How a 99 Cent Watermelon has been Helping Promote Positivity at My Work Environment

If you were to see a watermelon sitting on a colleague's desk at work, you might wonder to yourself, "What the heck is going on?"

Well, a couple of weeks ago, a student (I work at a charter school) went to the 99 cent store, bought a watermelon, and gave it to the English teachers as a gift.  Initially I thought it was an odd gift, but being the encouraging educator I am, I accepted it gladly.  For two days, the watermelon sat on the shelf, alone and unused.

Then I read an article online about how Caribou Coffee celebrates their Employee of the Month by giving her/him a watermelon (for "using her/his melon") and a pair of customized Converse Chuck Taylor shoes.  It gave me an idea.

I created the "Using Your Melon" Award.  It would promote positivity in the workplace by recognizing excellence.  First, I gave the watermelon to someone who I found doing something smart (aka "using her/his melon"), working excellently, and who I felt deserved it.  The winner was announced to everyone through email and displayed the watermelon on his desk for a day.  Then after a day, the person with the watermelon must pass on the tradition by finding a colleague to recognize, giving her/him the watermelon, and publicly announcing the achievements of the recipient.

As of right now, the watermelon has been passed around for two weeks and is still going.  People have gotten the watermelon for both very serious and silly reasons.  The name has even evolved into "The Watermelon Award."  I don't know how long this tradition will last (hopefully for as long as possible), but in the mean time, it's been a fun way for my colleagues to recognize the good work that we all do.


  1. What a great idea!

  2. It has been fun to see the award make the rounds around the center :)

  3. What a fun and creative way to celebrate excellence. Nobody is going to remember the "five-year" pin or acrylic "Employee of the Month" award, but I am sure everyone will talk about the watermelon years down the road! Nice!


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