In May of 2008, freshly replanted in Houston, I applied for a job at a community called Camden West Oaks. Like most people, my logic ushered me down a certain path: what I’d gain from this interview, *fingerscrossed*, would be a job — maybe some good friends if I was lucky. I was wrong.
Fast forward, almost five years later, and here I am, still with Camden. I still remember that first interview and the ridiculous fondness with which I was enveloped into the Camden family; looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t know how lucky I was. I interviewed for a job but instead I got a huge, coast-to-coast, hummingbird-loving, hug-zealous, skit-making, constantly volunteering, earth-conscious, quilt-signing family. There were some Camden traditions that I didn’t quite understand that first year but as a five-year-er (I made that word up), I’m completely (happily) immersed in the traditions. When you’re so proud of something, nothing compares to seeing that thing recognized, so you might not be able to imagine the way Camdenites feel about being named to the Fortune Best Companies list. Picture this: about 2,000 people simultaneously exploding into diamond-cut shards of blue and green glitter… and then hummingbirds fly from our sleeves. It’s like that. And this year, for the sixth year in a row, to be included in such prestigious-but-not-haughty company and to be ranked NUMBER TEN – well, it’s pretty indescribable. We’re prouder than that part of the Lion King where baby Simba is held up to the sun – and you know your heart still swells at that scene!
Even with my 20/20 hindsight firmly in place, and with the knowledge that I work for a company who makes sure its employees are challenged and valued, I still consider myself lucky. I gained so much from what I thought would be merely a job and I couldn’t be prouder or happier: CONGRATS, CAMDEN FAMILY!