Two Weeks' Notice

December 16th, 2008

As promised, I am telling you why we we’ve been cleaning our offices these past couple of weeks. I wish I could be telling you something entertaining, but unfortunately, I can’t.

The owner of Aloha Tower Marketplace has decided to change management companies. I technically work for MMI Realty; as of January 4, PM Realty Group will take over. My last real day of work at Aloha Tower Marketplace will be December 31 (or January 1, depending on how you look at it!).

It’s sad for me—and all of us—because this isn’t really about the loss of a job. It’s about losing coworkers who have become friends who have become like family. I guess it’s easier this way, though, with all of us scattering at once. Kind of like ripping off a band aid.

It’s been an amazing four years, and it’s hard to believe that I’ve been here that long. Along the way, I met some of the quirkiest characters, learned some unusual things, and participated in what I've called the best freak show in town. More than that, I got to work with some of the best team players of my life, and made the denizens of Aloha Tower Marketplace my community. My friends & family became their friends & family, and vice versa. Coming to work wasn’t really coming to work. I was "on" 24/7 because, although I joked about it, coming to work really was like coming home.

Just so you understand how MMI Realty/Aloha Tower Marketplace restored my soul: When I left my last job, my blood pressure was at stroke levels and my doctor put me on medication. When I got here, my blood pressure plummeted and I haven’t been back on the medication since. A lot of times, you’ll find me crying here at work…because I’ve been laughing so hard.

People have been asking what I’ll be doing next. Well, this blog will remain. I’ve been freelancing for and some other publications, so I’ll continue with that if there is a need. There’s also an incredible amount of flack work. So, while I may not identify with a particular company, I’ll be working on my own identity for now.

Memory collage

During my final week, I will probably count down to the new year with reflections on some of my notable (printable) memories from Aloha Tower Marketplace with you. In the meantime, I hope you’ll be able to join us for our going away party on New Year’s Eve. We’re going to have fireworks and everything! How many people can do that on their last day of work?

If I sound optimistic amidst this sadness, I am. Things happen for a reason.A few months ago, Marshall Hickox of Homeworks Construction wisely commented on his business move in this tight economy with, "This is an ideal time to take control of your own destiny."

I'll let you know if he's right. ;)

37 Responses to “Two Weeks' Notice”

  1. Cindy:

    You'll definitely be missed! I've heard more about Aloha Tower Marketplace in the past four years than I've ever had all due to you! But I know you'll find adventure wherever you go! And I'll be stalk-- errr, following you via the blog and Twitter! Good luck!

  2. Sheila:

    Oh, this is sad news for sure! You are Aloha Tower to me. You've done such a fantastic job using social media to engage visitors across the web. I know you hooked me in. I look forward to hearing about your next opportunities and I pray they are even better than you'd imagined. You rock!

  3. Shawn:

    Glad that you have such a positive outlook on your situation. ATM is losing a fabulous marketing genius! Enjoy your Christmas trip. Maybe you'll hit the jackpot and you won't ever have to work again. Wouldn't that be cool? We can only dream...

  4. @Buzzbunny:

    Good luck to you and your co-workers/friends/family! You're right, it is time to take ownership of your destiny. It's all part of a bigger plan! And I'll still "see" you on Twitter!

  5. Aloha_Aina:

    What a huge loss for Aloha Tower. As others have said before, it's your hard work that has brought Aloha Tower to prominence. Whether through this blog or the countless TV interviews, your tireless promotion of the Marketplace has been a true example of great marketing. When I have freelance work, I will definitely call you!

  6. mr. orange:

    That sounds like it kind of sucks but it also sounds kind of fun. It is time for you to do your own thing. Do what you love. Everything happens for a reason. Dance like nobody is watching. Climb every mountain.

  7. M:

    Melissa, I feel so sad :( it's ATM's lost not yours, you did such a fantastic job! Like you said, everything happens for a reason and I believe in that too. I'm always here to support you, you can count on that. Best wishes and good luck to you and your co workers.

  8. Localguy:

    You've taken an amazing attitude about losing a job around the holidays. I've been in your place in the past and know it is a difficult thing to deal with. I've enjoyed reading your blogs in the past, especially that series on your travel to Asia. I'm glad to hear you will continue to blog. Good luck to you; I know you'll positively land on your feet.

  9. K.C. Tiger '62:

    Nice bittersweet aloha message and you definitely sound like you're about to take off in a great new direction! I feel like singing "Black and Gold is Waving".

  10. dusty56438:

    You've really been an ambassador for Aloha Tower (and Oahu). You've been great for & with them. I wish you the best in your next venture.

