Where in the Office is the Kurt Cutout Hiding?

By Cori Wixon – 

In the Patientco office we have recently added a new team member that loves a good sneak attack. Lurking in doorways, hiding in the shadows, ready to scare the unsuspecting Patientco employee or guest, lies a life-sized cardboard cutout of Buddy the Elf with a superimposed face of our CFO, Kurt Lovell.  

I (mostly) blame the engineers for taking it upon themselves to find the places in the office most likely to make me jump when rounding the corner to find myself face-to-face with an elf-costumed Kurt.

While most find it funny, the occasional grumble is heard by someone startled before they drank their morning coffee. But if we take a step back, the mischievous cutout says so much about our culture. Despite the fact that we solve difficult and challenging problems every day, we always take the time to have fun as a group.

The cardboard cutouts arrived at Patientco during a surprise birthday party for Kurt’s 40th birthday last month. The fact that we not only celebrate birthdays, but do so with cardboard cutouts and a margarita machine says far more about our unabated embrace of our zany employees than any website or testimonial ever could. Our CEO said it best when he stated “We are quirky and proud of it”.

In study of the cutouts, other testaments to our culture arise. Patientco’s early risers have already relocated our trusty Elf by the time I arrive at the office every morning. Come my time to go home for the day, someone else has inevitably moved the cutouts to another locale. And another person will probably move it on their way out of work at 8pm. It’s teamwork at it’s finest.

Also, the varied comings and goings prove that Patientco has a work life balance many other companies claim, but do not actually practice. Rather than force everyone to sit at their desk from 9 am-5 pm, we recognize people have a life outside of work that sometimes requires flexibility. We are asked to work hard and always give 100% effort. For some, best work is produced at 12 pm, others at 6 am, and every hour in between. We choose quality work over clocked hours on a strict time table. We often forget how lucky we are to work somewhere that complements, not competes with our personal commitments.

We are lucky to work at a company that not only embraces our quirks, but encourages a culture built around our unique sense of humor and lifestyle.

So the question still remains. Where in the office is the Kurt Cutout? Last I saw, he was hiding in a conference room. But my guess is he has already found his way to another spot, patiently waiting to scare me again.

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