time and told me there was more to the job than the way it had been described. I thought for sure I’d blown the interview by speaking my truth instead of giving the answer they wanted to hear. It took a few weeks before they contacted me, but I got the job. Flew to SeaTac. Started the job.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but January 9 is Static Electricity Day. Looking back, it’s clear that I’ve been causing static at the electric company for ten whole years. I’ve got some stories to tell. Stories about:

  • Success
  • Failures
  • Lessons learned
  • Books read
  • Books and ideas shared
  • Presentations given
  • Training taken and shared
  • Workshops facilitated
  • Relationships developed and deepened
  • Wonderful 1on1 conversations (I like those the best!)

I really needed the job, and it came along at just the right time. But it wasn’t just about the money.

In the last ten years, we’ve saved millions for our customers. We’ve worked hard at innovating, maybe more than the organization could take advantage of. And building a strong, cohesive, and caring team. The work has been challenging, but I like challenges. It’s been gratifying.

My first boss, the one who hired me, asked me a question as he was about to retire, a trick question: “Can you thrive here?” I really wish I’d answered with a question. Sometimes a question is a suggestion, in this case, that maybe I’m in the wrong place. Alas, I answered instead of asking.

Thriving takes work, and I’ve really worked at it. There have been a lot of ups and some seriously down downs. And I’m still standing. Still causing static.

You know, #workingonit!!!