Friday, February 5, 2016

Voodoo and Superstition

Friends,
It’s tempting to believe the human race has evolved beyond the age of superstition and irrational belief. Yet, on closer inspection, I think we’re not that far from the middle ages. Case-in-point, on my Monday flight-out to Little Rock, I couldn't help but notice the de-icing fluid was Windstream green. Coincidence? Perhaps. It’s probably a case of the frequency illusion, where your recent experiences, bias and predispose what you see. I may well be noticing this color more often because I’m new to the company. Yet, that de-icing truck bleeding Windstream green preceded a very positive and productive trip at HQ. Coincidence? Most assuredly, still, part of me is tempted to see it as a good omen.
1. Windstream Green wing.
Or, take groundhog day. It’s irrational to believe winter may be prolonged or made more brief due to some creature’s optic nerve relaying a certain image to its brain. Yet, for the record, on my way back to Denver this groundhog day, I did see my shadow from the plane. I guess that means there are 42 more days of winter.
2. The airplane passenger sees his shadow.
Finally there’s the Denver Broncos who have chosen to wear white on Sunday, despite the fact all their millions of superstitious fans bleed orange. Silly! Of course, the real reason we will succeed on Sunday is the augurious orange sunrise I saw driving into Denver this morning.
3. Orange sunrise over Denver.
In keeping with this theme, Ashley button volunteered to do a donut run to Voodoo Donuts this morning. I’m on my way to Florida, so someone please stick a pretzel into the Cam Newton donut for me. I know that’s just another superstition which will have no impact on the outcome of the game. Still, better safe than sorry!
Happy Friday!

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Donut-Inspired Anthem

Friends,
Working late can lead to unexpected breakthroughs -some of arguable business value. For instance, yesterday afternoon a small cadre of colleagues identified a gap in our corporate culture, one we shall attempt to remedy. It appears we don't have an anthem (or perhaps a drinking song for happy hours). I took some liberties with the first draft and would be very interested in your feedback. Without further ado, here goes nothing.

Like a hurricane of blowing wind
There's a never-ending flowing stream
Driven onward e'er to chase the dream
We are here to win, we are here to win!

Bridging east and west, making distance small
Reach the Internet or just make a call
We're the ack to ping we're the tip and ring
Windstream's happy customers will sing

…Admittedly, it's a work in progress. Like any good recipe it probably needs a little tinkering. The corn feels about right, but it could probably use a little less sugar. Fortunately, when it comes to donuts, it's hard to go wrong. This morning I thought I’d mix it up a bit, so I went to Krispy Kreme. They’re in their usual spot, so come help yourself to a sweet treat.
Happy Friday!

P.S. Doesn’t the Krispy Kreme coffee mug I’m holding in the picture look like it could be singing the new anthem?

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Right to Friday Donuts

Dear friends,
Have you been following the news in Oregon? The cast of the 80s sitcom Married with Children, the Bundys, is staging a protest. It appears Al has moved-on from No Ma'am, the iconic men's rights movement, to other equally lofty causes, including the right to bare arms. It makes one wonder how this ragtag band of sleeveless men, braving the unforgiving Oregon winter in their wife beaters, came to be so enamored by this cause. Do they have some cool tattoos they want the world to see unimpeded? Do they find starched long sleeve shirts irritating? Whatever the reason, they’ve been out there several weeks now and, in true Bundy form, have all the neighbors in a tizzy.

 
All kidding aside, the treats at Holy Donuts were so good last week that I decided to go for an encore this morning. Please help yourself to a donut.
Happy Friday!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Turn and Face the Donuts


Friends,
I’ve been thinking about changes this week. The thought evolved from an earworm planted by the news of David Bowie’s passing (turn and face the strange) and has grown to a broader contemplation. This time of year, change abounds. Take New Year’s resolutions. That obstinate desire to change. By now most of you have identified some thing or other you wish to change in the new year -and perhaps have already changed your mind about going through with it. Personally, I’ve been going through some career change. Of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Take the Football Rams (no, really, take them, they haven’t had a winning season since 2003). They’re going back to Los Angeles. Also, as many of you know, I’m into donuts on Friday. So, I decided this morning to go to Holy Donuts (a hole-in-the-wall shop whose slogan is “man does not live by bread alone”) and procured a dozen of these tasty treats which are sitting near my desk. Come grab one and celebrate this long weekend’s eve with me.
Happy Friday!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Consulting, Coffee and World Domination

