After 20 days of the Minnesota government shutdown, I was contacted by my supervisor yesterday afternoon (July 20) to go back to work today.
The shutdown was over. The waiting was over. The anxiety was over. So was my homecation. I was happy to go back to work today. I got up early and left for work a few minutes early.
At the entrance of the Transportation building, I was, like every other employee walking in, warmly greeted by our MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel and his management team with a cheerful “Welcome back!” and a handshake or a hug. They had been waiting at different entrances shortly before 7 am when employees started to come in.
Coffee and donuts were available which added some bitter-sweet touch to the event.
Reporters from media were on site to report the event and interview people. Check out this MinnPost article MnDOT workers get a warm ‘Welcome back!’
Our office managers also handed out a hand written note from Commissioner Sorel to every employee. In the note, Sorel extended a personal welcome back and thank-you. He ended the note with “We are MnDOT!!” – a slogan and an initiative his management team created in the last couple of years.
“We are MnDOT”expresses the pride of being a MnDOT employee. “We are MnDOT” videos share stories about who we are, what we do, and what makes MnDOT great.
Later in the morning we had an office meeting to go through the checklist that the management team had worked on in the last couple of days to help employees ease back to work. Our office managers also expressed their personal welcome back and thank you.
Around 8 am, Governor Dayton stopped by at the Transportation Building to greet returning employees. At noon, he sent a thank-you note via email to all state employees.
In the afternoon at 2 pm, Commissioner Sorel and Deputy Commissioner Bernie Arseneau conducted a web cast for all employees. The web cast started with a “We are MnDOT” video. Then both leaders again welcomed everyone back to work. They shared what happened during the shutdown, talked about return to work checklists and resources, and how to resume business.
It sure felt good to be welcomed back at work and to be valued.
Thanks to Commissioner Sorel and his management team, I feel proud to be working for MnDOT and being a part of “We are MnDOT.”