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Saying Farewell To Karen Plumb

Topics:   Java Blog

Yesterday, March 31st, was a sad day at Java Post, as we said farewell to our much-loved friend and colleague, Karen Plumb.

Joining the company back in August of 1999 ("When my age started with a two!," she says), Karen started as our receptionist. Her talents soon became apparent to us all, propelling Karen to her current position as the General Manager of Java Post Production.

Karen was always the calm, collected centre inside every crazy production crisis, taking last-minute (sometimes last-second) changes in her stride, and keeping us focused, productive, and safely away from the building ledge.

As she leaves Java Post to start her own bookkeeping business, we will all miss our dear friend who was such a big part of our Java Post family.

Over the past 15-plus years, Jack and Karen have worked together through many ups and downs: challenging deadlines, impossible deadlines, "are-you-freaking-kidding-me?" deadlines...well, you get the picture. But the one thing Jack and Karen have worked through the most is bags and bags of coffee beans. I guess that's how they managed to make all those deadlines.

Everyone at Java Post (such as Joan, pictured here giving Karen a much-deserved hug) is going to to miss Karen's presence. She's been a wonderful friend and colleague, and her sense of humour and cheery personality are just two of the many wonderful qualities we will miss about her.

Another person in the Java Post office who will miss Karen is our four-legged office member, Georgie. Karen is one of Georgie's favourite two-legged people. You can tell by the way her tail wags like crazy when they see each other. Georgie's tail, that is. Not Karen's.

Mmmm...cake. And not just any cake. But more on that later.

The Java gang gathered in our boardroom to celebrate Karen's many years with us, and express our heartfelt wishes for much success in her future. And yes, we all got sentimental and weepy. That's what families do.

As Jack can attest, the cake was delicious. It ought to be. It's Eleanor Muggeridge's Large Chocolate Cake, from the Richardson, Saskatchewan Community Cookbook.

The Beatles did a song about this cake, didn't they? "Eleanor Mugg'ridge...baked up a cake in the kitchen for people to eat...oh what a treat...all the choc'late goodness...where did it all come from?"  Something like that, anyway. The Beatles may have changed the lyrics in the final recording. Copyright issues, no doubt.

Prezzie time! Since Karen is starting her own home-based bookkeeping business, we decided her gifts would have an office supply theme. And, because Karen is Dutch (her maiden name was Karen van der Vaart, and that's her husband Chris Plumb, owner of the Mercury Café, in the background), the colour theme was orange. Orange is the colour of the Dutch royal family, a very patriotic colour in the Netherlands, and one of Karen's favourite colours.

Among the many gifts Karen received from her Java colleagues  was a custom Java Post T-shirt. The back of this says "Plumb #1." And Karen certainly is #1 to all of us here at Java Post.

And here is the Java Post gang, posing for a final photo with Karen. From left to right: Brent Evans, Trevor Bennett, Doug Russell, Joan Speirs, Karen Plumb, Jack Tunnicliffe, Maureen Bennett, Randy Shumay, and Kevin Drysdale. Missing is Tomás Ibar, who snuck out before we thought to grab him for the group photo. That's always the way, isn't it?

Today we received this email note from Karen:

Hi everyone, I wanted to thank you so much for the lovely send-off and for the great gifts, each so thoughtful right down to the beautiful wrapping in my favourite colours. You are the greatest people I could ever work with and I miss you already.

All my best,


PS I love my new office mates, too, but they like to hog my desk :)
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