Once a year in spring, usually about the time that summer is just around the corner, TestOut staffers can be found on their hands and knees digging thousands of small holes. It's not some sort of delayed celebration of Groundhog Day where we construct seasonal burrows for the prophetic earth-dwelling rodents. Rather, we team up with employees of Pleasant Grove, the Utah city where our home offices are located, to beautify locations around town.
Tuesday marked our annual Day of Service activity, when all TestOut employees give back to the community where some of us live and all of us work. We're proud of our roots and TestOut CEO Noel Vallejo has focused for years on building a strong relationship between TestOut and Pleasant Grove. And, as we noted just last week in this space, corporate responsibility is a widely acknowledged pillar of corporate success. Community service is just part of doing business.
Each Day of Service features two shifts, which lets half of TestOut's employees keep the company up and running, while the other half man the trowel brigade. The morning shift plants flowers — petunias, marigolds, and other colorful annuals — on the grounds around Pleasant Grove Library. Eventually, everyone moves to a nearby crossing of two main roads to fill up large raised beds, situated at the corners of the intersection, with more flowers and seasonal shrubs.
When afternoon rolls around, the "late" shift heads to the Pleasant Grove Cemetery, site of a war memorial that honors the service of local veterans. The memorial incorporates a large raised bed where more garden trowels are used to dig more holes for more flowers. That usually takes up about half the time, after which everyone heads down the road to Discovery Park to plant still more flowers along the main driveway that enters the park.
In between shifts, all employees gather together for a hearty company lunch. At the end of the day, everyone goes home with a bit of dirt under their nails, and there are probably more stiff backs and sore knees than generally result from a day at the office. If we conducted a post-flower-planting survey, however, the physical aches and pains probably wouldn't be the sensation to stick in most employee's minds. Service, however given, always feels good.