  11. Fran:

    Whoever you work with next will benefit from the experience you've gained with ATM. Best of luck with working on your own brand. I know you'll do great!

  12. The Oahu Concierge:

    Let's see if I can put this succinctly..... Waaaaaaah!!!! :-(

  13. NEENZ:

    I for one am excited to witness the evolution, the brand that is Melissa Chang. I look forward to being a part of the most explosive "tweet ups" this New Year's Eve.

  14. spldrttngrl:


    I also believe that everything happens for a reason, and maybe you've actually started down the path to your new future, doing independent work! I bet you'll be more relaxed and glowing *wink* You seem like a very independent and strong willed person, I'm sure you'll do just fine in your search for your new chapter in life! Good Luck to you :) Gail

  15. spldrttngrl:


    And you, you're so young and have so much opportunities that will be presented to you after you leave Aloha Tower. I have every confidence that you'll also find your next adventure in life soon! Don't you worry so much :) keep your head up high and be strong! Gail

  16. hiloprgal:

    You go girl. You've done more fabulous things in these 4 years than most folks have done in their lifetime and I know you will be awesome no matter where the future takes you. Can't wait for the fireworks and the future of Ms. Melissa Chang and her crew!

  17. Paula aka Lavagal:

    You are an amazing source of energy and encouragement. You make things happen Melissa! I am eager to see where you will be next. What firm deserves your talent? What company could benefit from your enthusiasm? Who is the smartest of them all? Choose wisely, Melissa! You deserve the BEST.

  18. Rodney:

    Hang in there girl. I know you'll find something fast. Or more like something will find you!

  19. @tadasauce:

    Melissa and the Aloha Tower Crew,
    I guess all good things come to an end. Its sad to hear about the loss of your jobs especially when you put so much into it. Aloha Tower will be definetly lossing THE MOST DEDICATED and BEST PEOPLE in the industry for sure! Best wishes to you all and thank you for all you have done with Aloha Tower and the community.

  20. CatDogMan:

    You did a great job for Aloha Tower Marketplace. You and your crew have been tireless, friendly and eager in promoting everything going on there. You will be greatly missed. But, I'll be happy to follow your next adventure. I have been laid off twice, once in 1991 and again in 1999. Both times for me it resulted in better things and jobs. I'll hope the same for you. Never surrender!

  21. Tater Tard aka lesbionic sister:

    Dearest Melissa,

    IT IS AN END OF AN ERA! It has been the best 6 month of my life, really- no lie!

    You are an amazing writer, boss, friend, mentor, and the list goes on. You described it best when work was not work, it was being home. I feel like our family is being ripped apart. You are loved by many and from the time I started I knew that I would learn & grow at ATM. Life is short and the possibilities are endless. We have such a great group here and for the 6 months that I have been here, I feel like I had had the best job/family/ memories ever! I have mixed feelings about our New Years Eve Finale. I am looking forward to this event yet I KNOW I will be bawlin’ like a baby! I am going to miss our 4am morning shows with our breakfasts after. I will miss my Hawaiian word of the day, my spelling “editor”, and everything that makes up you! Maybe with all the free time that I will have, I can practice lifting pizzas!

    I will def. miss you and the bird porn and will always watch my spelling and etiquette so that I will not develop any nick names :) My birthday was the BEST, and it was all because of you and Alex :) I LOVE TATER TOTS!

    I will miss you dearly and will def. keep up with your adventures on twitter, urban mix plate, and facebook etc. I think we need to pick up tissues from Costco-and expense it to PM ;)

  22. online:


    From the Online department at The Honolulu Advertiser, we wish you the best of luck and success in your future endeavors!

    - Online

  23. John:


    I agree with the comments above and feel that you and your team have done a stellar job of spreading the word about Aloha Tower Marketplace.

    You've uncovered that Aloha Tower is so much more than just a shopping mall, but a place for friends, family and fun, and they'll be missing out on the great exposure that you and your team brought to the brand.

    We know that you'll still be on twitter, posting twitpics (hopefully not of your blisters, and maybe more of you and @jlieu w/tater tots?) and it's great to know that you'll still be around blogging, writing and i'm sure you'll still be out on the town.

    Best of luck and I'll see you around!

    - @johngarcia

  24. Mr. Song:

    So sad. First Hong Kong Harbor View is done and now, everyone in MMI. Who am I going to call to have lunch with at Aloha Tower? You have been the best boss I've had so far and hope to still keep in touch.

  25. Lena Hanson:

    My Lady friend,
    So sad reading this, but yes Marshall H. is right! It is time to take control of your destiny! (As well as my family) Sometimes when you're forced into unpleasant situations, it makes you more determined and passionate for other things.
    Anyways it was great seeing you today and tell my lesbionic tater tard i love her! lol

  26. gyppie:

    Cheers to new beginnings.

