Scene: This morning’s rush hour on the uptown C train. It’s crowded. Everyone looks smushed, uncomfortable, and tired. I’m standing, trying to balance myself while drinking a coffee, reading the news on my phone, and some-what holding onto a pole so I don’t fall over. A seat becomes available, I’m too slow to sit down and a teenage boy grabs it so he can play a video game on his ipad.
I grumble to myself something about chivalry being dead among teenagers and mentally note to never buy a teenager the latest in electronics.
Then, a homeless man starts his daily pitch, I grumble again. Apparently, I was pretty grumbly this morning.
“My name is Homeless Jim. But you can call me just Homeless for short.”
Hold the phone, this guy is funny.
“Anything you can give to help me out is greatly appreciated. I love bagels, coffee, juice, or just a few pennies. I could use some lotion too. Like I love to say, I’m trying to go from ashy to classy.”
hah. The girl next to me gives him what looks like a sandwich.
“Deodorant too. Anyone have any deodorant? It’ll help me smell more like a human and less like Homeless. This way, more people will treat me more like a human and less like Homeless.”
I didn’t have deodorant on me, so I hand him the emergency dollars I keep in the inside pocket of my coat. Others were handing him things too – more than I’ve ever seen my fellow New Yorkers hand a homeless person on the train. Maybe he got his lotion.
Lesson of the day: Be Unexpected. When this man started his speech, a communial grumble was felt by everyone on the train. Something like: Oh great, I was having a fine morning sipping my coffee until this crazy guy started yelling about needing pennies. But then, he was funny. He was sincere. His speech was completely different than any other I’ve ever heard.
He was unexpected, and he got his bagel.
In business, being unexpected is a valuable trait to have among a sea of competitors. You wouldn’t expect to receive a confetti filled postcard from me just to say hi, but you will. It’s the fun, little, happy surprises that excite me. It’s the same with weddings. I design decorations that are out of the ordinary, that your guests are not going to expect. Sure, they’ll expect to see flowers and maybe even get a little favor. But it’s the unexpected details and cool, craftiness of those favors that will make them say WOW.
If you want some unexpected awesomeness at your wedding, click here to email me and we’ll chat.