Empathy – The Weinbach Group

Episode graphic for "An Agency Story" podcast with Dan Weinbach - title Empathy - Hosted by Russel Dubree - picture of Dan in the lower right corner smiling.
Dan emphasizes the fundamental principle of making more money than you spend. He stresses the need for agency owners to consistently monitor their financials, maintain a profit and loss statement, and focus on their core strengths in order to differentiate themselves in the market.

Company: The Weinbach Group

Owners: Dan Weinbach

Year Started: 1987

Employees: 11 – 25

In this podcast episode, host Russel Dubree interviews Daniel Weinbach, the President & CEO of The Weinbach Group. 

Dan shares valuable insights and tips for agency owners, emphasizing the importance of financial management, finding a niche, and investing in marketing. He also highlights the significance of understanding the client’s business and developing empathy for their customers.

Throughout the episode, Dan emphasizes the fundamental principle of making more money than you spend. He stresses the need for agency owners to consistently monitor their financials, maintain a profit and loss statement, and focus on their core strengths in order to differentiate themselves in the market.

Dan’s personal journey includes joining his father’s agency and growing it into a successful business. He attributes part of his success to mentorship and encourages business owners to invest in their team members to enhance their ability to effectively communicate on behalf of clients.

The episode concludes with Dan discussing the role of artificial intelligence in the industry and his future goals to continue growing the business and bringing in talented team members.

Enjoy the story.

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Show Transcript

Welcome to An Agency Story podcast where we share real stories of marketing agency owners from around the world. From the excitement of starting up the first big sale, passion, doubt, fear, freedom, and the emotional rollercoaster of growth, hear it all on An Agency Story podcast. An Agency Story podcast is hosted by Russel Dubree, successful agency owner with an eight figure exit turned business coach. Enjoy the next agency story.

Russel: 

Welcome to An Agency Story podcast. I’m your host Russel. On this episode, we are joined by Daniel Weinbach, the president and CEO of The Weinbach Group. A Miami based agency focused on integrated marketing within the healthcare industry. Daniel decided early in his career to give up his longtime dream of the cutthroat world of Hollywood in earthquakes to come back to his hometown and work in his parents’ agency. A rare look at a second generation agency story. We talk about the fundamental principle of making more money than you spend and how critical it is to keep an up-to-date and accurate financial picture of the business. Also listen, how a harrowing personal experience allows them to be a better advocate and marketer. Enjoy the story. Welcome to the show today, everyone. I have Daniel Weinbach with The Weinbach Group with us here today. Thank you so much for being on the show, Daniel.

Daniel: 

Thank you for having me, it’s fun.

Russel: 

Good time we shall have. If you don’t mind, kick us right off. What does The Weinbach Group do and who do you do it for?

Daniel: 

We are a marketing communications firm, which is the best descriptor for a company that helps organizations market and communicate with the various audiences that they need to reach. For us, that means we do everything from public relations and publicity at one end of the spectrum, to advertising and paid placements at the other end of the spectrum, and a whole lot that falls in between.

Russel: 

Wonderful. I’ve gotten a lot better about this in terms of asking people how they came up with their name. However, one can make a lot of assumptions about how you came up with your name, but there might be more to the story that meets the eye there. How did the name get formed for The Weinbach Group?

Daniel: 

For starters, I didn’t pick it. The Weinbach Group was selected by my dad who started the company in 1987. I’m actually the second generation Weinbach to run the company. I think in that era, we saw lots of PR firms and ad agencies that reflected the owner’s names, Ogilvy and Mather, FleishmanHillard. That’s how it was done, and it’s reflective of the fact that we’ve been around for almost 40 years that we have a name that harkens to our last names. Today you look at ad agencies and they’ve got all kinds of newfangled names, Creative Power Works or Ads For Sale or whatever it might be. It was of the time, and it’s done good service for us, so we’ve kept it.

Russel: 

What’s the saying? If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I think that is definitely of the time. It’s one of the ways you can never quite know, but how you can know an agency’s been around for a good long while if they have a name in them. We’re going to dig a lot more into that and your eventual succession in your father’s business, but a very cool part of your story. Prior to all things agency life, when you were growing up, was it like, hey, I want to follow in my dad’s footsteps or what were you actually thinking you were going to do long before you got into the agency?

