In 2008 I started working for Mizuno, USA, as a salesman. A traveling shoe salesman. Like an Al Bundy on wheels. It was a super cool job as I had been trying to get into the field for a couple of years, and had been running in Mizuno shoes almost exclusively since I had begun running 6-7 years prior. I was 37 years old and this was my first “corporate” job.
I was immediately struck by how different the two worlds were. The field, and the dungeon the poor people who worked at the office had to endure. There was also an immense hierarchy and multiple levels of things that didn’t need them You couldn’t email some people without emailing someone else first and so on. I ignored this from the jump.
The last thing that got me was the formality of everyone’s email closing. I mean I thought “thanks,” was pretty elaborate. There was “Best, best regards, sincerely, kindest regards,’ and on and on. It was all a bit much.
Somewhere around 2009 I began ending all my emails with “hugs and high fives” both to customers and internally. Sometimes I’d get real fancy and shorten it to “H+HF”, like a whipass acronym declaring my love on the way out the door. The cool part was that no one ever said a thing.
Since then, it’s become a calling card for the FRESHJUNKIE nation. We have t-shirts and are considering hats and the like.
As is also normal, yesterday, on the eve of my birthday, I emailed the office of Governor John Bel Edwards to see about getting my birthday changed to Hugs+hi5s day. If it goest through, I’ll let you know.