Too Heavy for Comfort

When I was about 12 years old I got stuck in an elevator in a NYC office building. On our trip to New York I told Deborah about this story. Karma interrupted our trip and trapped us in an elevator.

We were heading to a Broadway show that had emailed us twice not to be late or we would not be seated. We left early. On the way down, the elevator stopped at the fourth floor – the lounge floor. Seven Latina women got on with the two of us, but that made the elevator overweight. A buzzer started going off until one of women exited.

The door closed and the elevator went down. Apparently the buzzer went off too many times and the elevator’s control system malfunctioned. The elevator seemed to stop at the first floor, but the doors did not open. We stood for a few minutes waiting for the doors to open. They didn’t. We pressed all of the emergency buttons on the elevator until someone responded.

One of the Latina women was on the verge of a panic attack. They all seemed to speak English, but Spanish was their primary language. Deborah broke the tension at one point by saying the Our Father prayer in Spanish. I never did ask her how an Irish Catholic from Tennessee with a Lebanese mom knew this prayer in Spanish.

Deborah called the front desk to get an update as the clock was ticking towards our show start time. I was getting anxious about that, not our safety. After about 15 minutes the doors opened and we rushed through the Times Square crowd to our show.

Going Backwards

I understand that one way that brands extend their reach in the marketplace is to create additional products that are connected to their flagship products. This can be a problem when a flagship product solves a problem, yet this extension product is the source of the problem itself.

M&Ms solved the problem of getting melted chocolate on your hands by coating the chocolate in a candy shell. Sure, if the weather was hot or your hands were wet, the candy shell melted in your hands, but the chocolate didn’t. Now M&Ms makes branded chocolate bars. The thing that makes them M&M chocolate bars is that they contain mini M&Ms in them, but that doesn’t get around the point that the chocolate will still melt in your hands.

There’s Always a Line

While eating breakfast at a restaurant, I overhead someone talking behind me. He was expounding on topics large and small to his dining companion. He was clearly someone who has amassed a great amount of knowledge and remembered much of it. I could completely relate to this. The challenge for someone like this – or me – is that you are often dancing back and forth across the line between interesting and arrogant.