Daniel: 

I certainly did not think that I was going to be involved in communications, marketing communications, at least. Following in my dad’s footsteps growing up would have meant being a company guy because my dad spent the majority of his career working for Fortune 500 companies, handling their communications. When I grew up I wanted to be in the movie business. I actually finished my undergrad and headed out to California and went to film school at USC, and participated in a program that was specifically for film producing. It was a pretty prestigious program and had a small cohort of students. They set us up beautifully with internships and ended up getting a great job on the set of Paramount Pictures as a story editor. I was living the life out of a movie, except I hated it. It was all of the cliches about the movie business I came to realize were based on truth. It was a cutthroat, all consuming business. It was a nation away from my home, including from my future wife. When an earthquake struck in 1994, I decided it was time to head, and I came back to Miami with few prospects. For a job, I went to work for my dad because it was the fastest path to not being poor at the moment.

Russel: 

You’re saying that Hollywood is not all glitz and glam, is that what you’re saying?

Daniel: 

I hope I didn’t burst your bubble, but it is not all glitz and glam. In fact, learning that was very disenchanting for me because it’s more fun to picture glitz and glam than the nitty gritty. For years after film school, it was hard for me to watch a movie without picking apart the production values and all of the technical elements that I didn’t know about before film school. I was ruined by having gone to film school because I couldn’t escape as much, but I’m back to being an audience member and I can enjoy it with the best of them.

Russel: 

My bubble’s not burst. I think I gave up those dreams a while ago but unfortunately maybe there’s someone listening that that maybe has.

Daniel: 

Different strokes for different folks, lots of people who love it. Lots of people out there who might want to be podcast hosts, who knows.

Russel: 

Obviously we know where you ended up as you shared, but prior to that your goal was being in the film industry. What were your memories as your dad was starting this business, and what was your perception of that from your angle as that was all going on?

Daniel: 

By comparison to my contemporaries parents jobs, we seemed to have access to things and experiences that some other jobs didn’t afford to the kids that I grew up with. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and which is actually the town where FleishmanHillard, which is obviously one of the biggest PR firms in the world, got started. My dad worked at FleishmanHillard back in the days when Al Fleishman and Bob Hillard ran the shop. They had all the big accounts in St. Louis at the time, which included things like Anheuser Busch and the St. Louis Cardinals. I grew up with cases of Budweiser at our house that were mandated by my dad’s PR firm and tickets to every baseball game you could want to go to, and I wasn’t much of a sports fan. It was certainly part of the milieu of what I visualized as being in the ad business or being in the public relations business. I thought that was neat. I had no idea what he actually did, I didn’t know what public relations was. It took being in the business to actually learn exactly what it is. I’m still learning actually.

Russel: 

I don’t know what my dad does, but it’s free Cardinals tickets and beer. That’s probably all you need to say, and I’m sure your friends were happy for that. I’m gonna have to ask my kids that question someday. What are their thoughts on the whole thing? Very fascinating. I didn’t realize, we share some roots there. I’m a fellow Missourian, actually, in my origins. Small town in Missouri, not a robust city like St. Louis. You come back home and you’re seeking a career. Did you take this job with your dad’s agency with drudgery? Or did you do it happily and willingly?

Daniel: 

I was pretty neutral to it. It was all new to me, so in that regard, it quickly became interesting. I don’t think that there was any period where I was regretful or felt that I was being pushed into or forced into something. It was a learning experience and I learned quickly that the skills that made me interested in movie making and the creative endeavors of filmmaking were not too dissimilar from the skills that make somebody good at advertising, public relations, and marketing communications. At its core, both industries are forms of communication and they start on the page. Writing has always been an important part of what interests me and what I like to do. There was a sort of natural transition from one business to the other. There was actually something almost more stimulating about working in an agency environment because the variety of writing was so broad and the number of projects was so great. I think in retrospect, it was a pretty enthusiastic entry. To my surprise, I was liking it.

Russel: 

Good for you. I’m sure that made life a whole lot easier on multiple levels. If you don’t mind sharing, what did your transition look like? That’s an interesting position to be in the business that your father owns. How did you transition through the company to eventually where you are today?

Daniel: 

To put it into context, like I said, my dad was a company guy and had worked for companies his whole life. When I joined the firm, it was a relatively new enterprise and it was very small. It consisted of my dad, my mom, and I think they had one other employee. It was a small thing and I was certainly not afforded any sort of special treatment. If I can recall, my starting salary was somewhere around 24,000 a year. There was no great shakes about it. What I did get in terms of special treatment was a lot of mentoring from my dad. Tactical mentoring as it related to writing and communicating with the media, recognizing what audiences want, as well as business mentoring. At the end of the day, one of the most important things he taught me was the way you make money in business is you have to take in more money than you spend, which is a pretty elementary concept, but it seems to get lost on a lot of business owners. I held onto that piece of wisdom and it’s served me well.

