Oh the humanity!

Someone on my team told me yesterday about how “Cards Against Humanity (CAH),” the brilliant card game gone wild, released a Black Friday stunt of sorts to “experience nothing for $5.” The company made $71,145 in sales on Black Friday. That is an average of 14,229 people who decided to give up $5 for nothing — if all donations were at $5. Their site indicates that some individuals gave more. This link shares a list of what CAH did with the cash. My favorites:

  • Alex: 760 pounds of cat litter: $500 — how many years will it take to use that?
  • Amy: 1.5% of my student loan debt: $2381 — the comment to that list item says “$100,000 for a BA, $60,000 for a MFA and now I design dick jokes for a living.”
  • Jon: Dinner for 2 at Alinea in Chicago: $840 — Jon I am with you. I know all about the talents of chef Grant Achatz and that is definitely an experience I would have on my list.
  • Kevin: Not sure what you need 11 boxes of Tylenol PM for, can we talk? ($60)
  • Nick: Taking CAH team to mini golf, batting cages, and ice cream ($500) — I am a kid at heart and I love that you are thinking about your team.

I loved seeing (whether by request or design) that most of the lists had one or more listings for charities of their choice, and most lists were balanced.  My curiosity is, for those that donated was their $5+ tax-deductible? Was it worth it? What was the reasoning for giving $5 for absolutely nothing? Would you do it?

Whether or not the $71,145 should have gone entirely to charity, it was great marketing. If you had not heard of Cards Against Humanity before their stunt you may know about them now. Whether you can appreciate the game for its crassness or vulgarity, everyone has to play at least once in life. I mean we have to make sure Amy truly uses her education to its fullest.

What Southwest did.

It seems like every time I travel I come home and have some story about crazy passengers, annoying TSA agents, and just the overall experience of flying the [un]friendly skies. Yes, I am picky, but I also think we’ve lost the service out of customer service… which means the customer is left hanging. As companies fight for market share what many are finding is that service is actually what sets many companies apart. Think Zappos or Nordstroms.

I just came across this story back from May 2015 where Southwest Airlines elevated their service game. After reviewing a few articles about her story, here is a recap of what happened:

A woman is on a Southwest plane flying from Chicago to Columbus finds out her son is in a coma after an accident. The plane turns back to the gate and the flight attendant asks her to get off. At the gate they told her to call her husband. She finds out that her son, who lives in Denver, is in a coma after a head injury. This is what Southwest does:
_Offered her a private waiting area
_Rerouted her luggage
_Allowed her to board first
_Packed a lunch for when she got off the plane in Denver
_Her luggage was delivered to where she was staying in Denver
_She received a call from Southwest asking how her son was doing

Amazing right? Yet, should it be? I wish we did not think that was stellar service. I want that to be the normal type of service that we can expect. How often does this type of tragic thing happen to folks? Often. People travel to sick, hurt, and dying loved ones, but so often we do not know their story. The morale is — how can we raise the bar and make what Southwest did for this woman the norm?

random olio 2014

It has been a full year. I traveled to Shanghai, Chicago, Oakland a few times, to LA, Bend, oh the list goes on. I went to a few weddings, luckily no funerals. I worked countless hours in the office, and at home on my couch. I visited my niece, Facetimed with her and my sister, and missed them in between. We saw family, friends, and played on our own a bit in other parts of the country and the world. I went No Poo in 2014, and then started using loo poo shampoo and wash my hair a lot less often.

We tried new things, thought about the past, and planned and brainstormed the future. We laughed, cuddled, giggled, listened, gave advice, learned a lot, and cherished each other more. Like I said, it was a full year. Here is my list of favorite random olio posts of 2014. In no specific oder:

  1. No Poo
  2. Ten Things About My Dad
  3. Giggle ’til you pee your pants
  4. Want to Laugh Today?
  5. He is My Person
  6. Listen More, Talk Less
  7. My niece is da bomb
  8. I heart SH: Food Nostalgia
  9. She flies with her own wings
  10. A little dabble in wax…

Most read posts on Random Olio in 2014:

I hope you enjoyed all you read on random olio this year. Be grateful for all that you have done, all that you have, and all that you have learned. Life is good, we just have to see what is right in front of us. Thank you for continuing to read random olio. Here is to a full, alive, and adventurous 2015!

An airplane first

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of talking to my seat mates on an airplane. I am more of the put-on-my-headphones and check-out-of-the-world passenger. Call me snobby, an introvert, or selfish, but I just do not like to engage in dialogue on an airplane. I am fine with the quick “where is your final destination” or other banter that only lasts for a few minutes.

