Toll House Tales: All Fired Up -103

Ordinary world... and then a call to adventure.

Ordinary world… and then a call to adventure.

The Journal Writer, Fran, seems to have a nice rapport with her cube mate, Doogie. It’s clear she is struggling to stay on top of the constant streams of communication required in her job and enjoys fun breaks, like the sports chat with Doogie. A message from her buddy and mentor puts a smile on her face…


The EMAIL is from Fran’s friend, GAYLE. Gayle is a former product marketing manager for TechCo. She worked with Fran for a brief period of time and then decided to move to Oregon (shortly after the last of her stock options vested). A big reason for her move was so that she could live closer to her grandmother (someone who had been very influential in Gayle’s upbringing). Getting out of the Valley (as in “Silicon Valley”) also got Gayle off what she often referred to as “the hamster wheel” she’d been on for years.

When she arrived in Oregon, Gayle gladly settled into a customer service position with regular hours (8-5pm) and no “extra baggage” after she left the building at night.

An E-MAIL exchange (this was before instant messaging was readily used) with Gayle was something Fran always looked forward to– like one appreciates the energizing rays of the sun.

(E-mails states the following)

Hey girl! Still on your weekly conference call?
Thought I’d e-mail you to break up the monotony.
— GD

(writes back)

Yo, Duckster! Good to hear from you. And before I get too distracted, thanks for the CARE package. As for the silly call, it was canceled yet again! I swear this must be some sort of trick to make sure that we all are at our desks by 8am. The thing that pisses me off is that they never see when you leave at night– only when you get in.

SO what’s going on?


[“Fran I am, Green Eggs and Ham “is something Gayle said to her a lot when they worked together]

After hitting the SEND button, Fran clicks around her desktop, scanning other messages, reading attachments until she hears the “ping” of new e-mail (anticipating a quick response from Gayle). She smiles and then clicks to open the message.

(writes back)

So, Ms. FIAM, are you telling me that you aren’t at your desk by 8am? I’m shocked..SHOCKED!
But seriously…be glad you aren’t working at Intel. I heard they have to sign-in at the front desk if they arrive after 8.
…as for what’s going on, you know me– a little of this, a little of that– not one to sit still… Rats! The lines are lighting up. Got to hop.

More later–GD

Fran smiles and thinks to herself how she needs to hop as well.  So she quickly types a closing email.


As usual, the timing on the CARE package was impeccable.

And your cookie tin is always a welcomed sight in these parts.
Thanks again!

(closes with a smiley face)

Just before she hits send, another EMAIL message slides in, so Fran shrinks her message to Gayle and clicks on her INBOX. This time, it’s a message from DOOGIE.


Hey, Fran! That cookie was fantastic. Gayle is a amazingly
gifted baker. Tell her that if she ever decides to go the “Famous
Amos” or “Mrs. Fields” route, I’d gladly provide testimonials and —
as a bonus, write all the copy for her marketing collateral.

Fran smiles– and then her fingers start typing a reply to Doogie very quickly.


Will write for food. Yeah, I’ll let her know. BTW. I was just
emailing with her when you pinged.

Fran hits SEND and then opens up Gayle’s message and types in the following:

(to Gayle)

Yo, Duckster! You’ve got quite the fan club here when it comes to your
cookies. My cube-mate just interrupted me to gush (GUSH!) about how much he loved the cookie.

I expect him to poke his head over the wall any minute and tell me
that he loves the cookies so much, that he’d buy the company — if
there was a company to buy.

— Sili-FIAM

Just as Fran hits SEND, another message from Doogie appears.


You know… I DO love her cookies so much that I’d buy the company!
But then again, she needs to start a company for me to buy. Let her
know, will ya?

[Reference: Victor Kiam-Remington Razors]

Fran laughs out loud and talks to herself.

(thinking to herself)

Do I know that guy or what? Too funny. He’ll probably be over here
shortly for seconds… that “you can’t eat just one” thing…
Just then, the phone rings.


This is Fran. How can I help you?


This is Gayle. And actually… I’m here to help you.

[Note: The phone call is shown split screen]


Wrong number (pause)! Okay, just kidding. So what has
prompted this rare call from the fresh princess of the mighty
Northwest– you didn’t ditched a bunch of customers just to hear the sound of my voice, did you?


Nah. I’m on my ten. Figured I should give you a shout before you
got busy with other calls and meetings and whatever else you do
with your time.


It’s always great to hear your voice! But I got to warn ya– I can’t sound like I’m having fun. You remember what happened the last time you called?


Yeah, I know. One of your bosses walked by while you were laughing
and made some kind of comment about how much fun you were having..


… and that I’d never be taken seriously here if I was heard laughing…


Yeah… my take is that you need to learn to laugh more quietly…


Certainly!  I’ll put that on my list.


So… Like what-cha got going for the weekend?


I’m so tired… I can’t even think that far ahead. I know it’s only
WEDNESDAY, but I’m pretty darned wiped out. I’m guessing that my
exciting weekend will be just like last weekend and the weekend


…and so on and so on… Yeah. I know the drill. Remember that I
used to work there. I know all about vegging out for a day and a
half before doing the Sunday afternoon/evening freak-out about
how far behind you are on all your projects…

Fran is shaking her head smiling again (thinking –she knows
me so well).


You got that right.


So lets shake things up. Like… what would you do if you got an
amazingly fantastic offer?


Based on how I feel right now, it would have to be a pretty darn
amazingly fantastic offer.


How about an offer you can’t refuse?


Okay, you got my attention. Go on.


How’d you like to come up here and play this weekend? Fall is the
best time to be in Oregon as far as I’m concerned and…


…It’s a pretty darn good time to be just about anywhere in the
States… (pause) sorry… I couldn’t resist… you were


Well this is…


Hang on.

Just then, Doogie pokes his head into Fran’s cube and, in Jetsons-style, removes two cookies which he places on a napkin. He puts the lid back on the tin and then takes the tin with him. Tiptoeing as to not disturb her call, he backs out of her cube smiling.

Fran, who had put Gayle on hold, so that she could say something to Doogie, decided to hold her tongue. Instead, she just shakes her head, smiles and then returns to her call.

Yo! I’m back.


What was that all about? Did you get busted?


Nah! From what I can tell, it looks like Mr. Doogie is on a mission of some sort. He just walked out of here with your cookie tin.


Ah. The great cookie tin adventure continues…


The what?


There’s something about that cookie tin– it’s always up for an

There’s a pause on the other end. It is clear from the look on Fran’s face that she can’t quite figure out what the heck Gayle is talking about.


I thought I told you. That’s why I keep having you send it back to me
when its emptied.


Oh… Oh yeah. It was your grandma’s tin– that’s been handed
down to you…something about sentimental value, right?


Close. My grandma has told me some amazing stories about that tin…
it certainly had a way of making the rounds.


Sounds like the makings of a Disney animated feature– a la “Brave Little Toaster.”

As Fran is saying this, she notices on her computer screen that a bunch of e-mails marked urgent have slid into her mailbox.


Oh crap. I gotta go.


Did the landslide of e-mails just bring you down?


Very funny… ha ha… is to laugh… You know, I kinda hate the use of the urgent exclamation point– especially when ten supposedly urgent messages arrive at once…


And you now have to judge the level of urgency… nice…
Okay, we’ll continue this discussion later. Ciao!

They both hang up and Fran, with a worried look on her face, settles in to deal with her out-of-control e-mail.


>> Watch for Toll House Tales: All Fired Up -104

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