Russel: 

It all ends up back at the basics. I’m sure we could all use a remembrance and a lesson that that is the goal in business, beyond, maybe if nothing else, the value we provide. When did it start to feel like, okay, I’m not the employee, I’m the partner? Was that pretty early on? Or when did you start to step up and your dad or your parents at large kind of take a back seat? Talk us a little bit through that.

Daniel: 

Ultimately what sort of cemented me to the business was the thrill of acquiring clients and signing new business. As I became better at that and more prolific in terms of bringing in business, I felt a greater sense of ownership. These were my clients. These were my meal ticket. I think that in terms of life stages, it worked out that my parents were getting to the point where they welcomed the idea of not working as much. As I had this greater sense of ownership of the client relationships, a greater financial vested interest in the client relationships, they were taking their feet off the gas a little bit. The problem is that it wasn’t perfect synchronicity, they weren’t quite ready to take their feet off the gas at the time that I was ready to feel that sense of ownership. That disconnect I think was the source of a lot of family conflict and business conflict. Getting back to your original question, when did I feel that sense of being an owner? I think it had to do with bringing in business and the necessity to keep that business in order to keep my pay as high as it could be.

Russel: 

That sounds like a natural parent child struggle, right? One is ready to spread their wings and fly sooner than typically the parent wants to release. So no surprise there. Was there a point in time when there was a kind of an official handoff? Because as I think is the way you related to it, mom and dad show up to the Christmas party today, but don’t have a lot of involvement in the overall business as I understand it.

Daniel: 

In fact, when you think about the stereotypical generational conflict that exists between businesses, I picture the senior generation wanting to retain control and the younger generation wanting to make change and bring the organization into the next phase of the world. That wasn’t our conflict. In fact, my dad who was the architect of the company was happy to hand off control. He was happy to release all responsibility. The only thing that he didn’t want to release was access to the money. I think that the conflict ensued because there was a sense of resentment that built within me, that I was pulling all the weight, doing all the work and not benefiting as equitably as I thought I should. That created a lot of tension between my dad and me for sure, but also between my mom and my dad and my mom and me, she was put in the middle of it and as the company grew and we had more and more employees. They were certainly party to some of that tension. I think the official handoff came at my urging. Urging is a euphemism for other words. I can’t remember the exact year, but it’s been 15 plus years since my dad officially retired. It was a very slow drawn out process, but it actually had a very positive effect on our relationship because all of that resentment went away and I’m much more able to enjoy my dad as a dad and not as a business partner. Now he’s welcome to come to the Christmas party and participate in the secret Santa gift exchange and all that stuff with a lot more levity.

Russel: 

I’m glad to hear that’s a positive ending and that didn’t end up where one of you went and created the Weinbach Group redux version or something like that. Good to hear.

Daniel: 

It definitely occurred to me. The idea went through my head for sure.

Russel: 

The anti-Weinbach Group. My son has a joke, I’m trying to think of the name he decided, but we told him, this was a few years ago, we said, hey, we’re probably never going to allow a child of ownership come into the business other than in an internship level and so him and his cousin created a, I can’t remember the name. I wish I could remember the name.

Daniel: 

It was the non whatever.

Russel: 

Yes, the non whatever and their tagline was because screw you. It was all a jest, I think. Maybe not. I hope they do start that business someday though. That will be fun.

Daniel: 

Yeah. By the way, it’s good motivation.

Russel: 

When you think about your journey there and you talked a lot about mentorship. I’m sure a lot of that occurs naturally, this thing of parent-child relationship, but when you look back and now you’ve got other employees in the business, is there lessons you feel like you can extrapolate from that, that came naturally from the parent child relationship but still should be thought about and applied to when you think about any employer or growing anyone in your business?

Daniel: 

All of those adages that I repeat, begrudgingly having to attribute them to my dad. Those are the nuggets that I think any business owner can benefit from. Going back to the one that I mentioned before, the idea of taking in more money than you spend, it’s a hard thing to achieve. I see so many startup businesses, especially in the professional services sector, over invest in their infrastructure unnecessarily. I think one of the things that we need to always remember is that we should never have excess capacity in the communications business. That’s a recipe for failure. It’s like having a giant office space that has empty offices and empty desks, right? Having too many people and not enough work is not a good thing. That’s one of those pieces of information that I think is of great value. One of the others are, at the most general level, is the idea that Murphy’s Law is real and we have to take precautions to make sure that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. There’s a reason that we have a great deal of caution in our processes. I think that is absolutely something that younger people, as they enter the business, need to learn. They need to trust and believe the truth of the statement because when they don’t listen to that piece of advice and they see the mistakes happen, it can be devastating to them. They can lose their job. They can lose a client. Those mistakes can be huge. It boils down to being careful.

