Workplace culture via crossword

by Olivia Martin
olivia.martin@theleaven.org

Here at The Leaven, we like to have fun.

It’s not uncommon to find us taking walks together or spending our lunch break having a picnic at the park or playing catch on the beautiful lawn at Savior Pastoral Center.

Recently, we’ve discovered a new hobby: crossword puzzles.

I’ve never been a crossword fanatic until I started working at The Leaven.

As a reporter, I often read a variety of newspapers to stay informed and to see how other publications and reporters cover the news.

Among others, I’ve started faithfully reading The Kansas City Star.

And while I typically gloss over the sports section, the crossword puzzles near the back page always seem to beckon me to linger, calling to me with their enticing clues and blank spaces just begging to be filled.

I’ve become decent at completing the Monday puzzles — difficulty increases as the week progresses — but I started feeling guilty about how neglectful I’ve been to the rest of the week’s puzzles.

Things had to change, but I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.

Last week, a few of the Leaven team came together in a collective crossword-solving effort to venture to solve the Tuesday puzzle.

Brows were furrowed, brains were wracked and pencil and eraser worked furiously. We were surprised by how some of us were able to answer certain clues easily — and how other times we were all stumped.

By the end of the mental and intellectual struggle, we all had contributed something vital and finished the puzzle.

Ok, Siri contributed a bit, too — she was really helpful when it came time to answer, “One ten-millionth of a joule.”

It’s an ERG, by the way.

But, more interesting than completing the puzzle was the way we worked together.

It was the perfect slice of the essence of what it is to work at The Leaven.

It was respectful, fun, challenging and uplifting — a beautiful contrast to many of the workplace stories we hear or read about today.

I am grateful to be part of this team.

While there is much more I could say about the joys of working with The Leaven, it’s almost lunch — and we’ve got a puzzle to solve.

Leave a Reply