Generally speaking, Information Technology techs are not known for their extreme caring and emotional depth. We are the employees most likely to be set up in a remote location of the building with a hanging water bottle. In fact, entire television series have successfully run on this assumption, including the little known, but worth a watch British sitcom The IT Crowd. Which makes it all the more amazing, that a room full of statewide IT pros attending a Tech Conference last week would be brought to tears over one colleague’s account of how a 100% Love Culture brought a County and a Community together in the most amazing ways. He simply asked us to share their story.
After debriefing over a challenging interaction with another entity, a Wasco County Administrator commented, “Welcome to County government, where 50% of the people love you, and 50% of the people love to hate you.” To which another County employee remarked, “Yes, but that’s still 100% love.” From there, Wasco County staff launched a full scale, agency-wide project to create a culture that would transform the entire way their County conducted business, both internally and externally. The 100% Love effort is more than two years underway in Wasco County, and the results are truly uplifting. You can read more about their story here, here and here.
After the conference, the wheels started turning in my head about how I could share the Wasco County story in a meaningful way with the agency that I work for. With my eyes closed, I transported myself back to being a little girl, and the 100% love that I felt all the times my Grandpa John took me for Strawberry Milkshakes for no reason at all.
Beyond the Strawberry Shakes though, he had a lot of friends and was well-liked. I can remember the easy way he interacted with strangers and made people feel good. Even as a teenager, he connected to my high school and college girlfriends, and was dearly loved by all the Ya-Ya’s. He practically hand-picked my husband, by welcoming him out to the garage and emerging to announce his official approval of a great man with a clean haircut.
Such was my grandfather’s love for a Strawberry Milk Shake that we actually served them at his Celebration of Life. Have you ever been to a Memorial Service and had a milkshake there? It was 100% Love. An intimate setting, with a packed house of people all sipping, smiling, remembering, storytelling and celebrating a man who simply took care of his family, lived a wonderful, adventurous happy life, and brought the best out in everyone around him.
So I grabbed Hamilton, and took him with me to work to share Wasco County’s 100% Love story. No, not THE Hamilton – sheesh that thing is booked solid for months! I mean Papa’s mint green Hamilton Beach Milkshake mixer.
As we gathered around the conference table to meet about rising costs, cuts and customer satisfaction surveys, everyone was treated to a Strawberry Short Shake and a February Tablescape (courtesy of the Valentine’s table runner my Mom gifted me this month, a pink vintage candy dish with mints and kisses, and Wasco County 100% Love post-its).
It was such a small gesture, but I noticed that the Strawberry Short Shakes immediately set the tone of the meeting to be one of collaboration and listening. We always do a round robin of what projects we are working on, and this time some meeting attendees publicly thanked others during their turn. It was fantastic!
Strawberry Short Shakes were obviously a hit at home too. We are so busy that anytime my family sees me in the kitchen it’s an easy sell. Short smile.
Here is the super easy recipe for Strawberry Short Shakes. You might be wondering why they are short, and it’s because a lot of folks I know are working very hard to eat and live healthy. I think more people were able to embrace a simple, small treat than they would have if these had been super-sized shakes.
Strawberry Short Shakes
What you will need:
- Strawberry Ice Cream (I used this local Umqua version which had real strawberries mixed in. Everyone loved it.)
- 2% Milk (This made the shakes just right. Not too thick or thin.)
- Whipped Cream (I used Reddiwip)
- Straws (I used red striped plastic ones I had on hand from Winco.)
- Sprinkles (You cannot forget the sprinkles! We found this out last summer during 4th of July when we set up a Hot Chocoloate bar. Olivia recommended we add sprinkles at the last minute and it made 100% difference. For these shakes I used this Wilton Sweetheart Valentine Sprinkles Mix)
- 9 Oz red plastic cups (I used these Great Party cups from Walmart)
- Blender/Mixer (Dying for the mint green Hamilton Beach mixer? I noticed there are some listed for sale on eBay. Also, Amazon has this Waring PDM112 Drink Mixer, Retro Green available online. If you wait a few years, it could be a classic too!)
Fill your mixer two-thirds of the way full with scoops of Strawberry Ice Cream, depending on how many shakes you want to make.
Add milk three-quarters of the way up to where your ice cream tops out. Blend for about 30-60 seconds, to the consistency you would like.
Pour in to your cups about 3/4 full. Quickly spray a swirl of whipped cream on top. Add a few shakes of sprinkles. Pop in a straw and serve.
Easy breezy I know, but sometimes I find that the simplest projects or recipes actually turn out the best, probably because they get done!
It’s amazing when you open your eyes how much you can see the 100% Love culture around you. Over the weekend, we happened to catch a moving ESPN special tribute to a Father and a Daughter and baseball. It is titled “The Chicken Runs at Midnight.” If that perks your interest a bit… here is a link to the story.
With that, wherever you are in the world, I wish you a Happy 100% Love Day.
P.S. For other monthly ideas on how to have a sweet day, check out the Daychanger page.
P.P.S. If you want to keep up with Windlasse, but are frustrated because I don’t have a consistent schedule for posting, you can always subscribe by e-mail at the top of the Windlasse page to have new posts delivered to your inbox.