December 15, 2006

Virtual Meetings and the AFLAC Duck

Have you ever been just going along with your day like normal and all of a sudden in the moment everything around you seems surreal. Well yesterday was one of those days for me. I had a great day, it just was filled with quirky little moments that were filled with pockets of entertainment and wonder.
I had a meeting with a bride and groom to go over wedding details yesterday morning at Starbuck's (my 2nd favorite place to drink coffee, my first is now Tuscany's), the meeting was purely delightful. The bride and groom are going to be alot of fun to work with and the meeting was great. After the meeting was over, my good friend Denise joined me at my table, and while we were visiting, off to the right hand side in the middle of Starbuck's is a business meeting of the virtual kind. A man in his 30's or so was sitting on a chair with his laptop computer open, a bluetooth earpiece in his ear and he was going to town talking into the isight camera on the top of his laptop. He was talking to someone about an employee who was by the sound of his voice, and frankly by the words he was using, a less than desirable employee. Hello - Mr. Man on your computer laptop, I now know the name of your employee, first and last, all the derogatory comments (which could very well have been deserved, but didn't need to be overheard), and let's just say that's a bit too much information for me to hear over my morning coffee. This man could have gone to the back of the building, several tables were open, and he wouldn't have been within 3 feet of the coffee bar and in the heart of the shop. We even found out where he worked for, because as soon as his virtual employee bashing was over a prospective employee showed up for an interview and to fill out an application which we all saw. Maybe she was being interviewed to replace said employee. That was on the right side of our table.

On the left side of the table was a less obtrusive business meeting. A nice AFLAC salesperson who was signing up a woman for a new policy. They were both projecting their words at a nice normal level, but the funny part was the AFLAC Duck was sitting on the table next to the AFLAC Employee's computer. He was dressed up in a doctor's uniform. I was waiting to hear AFLAC honking from its felt beak at any moment, I mean after all on the commercial it does say AFLAC, but I guess that was too much to hope for. Each time I looked at that duck I just couldn't help but laugh. It must be a requirement to have a stuffed duck involved in all business transactions. I am after all still thinking about someone elses business transaction about 30 hours later, that is some good advertising.

The day continued to have droplets of craziness in it, but I had that much fun before 9:30am, what a day.


Nicole said...

I just read Denise's blog and had to come see what you had to say about it. You both told it very well.

Sorry your coffee got interupted by these strange people. I'm sure you and Denise had a blast talking about it though. :)

Sarah said...

The ducks DO honk -- maybe this lady just thought a dressed-up duck in Starbuck's was enough. I know this because our AFLAC representative offered our children one -- thankfully, while my children weren't around. We declined.

I would have been tempted to call that place of employment LOUDLY in front of that man and ask for the employee and relay all that was being said. Then let the chips fall where they may. I feel CERTAIN that is in a Forbes magazine list of "things not to do" to get ahead in business and/or a list of "places not to conduct employee reviews".

Denise W. said...

Well, I didn't include how funny it was that the groom had no opinion. Poor grooms - they need no opinion.

I wanted to add my opinion but I didn't :-)

Anna said...

I have been in that situation SO many times. One of my main pet when I am out w/ my children at a restaurant or wherever...and someone close by is having a conversation full of cursing & other things I don't want to hear about myself...but REALLY would rather my kids don't hear. Its called VOLUME people...use it!!

I've seen those goofy ducks too....hilarious!! I always find myself hearing the duck scream AFLAC!!! over & over in my head as well.