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The thank you that ended up in the wrong hands…or did it?

We have a client that’s more like a partner, a hotel just beyond shouting distance of Disneyland in Anaheim. It’s a stunning property run by good people who care for those who choose to stay there and who’ve also maintained benefits to those employees who’ve been furloughed in these tumultuous times. It’s a client that we’ve had an exceptional relationship with for many years and in which we’ve helped influence their success.

Problem is, as stated above, they’re near Disneyland. That’s normally a far cry from being a problem, but in 2020, The Happiest Place on Earth is more like The Quietest Place on Earth. The Parks are closed, except for Downtown Disney for shopping and dining. And with that, much of Anaheim, our client included, is treading water, remaining closed and perfecting safety measures while awaiting word on when the gates will open and the travelers arrive.

It’s been tough on them and, subsequently, on us. Budgets have been slashed, hallways dimmed, and restaurants silenced. But one can only pick up the phone or shoot off an email so many times to express empathy and assure them that these times too, shall pass.  At some point, one must resort to that ultimate form of solace: cupcakes.

And so it was. Off went a thoughtfully prepared card from the troops at DAE & Company, along with countless colorful calories of inspiration and support whipped up by Sprinkles Cupcakes, all tied up neatly in a lovely box with a pink tag. We had visions of the reception that gift would generate. Maybe a big smile, a belly rumble, or a fist pump from a client accustomed to working with people who are a resource in more ways than one.

There it was, a boxful of temptation at the front door, just waiting to brighten someone’s day, which it did. Problem is, it didn’t end up in what we envisioned to be the “right hands.” Instead, that flash of pink caught the eyes of a passing homeless person with a sweet tooth. A quick peruse of the contents and she was off not with the whole bundle, but rather that one cake of love that most appealed to her.

It’s not the way we’d planned it. But on the other hand, we couldn’t have planned it any better if we tried. You see, while it’s easy to fix your sights on how tough times have been for you and your business partners, it takes someone’s serendipitous arrival at a door with a sweet box at its feet to put the times into perspective. The gesture wasn’t lost on our partners, who were cheered by the fact that the gift – tasty as it was – was best enjoyed by someone without a warm office, let alone a roof, to come home to.

All we’d hoped for was to cheer up our partners and, somehow, someway – through the intervention of the unintended – the deed became far more personal and profound than ever imagined. Granted, the renewed order of icing and cake hand-delivered by Sprinkles (Thank you!) didn’t exactly spoil the moment, but the sweetest message all of us could hope for had already been delivered.

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