A coffee house guy hired by corporate America

His name was Dale. He worked at a local coffee house. Dale was easy going, very sociable, smart, but also hard working. He liked music, the arts, but had also worked in landscaping, call centers, and other types of jobs. He prefered a low key profession, and hadn’t decided what he wanted to do with his life.

Then Max came around. He had just left one of his daily corporate board room meetings. There was stress, there were arguments. Many people who would have been critical to the conversation had been left out due to a combination of office politics and negligence. Max’s boss was one of the several VP’s of the company. They had decided that they needed a change of pace from this typical corporate head banging sessions. But, what to do? Max had an idea. He noticed how Dale was so pleasant to talk to, so laid back, yet attentiive to his work. A personality like Dale’s could do wonders for their insane corporate environment — if only they could figure out how to not scare him away.

So, Max went to visit Dale. They shmoozed, and talked about the regular things. Then Max asked Dale if he would like to try to work in their office as a personality coordinator. His job would be to talk with different people, compare ideas, invite people to meetings, and be a part of meetings. Max decided that Dale would need to have a serious of seminars about business, marketing, and the widget industry that they were in. He would need to be clued in to the company’s clients, their needs, and the various issues they faced.

Dale was given a little cubicle and was to manage a lot of the daily meetings. Although Dale was just learning about their business and their business model, he was so pleasant to talk to, that everyone enjoyed working there all the more. Everyone, except for Dale. But, the salary was so good. Dale finally talked to Max.

DALE: Max, I like the job I’m doing, but I don’t like working here. Or, should I say I don’t like being here. I feel so confined, there is no fresh air, and something is missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Let’s go out and talk about it over a cup of coffee.

MAX: Okay…. let’s visit the one down the street

(5 minutes later)

MAX: (sipping his mocha) I figured out what is missing that you can’t put your finger on.

DALE: (sipping a latte) What is it? I’m stumped!

MAX: How do you feel now?

DALE: I’m in my natural habitat. This is where my species exist in nature. At a coffee house with people chatting, browsing the internet and enjoying biscottis.

MAX: Exactly. What is missing is: coffee, fresh air, people, and the coffee house atmosphere. But, there is one thing you should know. Your personality IS the coffee house atmosphere and you bring that atmosphere wherever you go which is why we hired you. The problem is that the atmosphere we put you in is like a type of soil that your roots don’t take to.

DALE: You have figured me out to a T. So, I have another idea. Since I don’t want to give up my $60,000 entry level salary which is unheard of, let’s create that coffee house atmosphere on your property. We can build one outside, on the roof, or in the board room. I’ll need some fresh air piped in, or some plants to create oxygen. I feel so stifled in your building.

MAX: I’ll talk to my boss, and I’ll bet he can do it. Since you’ve come on board, people who never interacted before have been interacting. It is exciting to see. Marketing would never talk to Tech for example. The marketing guys were too busy to talk, and the tech guys were too nerdy and focused to interact. But, you brought them together, and now they have found common ground — or since you are in the coffee business — common “grounds.” If they would have the same interaction over a mocha, I bet the conversation would be even better.

DALE: Yeah, they could palpitate while talking about the next merger!

MAX: I have an ever better idea to add to this idea. We can invite some laid back people to hang out in our cafe once its built to create a mood. The people who hang out in our cafe now are uptight administrators, stressed our secretaries, and busy executives. We need to build a more laid back and interactive mood.

DALE: I can save you the trouble, instead of building a new cafe and inviting the crowd from the cafe down the street, why not hold your business meetings down the street. We could reserve hours, and put the tables in a circle which is the most optimal shape for a meeting.

MAX: Hmm, well, we could try it both ways. But, I like the way you think kid. That’s why we hired you!

A month later, corporate built a large coffee house that was only open to certain people in the law in front of the high rise. The open aired building had its seating section shaped in a circle to optimize the flow of conversations at meetings. Coffee and other drinks were served at all meetings. The most important fact of all is that Dale and Max were finally happy. Dale could be in his natural habitat while expanding his mind and helping others to connect ideas in a healthy way. Oh, and one final though.

In dream dictionaries, a coffee house is a powerful dream symbol. If you dream about a coffee house it represents, philosophizing, deep thought, interaction, and stimulation. If you ask me, it is my favorite dream symbol of all — besides tsunamis.

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