When members of the Sargento family talk about work, often what is said is the “family atmosphere.” That special part of life at Sargento happened last week in the Accounting Department.
“This is what you can achieve with determination,” said Assistant Controller Adam Liebl admiring a cubicle filled with balloons. He could barely contain his laughter.
That cubicle belonged to Capital Project Analyst Joe Steffensmeier. His area was transformed into a balloon/ball pit with a lighted mesh gate to corral hundreds of balloons. This show of “determination” celebrated Joe’s recent wedding and was constructed before the groom returned to work.
“You can put that this was all Marcy’s (Stanczyk) and Jim’s (Birenbaum) idea,” laughed Liebl. “Val (Zarling) helped too. She put up the net!”
Heart-shaped doilies floated above the balloon pit and Joe’s name plate was altered to display his bride’s last name. The truth is, everyone in Accounting contributed to the cause demonstrating how ‘Humor and Fun’ are vital parts of our culture and the work of Sargento.
“As he pops each layer of balloons, a new thing will reveal,” said Financial Reporting Manager Sue Meyer. “I love the ‘Under New Management’ sign,” she laughed.
The next day, Joe Steffensmeier returned to work. He was stunned by the spectacle.
“I thought it was just going to be a regular day, but apparently not!” he smiled. “They had my cube filled all the way to the top! Everyone was lined up in the hall laughing. It was awesome. It shows what a great group of people we have working here,” he said.
Joe has only been a member of the Sargento family for a year. He made the switch after working at Johnsonville for 11 years.
“That’s a great place too and I was happy there, but it was time for something different. Sargento takes it to the next level in terms of good places to be,” Joe said. “It’s good to know that only after a year, my colleagues like me enough to do something like this.”
Since the masterminds of Joe’s balloon pit love numbers, they held a contest to see who could guess the correct number of balloons stuffed in the cubicle.
“I lost count after I popped about 300. It sounded like gunshots going off!” laughed Joe.
“It was great to see the smiles and excitement by all throughout the whole process,” said Liebl. “Thank you to the entire department who helped blow up more than 500 balloons and a very special thanks to Sue and Val for being so instrumental—it wouldn’t have happened without their extra efforts,” he said.
Among all the laughing and popping, the Accounting gurus themselves even lost count of the balloons. Meyer and Liebl estimated there were 525 balloons less the ones that popped before Joe came back to work. Based on that figure, Accounting Supervisor Amanda Boedecker came the closest without going over, guessing 462. She will win a prize of Sargento merchandise.
As for the wedding, Joe reported it was a “perfect day.” He and his bride will take a tropical honeymoon this winter however judging by what happened to his cubicle, Joe’s honeymoon at Sargento is decidedly and delightfully over.