Starbucks, Aliens, and Universal MBAs

Well today was a day like no other.  One I could not have predicted and would not change despite all its bizarre twists and turns.  On this particular day I decided to leave the comfort of my own little home office to work from a nearby Starbucks.  I do this occasionally to get myself out of the house and today I also had to meet up with someone to exchange something.  I chose this convenient location to exploit Starbucks free WiFi and indulge my caffeine addiction.

I left at noon during the lunch hour so no my coworkers would not miss me during the commute.  When I arrived at this popular Starbucks location I was not surprised that most of the tables and chairs were already occupied by patrons.  I found one chair left at a large communal table next to the outlets.  It wasn’t much space but I couldn’t complain.  The gentleman sitting across from me helped me plug in my power cord and thus began an interesting two hours.

I connected to WiFi, VPNed in, and pulled up my next assignment as the man across from me began to dance in his seat and wave at me.  I smiled back and continued to review the document I had just opened.  Only seconds later this gentleman approaches me with a small question, which seemed rather benign.  “Are you Eastern European?”

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Gaining Perspective

It’s 9:00pm in San Diego when I start this. It’s 12:00pm in China. It’s 5:00am in London. It’s 8:00am in Dubai and Russia. It’s 9:30am in India. (Please forgive what I’m certain are minor fluctuations in those time zones.)

I’ve spent most of the day thinking about my classmates. Thinking about the journey we’re about to embark on. Wondering how our lives are going to change from the connections we will make and from the experiences we will be afforded. Imagining the businesses we’re going to create and lives we’re going to impact.

I’ve spent most of the day thinking about my classmates. Which is somewhat ironic since I was laid off about 12 hours ago from Callaway Golf. For a multitude of reasons, the company is restructuring in a major way in attempt to combat a saturated domestic industry, a flawed business model and the pains of being middle-sized in an ever-increasing “big boys” industry. With our CEO and multiple VPs handed pink slips, I know I shouldn’t take it personally. But that’s just not how I’m hardwired. Never having been in this situation before, I would have thought my sights would be set squarely on me right now. How could I not be part of a long-term plan for my company? Did I really just commit four years of my life for this kind of exit? What is next? What interviews can I line up? Where should I live? What challenges await? Can I regain a sense of normalcy?

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