A few days ago, I bid adieu to my beloved Pineapple People. Due to a variety of reasons, I decided to pursue other career options. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make, and probably the most difficult professional decision I’ve ever faced.
That being said, I thought I’d take a look back at the past three and a half years.
My now-former boss, Barlow, is a bit of a wild card. Passionate, creative, crazy, fun, and full of idealistic dreams that could sometimes only be described as insane. Like the time he wanted to save money on airfare, and thought that purchasing an RV and driving it to client visits would be a good idea. It wasn’t. Or the time, shortly after I started working for him, when he wanted me to try to book a private jet to fly him home in time to see his son’s ballgame. The only issue with that? It was nearly 7 p.m. On a Friday. And he was in Chattanooga. That’s one of the few harebrained schemes that I couldn’t make happen for him.
On the bright side, the Pineapple lifestyle is an amazing one. I got the chance to cross a couple more states off my list, making trips to Oregon and Alabama for the first time. In Minneapolis, we were introduced to the magic of the “Jucy Lucy” cheeseburger (yes, it’s spelled that way) at Matt’s Bar. In Alabama, we were taught about boiled peanuts by the locals. In Oregon, we stayed at a beautiful cabin with a river in the backyard. I got to hike Multnomah Falls and drink a beer in downtown Portland. In Florida, I stayed in numerous beachfront properties and made a deep-sea fishing trip a success by actually catching a couple fish. I had the opportunity to indoor skydive in Orlando and see a million alligators on an airboat ride through a swamp. And a dead cow. But we won’t go there. I made my seventh trip to Vegas and won $40 on roulette. I drove for 16 hours to Nashville, through the night, only to arrive at 3 a.m. and catch an 8 a.m. flight home. But we stopped at Graceland along the way. And as much as I despise Elvis, I’m glad I can say I’ve been there. After a shoot in Connecticut, we took a detour to Manhattan and I spent the evening with two wonderful friends exploring and indulging in our own version of a pub crawl.
On my first day at the company, I didn’t know much about advertising. After all, I’m a PR girl. But I learned a lot, and I learned it quickly. My responsibilities grew by the day and I thrived on the pressure and the challenges. On the other hand, I think it may be a relief to not get emails at all hours of the day and night, and not have to cut short personal weekend excursions in order to be back for a work function.
I learned about media buying, and now I know how important it is for the proper TV commercial to air at the proper time. I learned about bookkeeping, which terrified me at first. I learned all of the ins and outs of making commercials, and how essential it is to hire the best talent available for the job. I’m no longer petrified at the thought of having lunch with a stranger, and I can make small talk with the best of them. I know more about the auto industry than I ever dreamed I would. I’ve been in probably 40 commercials. But the most important piece of advice that Barlow ever gave me was “If you’re trying to do something and you run into a wall, don’t bounce off; break through.” Bottom line: I learned how to make the impossible, possible.
I met so many fantastic people in the past few years. From clients to media reps, car people, jewelry people, furniture people, actors, artists and computer geeks, graphic designers and editors and sound technicians, I’ve expanded my circle of friends by the hundreds. This doesn’t even include the Pineapple People, who I came to love and trust as my own family. The Pineapple circle is a tight one, that encompasses a unique and special culture. I’m saddened that my time has come to an end, but I look forward to my new adventure.
Pineapples, you’ll always hold a special place in my heart.