Russel: 

Very good advice. As you’re chatting through, going back to this whole making more money than you spend, it’s a big proponent of why I end up encouraging a lot of folks is understand and make your financials be a lens into the business and treat it similar to how an accountant would sit down and look and measure business, right? Things like actually having cost of goods sold. Not everything is overhead and knowing when you’re making investments versus measuring, hey, is the business actually taking in more money and hey, if we want to make an investment, where are we making it and what’s going to be the return? Putting on that financial hat is key. I assumed there were some good tips and tricks you learned in that thought process to live by that standard.

Daniel: 

Actually, I think you mentioned things that we absolutely apply in our management of The Weinbach Group. That piece of advice and that business approach didn’t come from my dad. It came from an engagement with a consultant who specializes in providing advice to small creative firms like ours. It was one of the best investments we ever made. This consultant guided us to look at our financials through that lens, to create a process for evaluating our monthly income that takes into account cost of goods sold, it takes into account overhead. It has changed my instant understanding and knowledge of how our business is doing in the moment. Going back, I can’t imagine how I survived not knowing what I now know about the financial health of my business, cause I didn’t for many years. I looked at the checking account and figured, okay, there’s money there so we’re doing okay. Finally figured out what it means.

Russel: 

Similar path is I always had done the accounting and the financial side of the business. I figured out some things, general bookkeeping, but didn’t know what I was doing or why I was doing it. I actually took a course through Harvard online of financial management and some different accounting courses. It changed my whole perspective on learning, oh, that’s why that’s there and why that makes sense and why we should record it this way. If nothing else, I think a good takeaway for folks is, invest in that financial knowledge sooner than later, because it will be very beneficial. Another thing that was very compelling about your story, and it seemed like this came early on and it’s a lot more the talk of the agency world today, is focusing on a specific niche or industry. Talk to us a little bit about that journey, how you came to that and then we can dive into that process.

Daniel: 

As I said, my dad started the business as a generalist. He was a generalist in terms of his professional career. I suppose by happenstance, we found ourselves doing a lot of work in the healthcare sector, and specifically working on the payer side of the healthcare industry. The payers are the insurance companies that are paying the bills for reimbursing doctors for their services. We started doing a lot of work with managed care companies, and that led to other types of healthcare businesses. During that engagement with the consultant that I mentioned, he said, boy, you guys seem to have a lot of clients in healthcare. Why don’t you market yourselves as healthcare experts? I think both my dad and I were extremely resistant to the idea because we feared that we would miss out on those opportunities that were outside of the healthcare business, but ultimately I came to the conclusion that it was actually a good way to go. It took some convincing to get my dad on board, but we did reposition and repackage ourselves to focus on healthcare with much greater intensity. What was fabulous about it is number one, it gave us the opportunity to be much more efficient with our new business efforts. We could focus on the opportunities that fit under that umbrella of health care. The other thing is there was a great deal of comfort in pursuing those types of clients because that expertise was true. We had that expertise from having worked with so many health care clients, and it was a magical thing in terms of growing the company. It allowed us to accelerate growth and to start working with some fantastic organizations that we probably wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to work with. One of the interesting things that happened along the way is we continued to attract clients outside of the healthcare business, including some pretty incredible organizations in the public sector and the nonprofit sector. It was the perfect combination of being able to position ourselves as experts in healthcare, deliver expert healthcare marketing communication services, and continue to attract a variety of different kinds of organizations to always bring that degree of variety that I love so much into the daily grind.

Russel: 

I love that you shared that and this is a big focus that I work with a lot of companies on, is the idea of positioning and different hesitations and height of obstacle that folks feel or apprehension that they feel about the idea of it. I love that you kinda share the one is, one, it doesn’t exclude for those that do generally like variety of working on other things. It’s a means of all the ways you mentioned of better ways to get clients that you might not have otherwise gotten, larger accounts, all that sort of thing. Great to bring that home there.

