The Netsmart office bustled with a burst of activity: laptop hoods were closed, binders and supplies were packed away, and FUTURES quickly took turns changing into shorts and sneakers; 5 o’clock had come, and with it Netsmart’s visit to Community America Ballpark to attend the Kansas City T-Bones game. Smiles flashed across the faces of my fellow FUTURES and I as we jumped out of our cars, tickets in hand, and headed into the stadium.
At the start of our time here at Netsmart as FUTURES, we were each assigned a full-time associate whom would be our mentor for the summer, providing us with guidance and direction for the duration of the FUTURES program. These mentors also got to attend the baseball game, giving each FUTURE and mentor pair a chance to connect outside of the workplace. With the first pitch against the Grand Prairie AirHogs slated for 7:05 that evening, Netsmart FUTURES and associates alike crowded onto the Ballpark’s Right Field Party Deck. While some coworkers were quick to pick up great viewing seats, others floated around the deck socializing and catching up on the day’s events; all were armed with cool beverages to beat the heat.
At the top of the second inning, my fellow Netsmartians and I rejoiced as catering carts rolled up to the party deck bursting with barbecue from a local favorite, Arthur Bryant’s BBQ. With plates in hand, Netsmart associates spread out among the tables of the ballpark’s right field, enjoying the trifecta of fun that was good food, great company, and primo viewing of the game. For those who have yet to attend T-Bones baseball, there is no shortage of fun throughout the game, with activities such as air-guitar contests and base-running competitions peppered throughout the innings. The loudest cheer erupted from the crowd in the bottom of the 7th inning as Brian Erie sent one deep into center field as an RBI to put the T-Bones on the board.
Alas, the pitching of AirHogs starter Ryan Searle was too much for the T-Bones lineup to overcome as they fell at home, 6-1. However, the outcome of the game couldn’t damper the spirits of the Netsmart crowd, as we were quite wrapped up in enjoying the night out with each other. As I sat there in the stands with my fellow associates, I realized what has been playing out behind the scenes throughout my entire experience here this summer. When I first arrived early in June, the people sitting next to me were strangers – individuals whom I would be working with at the office but no more than that; I am now proud to say that these people are good friends, the relationships we FUTURES share go beyond our time at the office. I think this reflection is a great realization for what shapes the core of the culture here at Netsmart; coworkers are NOT simply employees, but fellow associates who all have a special role in the Netsmart family. While we FUTURES only have a little under five weeks left here at Netsmart, I look forward to us making our mark and solidifying our place as members of the family.
Hayden Minor – Delivery Analyst, TIER FUTURE