    They have no idea what they have lost.


  27. Kal:

    I know I have a heart because it's breaking right now...
    Time to move to Cali where you would be appreciated!

  28. TwoFish:

    When one door closes, another opens.

    I agree, K.C. Tiger '62. . .

    Play your way to victory
    We'll be ever true.
    Eager eyes are watching
    Hearts are beating fast,
    For McKinley's honor,
    FIGHT!, Chang, to the last.

  29. Nathan Kam:

    Melissa...look at it this'll now have more time to enjoy life and consider joining the PRSA Hawaii Board in 2010. :-) In all seriousness, you and Jenn will find yourselves making mischief somewhere in this are one of Hawaii's top flacks and any company would be smart to hire you right now. I wish you the best and a happy holidays. I mua!

  30. aokami:

    Melissa, Blog Master, Teacher & Friend,

    Aloha Tower, maybe Noloha Tower. Big mistake on their part. BEEEG! The years that you have been there, have been absolutely fantastic. I cannot imagine any other team that will be able to accomplish the same stuff with the "non budget" budget.

    Just no go submarine on me my friend/business associate/to young to be my mentor, mentor.


  31. Lucy:


    I have been to ATM quite a few times in the last couple of years and each time was directly related to YOU.

    You not only spread the word for fun events like Fashion Fridays, but pointed out all the great places to shop, the tower tours, and provided coupons that made ATM a competitive shopping destination. Until you came over, I thought ATM was only for tourists, and going down fast.

    I know this will be a positive move for you. You've been on the white plastic chairs eating Banh Xeo. Now you're heading for a 'chaise' at the Bistro! Same, same, but different. And Better.

    NYE will be a fun way to end the year and your job. Plus, are you unemployed at Midnight? Does this mean you don't have to do all the cleanup like you usually do after events? HEHE. I've seen how you schlep all the props and stuff after Fashion Friday. Hope the new company is there to take on the glam part of your job from Day (night?) One!

  32. Craig:

    Welcome to the ranks of those whose contracts weren't renewed. Life goes on, and so do we. It ain't so bad, y'know. Wait, maybe it's because I retired? Hmmmmm.

    But you're right, the saddest thing is the dissolution of formal family. They'll still be your friends (like me, for example).

    Okay, enough platitudes and stroking. When are you gonna take me for lunch?

  33. Ruth B.:

    Hi, Melissa!

    Congratulations on finishing the Honolulu Marathon ~ you're inspiring me to attempt the marathon in 2009. (Remember how we used to say "I'm not worthy!"). Thank you for your uplifting and fun blogs about Aloha Tower Marketplace and living in this wonderful state. I look forward to reading more.

    Best wishes to you on the next exciting chapter in your life.

    L'adieu cher ami,

  34. Bill Murray:

    Hi Melissa -

    Hello from NY! We've never met, but I know you are a member of PRSA, the Public Relations Society of America. Last week I was on the phone with a mutual acquaintance of ours, Rhoda Weiss (also past Chair of the PRSA) and she made a great suggestion that we highlight some of the resources that we have for folks making a career transition. Here's the link to the piece that emerged - - and I hope some of these things - like our upcoming free teleseminars - will help you stay connected as your search unfolds. Good luck with it, congratulations on your optimism - something we all need during challenging times - and let us know if you have any ideas as to how PRSA might help.

    Kind regards,
    Bill Murray
    President, PRSA

  35. Dr. Peabody / Matthew McConoughey:

    Lucy>> Yes, we still have to cleanup afterwards, which is why we're scheduled until 2AM. Still a long day because we are pulling a double, which will likely make us more emotional just from the exhaustion.

    Melissa>> Supercool boss.

    MMI>> Supercool company.

    Work? What work? Remember, I will have lived here for 6.5 years...

    The only good thing that's coming of this (so far) is that my office will finally be organized.

  36. Dr. Peabody / Matthew McConoughey:

    OH, btw, everyone:
    Stay tuned for at least one more blog posting about the Falls of Clyde relocating to drydock! I heard that it's supposed to be tugged away after Christmas and before New Year's.

  37. snow:

    Aww... shucks, you were doing such a great job promoting Aloha Tower! But, I agree, things happen for a reason! It's hard to leave a work environment and friends that you enjoy... but sometimes you have no choice. Hopefully, you'll look back one day and remember the great times you had but will be grateful for the opportunities that opened up to you after you left! I'm sure there will be many to start off your new year... :) Good luck... and enjoy the little bit of freedom that's been handed to you while you can!!