So when I was flying back from Chicago late last week, I had quite the experience on my flight – in a good way. I was in a middle seat, which is my least favorite. I am more of an aisle girl, which gives me more freedom to get up whenever I want, and no one on one side of me. The flight was completely booked, and my ticket did not allow me to select my seat until I checked in. At the time of check-in there were only middle seats left, and I was a bit bummed. It meant being stuck if the individual in the aisle was asleep, etc.

So back to my flight. I settle into my middle seat and look to the man at my left who is in the window seat and is asleep. He looks familiar to me. For awhile I cannot place him, but my intuition tells me that I know him, but just cannot place him yet. I am wiped out after a full week of meetings in Chicago, and know I may sleep most of the flight. I close my eyes for a while as we take off, and eventually my neck hurts based on the horrible seat on the old plane and how I am sitting. The man to the right of me, in the aisle seat, brings his laptop down from the overhead bin, and based on the tag on the bottom of his laptop I knew he worked at my same company. I decided to ask him where he worked within our company, and we ended up talking for the first half of the flight.

I then was able to place the man in the window seat. He is the father of a good friend’s daughter’s husband. I know a few degrees of separation, but I met him about a year ago. We ended up talking until the end of the flight, and near the time of our descent into the Portland area, both of my seat mates began talking to each other about surfing in Oregon, California, and Hawaii.

I remarked to each of them that it was a first for me to sit between two people on a flight that I knew or was connected to in some way (of course other than someone I am specifically traveling with). I told them that I generally try to sit in my own bubble during a flight and not talk to others. They each remarked that our row of three seats were some of their best traveling companions. Such an interesting flight – it went by fast. You never know who might be sitting right next to you!


Modern design + hive office

Crowdsourcing? Maybe. Utilizing the talents of your neighbors? Yes. I read the other day that we are better innovators by surrounding ourselves with a variety of individuals. Why not find office space that gives you the crowdsourcing environment, with great design, and a variety of talent just a wall or pane of glass away? Think of it as a new neighborhood with like-minded individuals, with great taste. You each selected a beautiful office, your home away from home, the place you spend most of your day. You might just find that you have more in common than you ever knew. You might find out when you get your morning cup of coffee in the communal kitchen. 

Many have called sharing office space “co-working” where individuals rent space at large shared tables or desks, and work alongside people from different companies. Members are surrounded by a community to interact with and support their business. Why is this good? It is cheap, and works for those that are basically on laptops and do not need to talk much or worry about privacy, or security of assets. Other individuals might rent “executive office suites” that are rented on a short-term basis that gives the feel that they have a physical office space. Why is this option good? Physical location with privacy and security of assets. However, there’s no office community.

If co-working and executive office suites do not solve what you need, then maybe try a “hive” office. A key component to a “hive” environment is a balance between privacy and community. Whether you are in the start-up mode, trying to raise money, or a budding company that thrives on the inspiration that a community of entrepreneurs brings, then a hive environment might be just the thing. You might think, why not just rent or lease a typical office? You could, but many times those can be expensive, with long lease terms, and often without the community aspect available to you. Who knows? In a hive environment, that lawyer you need might be your neighbor down the hall. You might collaborate with a web designer and find that you can help each other out.

Industrious Office future "Hive" space

Industrious Office future “Hive” space

We have a few co-working or hive office ventures in Portland. Recently I came across a great venture in the River North district of Chicago. It is called “Industrious Office” that focuses on modern designed offices in a hive environment. It is a 17,000 square foot building with 72 offices in total that can each accommodate 1 to 10 people on a month-to-month basis. Office rates start at $400 a month, which is a steal! Amenities include: 24/7 access to free wi-fi and electricity, printing services, private phone booths, onsite storage, lounges, complementary mail services, access to conference and collaboration rooms, a kitchen and a full service coffee bar. In addition, Industrious offer members a wide variety of classes and events in its space.

Industrious Office draws the best elements of co-working, executive suite offices, and traditional office space by creating individual private offices using glass partitions so that individuals feel that they are part of a larger community, but still have the privacy of their own private office.

I can see it being the perfect setting for designers, writers, start-ups, non-profits, lawyers, or anyone that wants to have a beautiful location to spend most of their working hours. Industrious Office is scheduled to open later this summer. If you live in Chicago and work from home, or bounce around from Starbucks to local coffee shop, have been craving a quiet space, and a clean and modern place to bring your clients, then be sure to check out the lofts at Industrious Office. I would love to spend my days within the modern feel of high ceilings, exposed brick walls + glass walled private offices, conference rooms and common areas.

Updates can be found on twitter.com/IndustriousHQ and facebook.com/IndustriousOffice