Daniel: 

The analog is none of us would ever say we’re only going to do digital marketing at the exclusion of any other kind of marketing, right? We’re not going to do advertising only on social media platforms at the exclusion of every other website, so why would we expect that when we focus on an expertise, like an industry niche, that means excluding other opportunities?

Russel: 

In some cases, I think we’re doing this to fulfill our own passions and desires. For some variety is a very important, and we have to respect that within ourselves. Some decide, why would I ever work with anyone else when I can show up and be the expert in everything we do? Because, again, the greatest thing about this is we can make it what we want it to be for the reasons we want to. Sometimes we might have to do some things we don’t want to.

Daniel: 

I have to remind myself of that, with more frequency. My wife is a good advisor in that regard. She’ll often say, it’s your business. Why can’t you? And I say, I don’t know. She’s right, I think that, in order to make those kinds of decisions, you have to remind yourself that you’re free to do so. Sometimes it takes somebody else to tell you’re free to do that.

Russel: 

Very good advice there. My wife told me that, never about the business strategy. That was always when she needed me to take a day off.

Daniel: 

Same idea, right? It’s guised as business advice.

Russel: 

Yeah. I guess so. You can apply it to anything. Specifically speaking to healthcare, you had a very, I don’t know if the word’s harrowing or unfortunate experience with your own daughter and an illness. If you don’t mind, to the level you’re comfortable with, share a little bit about that. Did that resonate more with the type of work you’re doing, specifically in the healthcare industry?

Daniel: 

Absolutely. You’re talking about my middle daughter who, she’s going to be 24 in about two weeks. When she was 18, she was diagnosed with cancer during her freshman year of college, and it was an unusual cancer for a young person to have. She was diagnosed with colon cancer. it was as frightening and devastating an experience that I’ve ever had in my life. Hopefully it will be the worst I ever have to go through, and hopefully it’s over. But the experience, I certainly felt more equipped based on what I had gone through as a communicator for healthcare organizations. I knew how healthcare systems worked. I knew how insurance companies worked. I had a business understanding of what I needed to do to be an advocate for my daughter. I also, over the course of almost 30 years, gained some clinical knowledge that gave me the vocabulary and the ability to have conversations that I don’t think I could have handled otherwise. I’m thankful for that in terms of how I was prepared in that regard. There’s no preparation for it emotionally, but the other piece that I’ve taken away from this, and this is something that I knew beforehand but I now think about much more frequently. That is the work that I do has meaning. When you, regardless of what kind of health care business or organization you’re helping, at the end of the day, it’s about people who need to access an essential service. It has such a tremendously profound impact on people. I think that being part of that, it’s very gratifying to know that the work that we do is for a greater good, to some extent. Listen, I’m not saying that we’re on the front lines, coming up with treatments for devastating diseases. But we’re part of a system that hopefully is making the world a better place for people. That feels good.

Russel: 

As it should. We all didn’t choose the path to be on the front lines, as you said, but we have a role to play. As you mentioned, I’m sure what a difficult experience, thank you for sharing what I know what had to be a very difficult time. Your ability to be an advocate and to be a good steward in your role to play in that I’m sure will have an impact beyond the agency dollars earned in the next campaign that goes out. Thank you again for sharing that.

Daniel: 

Yeah, and I’ll tell you, it comes up all the time also and we actually signed a new client, it’s a chain of radiation oncology clinics. I am certainly not playing the cancer card when I talk about my daughter who had cancer, but I have this understanding of what their customers, the patients who they treat, have been through. I do believe that it gives me insight in terms of the messaging. It’s unlike any insight that you can have, and you can translate that, it doesn’t have to be about cancer. If somebody is being treated for a mental health disorder, if they are accessing care of any kind, knowing what patients go through is a important empathetic experience. To be able to communicate about it. I think that crosses over from any industry as well.

Russel: 

Absolutely. Not that we would ever want someone to experience what you had to go through there, but if nothing else, if you were bringing out to the broader sense of how important it is to go immerse yourself when you’re doing this kind of work in your client’s business, your client’s client, your customer’s customer, and get to experience. That’s going to develop all that empathy in that sense of connection you were able to take away from that. Wow, what a powerful part of your story. Where do you follow that? I guess we’ll have to end this at some point. The next follow on question is, where are you trying to take the business? What’s the goal for you?

