Just a few days ago, the world watched my team and my community celebrate a third NBA Championship. Foremost among the unforgettable moments was the glorious expiration of the Game 7 clock, the ear-splitting chants of thousands of ecstatic fans, and an endless stream of multi-colored confetti blanketing the HEAT hardwood.
And in the Business Operations division of The HEAT Group offices, there was JOBU.
JOBU was an interoffice phenomenon: a light-hearted but ceremonious rally which attracted employees from every department -- finance and marketing; human resources and sales; engineering and community relations -- and took place the day after just about every playoff game. Following each win, the mid-day gathering was an expression of pure elation. When the team logged a loss, our assembly was a bit more solemn and we channeled our nervous energies accordingly.
Each demonstration was literally a jamboree of workplace unity. We blasted inspirational songs such as Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," Europe's "Final Countdown" and Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" at thunderous decibels throughout the office.
Many of us joined in by playing a musical instrument. HEAT staffers pounded rhythmically on marching band drums, thumped happily on bongos, clinked steadily on cowbells, and furiously shook the maracas. Those without instruments clapped their hands or banged their cheering fans. We were far from orchestral perfection but everyone kept the beat.
In order to understand the significance of our JOBU gatherings, one must envision the layout of the Business Operations division of The HEAT Group: wide open with few walls; the epitome of a communal structure. Few, if any, of our employees could resist being swept up into the festivities.
Every JOBU session ended with The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and like HEAT fans were wont to do throughout the 2012-13 season, we sang the "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oohhhhh" in unison with pride and gusto.
And therein lies the beauty of JOBU -- an affectionate acronym meaning [It's] Just Operations Being Upbeat.
When we notched the win on the night of June 20, JOBU culminated in one a deafening rendition of the Queen classic, "We Are the Champions." Our ranks had swelled to 200 or more people, all huddled together, jumping and singing and laughing with congratulatory fervor.
[It's] Just Operations Being Upbeat.
As many HEAT fans know, the unpredictable undulations of the 2013 playoffs made it increasingly difficult to focus. For HEAT staffers, JOBU was a welcome interruption; one that a colleague described as "therapy" that helped her manage the stress and anxiety of the postseason.
I should also tell you that JOBU is shorthand for why I love working in sports: because co-workers are not only fans; co-workers are friends. Co-workers are family, too. And like families all over this HEAT Nation, we joined together to form one powerful collective soul that the basketball gods just couldn't ignore.