Monday, February 1, 2010

My Final Days at PETCO

By now most of you are well aware that last Friday was my last day working at Petco. I spent most of the weekend relaxing, but also reflecting on the past 13 years. As I mentioned in Saturday's post, I need to re-program my mind. Today is a new day- it is the first day as an employee of Natural Balance Pet Foods. I need to do all that normal stuff of getting my office organized and setting up my computer, new e-mail contacts, etc. Before I move on, I'd like to share photos from my last few days at the old job. In all honesty I was surprised to learn that my colleagues wanted to have a "Roast" in my honor to say farewell on Thursday. I really didn't want all the fuss, but it was important closure for the team after my long career with the company. Anyway, the festivities began on Wednesday night, when my direct team hosted a Happy Hour at a local restaurant, which was a lot of fun. Thursday was the busy day; morning exit interviews, an off-site lunch with the senior team, followed by the "Rick Rockhill Roast". The lunch room was filled with colleagues from throughout the organization, including a number of dogs who normally come to work everyday!

above: As I walked in with Sheldon (you can just see his shoulder) I was surprised by how many people showed up. It was very flattering.

above: Someone made a series of wacky posters and put my head on the images. Like this one of Saturday Night Fever. I'd throw my back out if I tried to even pose like John Travolta did...

above: then there was this Harry Potter take-off. There were several others, I just didn't get photos of them all.

above: During the Roast, various people stood up and shared semi-embarrassing (but fun) stories about me or zany memories. A surprising number were either about this blog, my fascination with wearing Ascots or all my celebrity connections. One person told the story of the time I invited Ellen DeGeneres to Palm Springs to visit for the weekend on the first time I met her.

above: I hugged a few people who came up and shared touching stories. I've left off photos of most people- I didn't have time to ask if I could post their photos.

above: One of my team members send me a box of chocolate-dipped strawberries. I ate too many of them before I took a photo of the box they came in, so I snagged this image right from the website. Wow they were good.

above: at the Roast, we feasted on chocolate cupcakes....

above: and CAKE. It was chocolate inside and really delicious. As I ate a piece I actually thought of Empress Bee, of the High Seas. I wished she lived nearby, she could have had a slice! Sheldon kept trying to stretch his pointy nose close enough to get a lick of the frosting. Fortunately I was successful in controlling him. It was a really fun afternoon. If any of my former co-workers happen to read this post, I want you to know how much I appreciate this gesture. It was one heck of a send-off and a huge honor. I was humbled by it all.
As I left the building Friday with Sheldon and Duncan, I breathed a heavy sigh and gazed up at the blue sky and smiled. It had been quite the ride.
-Rick Rockhill


BGarmon said...

The roast was lots of fun, good luck Rick.

Ben Wu said...

Wish I could have been there.

Ben Wu

grace said...

what a warm and loving send off. I can tell that you will be missed. Love the posters, and all those lovely treats. yum. Silly, I even got a little teary eyed the way you wrote this, it was perfect.

Anonymous said...

That looked fun... Reminded me of years ago when we sent our Marketing director off to the world of big pharma.... I had to say our best marketing work was done "roasting" him.

I giggle at Disco Ricky.... made me smile.

Keep those wonderful memories and enjoy making new ones at your new job. Hugs!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

mmmmmm, CAKE! *thud*

smiles, bee

A Lewis said...

It's quite obvious that you're a warm and caring man who does a fantastic job no matter where he works. Best wishes to you in your future job!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a wonderful tribute to you, Rick. How fun that they "Roasted" you and with love! I know they will miss you.
And now, on to the new job....Where will your office be located? Still in San Diego or in Palm Springs...OR...Los Angeles?
Much Good Luck, my dear...A NEW ADVENTURE BEGINS!

lime said...

glad you had such a fun sendoff after a good long run. wishing you all the best in your next venture!


Best of Luck to the new venture Rick. I can imagine the void your old friends at Petco feel this week.
Change is good even if it takes time to adjust.

Congrats and please, pass some of those cupcakes!! Schlurp!

KathyA said...

What a great send-off! I particularly like the posters -- so good of you to give John Travolta his movie start!
Very cold here (still) -- we're waiting for more snow tonight.
I'll email you about some plans we have for SD.

LisaMarie said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that E. Rader made the Saturday Night Dance Fever and Potter posters. Looks like his handy-work. ;) Hope your first few days at the new place went well! It's weird walking by your office and it's noses sticking out of the gate to greet me! :(

snowelf said...

What a bunch of characters!! Those posters were so great. And of course, I wish you well in the new chapter of your life. :)


Diane J Standiford said...

Congrats on your new path! Petco was a great ride, you were really loved by your co workers. (I hope you took some food along!

Diane J Standiford said...

Congrats on your new path! Petco was a great ride, you were really loved by your co workers. (I hope you took some food along!

Cheryl said...

I'm so excited for your new future! It's bright :))

Sheila said...

What a nice post about closing this chapter! May the new chapter be just as successful.


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