Daniel: 

I think that changes every day with my mood. At this very moment, I continue to get a rush out of bringing in new business. I continue to be stimulated by the work that we do. For the very near foreseeable future, I anticipate continuing to grow the business. To bring in interesting, challenging clients that have value to offer to their customers, to the audiences that they reach. At the same time, to bring in to our firm team members who can add depth to our ability to effectively communicate on behalf of our clients. Those two things, bringing in great business and bringing in great team members is my goal. The two go hand in hand, right? We don’t want to build excess capacity, so I’m not bringing in team members till we have the funds. But that’s the direction that I want to go. Certainly to stay focused on health care, especially we’re in this very exciting time. I’m sure many of your guests talk about artificial intelligence and how it applies to the delivery of work that they provide to their clients. That’s certainly a part of what we’re doing as a marketing firm, but AI is also playing such a fascinating role in healthcare. I believe that we are going to be having the ability to tell stories about diseases that we are curing because of AI, conditions that we’re able to treat that we could never otherwise treat because of AI. Paying for people’s healthcare because of AI. There’s all kinds of things that it is generating and it’s an exciting time to be part of healthcare.

Russel: 

Well spoken, and if nothing else, make more money than you spend.

Daniel: 

Yes. Good point.

Russel: 

Awesome. The last big question I ask everyone on the show is, are entrepreneurs born or are they made?

Daniel: 

I believe entrepreneurs are born, but I think many of us don’t know we’re entrepreneurs until later in life. I think that it’s one of those things, you may have an aptitude for music or an aptitude for art, but you don’t know it until you start trying it. I do believe that there is an innate sense of entrepreneurship that people are born with, and I think it’s probably on the same chromosome with competition to some extent, and some forms of ratification, but for sure. I think it’s something you’re born into.

Russel: 

Wow. Love that. Beautiful answer. Very cool. If people want to know more about The Weinbach Group, where can they go?

Daniel: 

They can go to Weinbachgroup. com, or@Weinbachgroup as our Twitter handle or X handle, excuse me. You’ll also find us on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn. Again, it’s Weinbach Group, W E I N B A C H Bach, like the composer, Group.

Russel: 

Back to the whole Twitter, X thing. I say we form a revolution and we refuse to call it X. It’s Twitter.

Daniel: 

It’s like when Prince was known as the artist formerly known as Prince, it was so annoying.

Russel: 

We’ll keep it and they’ll relent. They’ll go back. If we don’t give in.

Daniel: 

Either that or it’ll it’ll disappear. Who knows?

Russel: 

That’s true too. Thank you so much, Daniel, for your time today and sharing with so many parts of your story and the impact that you’ve had and the things you’ve gone through. I appreciate you taking the time to be on the show today.

Daniel: 

Thanks for having me. This has been a pleasure.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of An Agency Story podcast where we share real stories of marketing agency owners from around the world. Are you interested in being a guest on the show? Send an email to podcast@performancefaction.com. An Agency Story is brought to you by Performance Faction. Performance Faction offers services to help agency owners grow their business to 5 million dollars and more in revenue. To learn more, visit performancefaction.com.

Daniel: 

We had a graphic designer and my dad was notorious for working late. One evening, it must’ve been like, 11 o’clock or 11:30, he was getting ready to leave the office and he heard some stirring going on in the office. He ducked his head into the graphic design studio and he saw the shadow of something under one of the tables. It turns out it was one of our graphic designers who was sleeping under the table. He had decided that he was going to camp out at our office. He had been kicked out of his house by his wife and so he was camping under the table. It was an awkward moment, as you can imagine, where your boss walks in and has to figure out, you’re not allowed to sleep here under the desk. What makes it bizarre is that it happened, maybe fast forward 20 years where we had a controller who, in the middle of the workday, decided that she was going to climb under her desk and take a nap. Again, I had to be the bearer of bad news and I had to say, you can’t do that. We don’t sleep under our desk at work. I think the lesson there is don’t be surprised. Employees will do the strangest things.

Russel: 

You must have a cozy office.

Daniel: 

Oh, we do. We do. We make sure it’s very cozy.

Russel: 

That’s funny. Reminds me of a similar story, we had a gentleman in our office and every now and then I’d stop by at night or maybe I’d go try to get some work done and he’d be there a lot of times on a Friday night and I was like, what are you doing? It’s oh, I’m playing World of Warcraft or whatever. We found out later he would tell his wife, Oh, I got to work late and then he would stay at the office to play World of Warcraft or whatever game.

Daniel: 

To escape being with her. Who knows what it was.

Russel: 

Yeah, I can’t tell, I’ll blame it on the company and I’ll get some gaming time in or something like that. It was, it’s funny. To the point that people do surprising things.

Daniel: 

People are weird. Clients are weird. Employees are weird. People are weird.