By Anna Oakley

At Quincify, we have mantras that we live by – little reminders that are posted on each desk imploring the team to be the best marketers possible.

Two of my favorite mantras are “Work hard but have a good time” and “Have each other’s back.”

It can be easy to get lost in the details of your everyday work. Today, I’m editing a powerful project that uses visual storytelling to give voice to an often-marginalized population. This work is meaningful and important, but it’s easy to become desensitized to the stories and the words when you are editing for grammar and typos.

Sometimes you need a little communal distraction to keep you on your game.

As I walked back to my desk after refilling my water bottle at the fountain, I noticed that the counter said that we had saved 9,990 plastic bottles by using the fountain instead of disposable bottles. I always get excited when the odometer in my car reaches a milestone, and this felt like the same sense of accomplishment.

We were almost at 10,000.

But I lamented to my colleagues that I’d probably miss the 10,000-waterbottles-saved-mark. Certainly, someone else in the building would absent-mindedly fill their carafe without noticing the gravity of the milestone, and I didn’t have the time to monitor the water station for the rest of the afternoon. I resigned myself to missing this small pleasure.

Then without prodding, my colleagues each stood up to fill their water bottles, like a scene from “Spartacus.”

“I’ll fill up my water bottle … I’ll fill up my water bottle …”

Suddenly, six of us were marching to the water station to meet our goal. After several rounds of water chugging, we did it, we saw the little dial turn to 10,000.

I’m not going to lie, it was a little anti-climactic in the end. Just another number on a digital screen. But for a brief afternoon break, I knew my Quincify team had my back.

Sometimes to work hard, you need to have a little fun.

Reaching 10,000 on the water fountain counter