Saturday, November 10, 2007

Coffee Talk #1

At the Starbucks on the corner of Weston Parkway and Harrison Ave. in Cary, this past Thursday on my lunch break:

Me: What's brewing right now?

Worker: Blah, blah, and Christmas Blend.

Me: I'll have a grande, Christmas Blend, black.

Big Bald Guy standing beside me at the counter: Black Christmas. That doesn't sound too good. (Looking at the piece of Red Velvet Cake he's just paid for) My wife makes the absolute best Red Velvet Cake. I want to see how this one stands up.

(Later at the tables after I've taken a few sips of coffee and he's taken a few bites of cake)

Me: So, how does it measure up?

Big Bald Guy: My wife's is a 10...this is a 4 or a 5.

Me: Oooh

BBG: (takes another bite of cake). This is too airy. Red Velvet Cake is not supposed to be this airy. It's supposed to be dense.

(A businessman who's been eavesdropping whips around)

Business Man: Now, what did you say was too airy?

BBG: This piece of Red Velvet Cake. It's supposed to be dense.

BM: Oh, I know. My wife is an expert baker. In fact, we're opening a new restaurant soon.

BBG: Oh, really? Where??

BM: In Gulf Shores, AL.

BBG: Oh, that's a beautiful area. Hey, lemme run out to the car and I'll get you a copy of my book. It's about marketing for small businesses.

(BBG leaves, comes back in seconds later with a book)

BBG: What's your name? I'll sign it for you.

(He inscribes the book. Business Man #2 walks up to BM. BM turns away from BBG and starts working on his computer...BM#2 walks away)

BM: My boss doesn't like it when I talk enthusiastically about the restaurant. I work for (big important IT company).

BBG: Ah. Well, here you are, sir. Do you have a card? I travel to Gulf Shores, AL about twice a year.

BM: Sure (hands BBG his card). (with a gleam in his eye...he has a nice smile) Is there any recipe that you're dying to get your hands on?

BBG: (thinks for a moment). Pie crust. I'd love a recipe for the perfect pie crust.

BM: You got it.

The two men shake hands and BBG says: Keep smiling. (He looks at me and says, "He has such a nice smile, don't you agree?") I do agree.

BBG: So, are you in marketing too?

Me: Oh, no. I'm in grad school studying to be a social worker. And I work up on Weston at a private, non-profit. My husband is the VP of a non-profit in Carrboro and he's big into marketing right now.

BBG: Oh, lemme run out to my car and get you a book too. You can apply these principles to non-profits too.

Me: Oh, well, you can't give two of your books away in one day.

BBG: (as he leaves the store) You can never give yourself away.

So he gives me a book, we chat for awhile about the book and he signs it for me and tells me he hopes my husband likes it. I think, I hope my husband likes it too. That's one less Christmas present I have to buy. But I decide not to wait for Christmas, because I want to tell David the story. He shows me this absolute terrible marketing book he bought that says stuff all the way through it like: "B-I-G IDEA: Death of Distance. big idea: VALUE=V-R-R-O-O-O-O-M!" David is skeptical that the book I got from the stranger will be any better.

He gets a few pages into it this morning and tells me it's not really that bad. Other than the title, "dog eat dog & vice versa," because isn't the "vice versa" a little redundant? He does have a point.

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