The past three months as a consultant for three communications  companies of various sizes at three stages of growth (none of them Level three) have been an enriching learning experience. I’ve met different people, experienced dissimilar corporate cultures and learned diverse concepts. My commute has ranged from a stroll out of bed to a struggle with I-25 to sacrificial air travel on the redeye. The range in systems, processes and red tape is vast, yet, despite all their variety, these companies have one thing in common. Keurig. The coffee pod company with a Dutch-inspired name is taking-over the world. Am I the only one who sees a SciFi horror film plot unfolding here? Alien name, pods as the delivery mechanism… Their thinly veiled world domination ploy became apparent to me as I was Christmas shopping at Costco. A wall of Keurig as high as the eye can see. Then again, nothing goes better with donuts than free coffee. Cheers!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fresh Donuts for a Fresh Start

Dear Friends,
Like a comfortable pair of old jeans, “Dear Members and Constituents” has been my opening line for over a decade. An old habit if ever there was one, I could write these familiar words before the first sip of coffee lit-up my brain cells and by the time caffeine kicked-in, inspiration had already struck like a lightning bolt. Still, with no donut club to run or predictable place to get them (the downside of leaving Level 3), this linguistic crutch won’t do anymore. Much like Duck Donuts, made fresh as you wait (I had the privilege of trying them for the first time on a business trip to DC this week), this fresh start demands a fresh new opening line. “Friends” feels right. Over the years, your support and feedback have encouraged me to continue writing. They have also made me feel the bonds of friendship with many of you (I hope you feel the same way too). During this new stage, I hope this blog will serve not only as a creative outlet for yours truly, but also as a means to stay connected (albeit without the allure of fresh donuts waiting at my desk).

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Life's Too Short, Grab a Donut!

Dear Members and Constituents,
Why are you here? No, this is not the super-sized question with extra ketchup (i.e. why were we put on Earth?), rather, it’s just the medium-size, hold the fries variety (i.e. what motivates you to come to work each day?). Think about it. On average, we spend 30% of our week at the office (that’s 45% of our waking hours!). Such a large time commitment begs the question: why do it? It seems to me one way to over-simplify the problem is to view it as a continuum which starts with fear and culminates in fulfillment. In this lens, many of us start-out on the fulfillment side (change the world). Somewhere along the way fear creeps-in (bills to pay, mouths to feed). This pendulum may swing back and forth throughout our adult lives, depending on macro and individual circumstances. Ultimately, I would hope you’re doing it for more than just a paycheck, after all, there are so many ways to get paid, so why not do it with pizazz! Sure, no job is perfect and inevitably there will be some drudgery that comes with your job description. Still, if you’re not spending a fair amount of time on the fulfillment side, you should check your motives and attitude. In my experience, there’s always a bright side we take for granted. Of course, if the cloud-to-silver-lining ratio is whacked, you can always make a change. Today’s jobs report has the unemployment rate at 5.1%, a 7 year low (Colorado’s is 4.3%!) –you have to imagine the job market is fairly healthy. I think telecom is the cat’s pajamas (we make the world a smaller place), however, if I had to switch, I imagine a career in donut confectioning might be fun (making people’s lives sweeter). If 40 hours a week of smelling the permeating deep-fried sweetness of donuts is not your cup of tea, you can simply swing-by Ed’s office (he’s still out) and grab a guilty pleasure. Rusty Corne (donut boy) delights us with four dozen LaMar’s confections (three dozen of which are specialties). So go for the gusto and grab a double-handed donut. And once you get back to your desk write me a note telling me what else is good about your job.

Happy Friday!