Kevin Salwen on Culture
The Dunkin' Donuts downstairs closed this week. That might not seem like a big deal -- and on its face it's not. After all, there are plenty of places to get coffee around here and Lord knows my butt doesn't need any more doughnuts.
But the reaction around our building has been deeper than I thought it might be. The folks at the Chick-fil-A restaurant next door were talking about it with the guy who runs the clothing and jewelry kiosks in the center of the atrium. The security people were discussing it with the cluster of folks who stand outside smoking. In short, it became a topic for our office community, a way of bringing us together on a common topic.
It may seem like I'm overstating this. After all, on their face they were brief and benign discussions about a largely unimportant subject -- a doughnut shop bites the dust. But the closing became a means of community dialogue, bringing disparate groups into a common circle. The chats represented one of those rare times when semi-strangers engage one another. (Even our elevators now have video screens so that people don't talk to each other any more.)
I don't know about you, but I cherish those moments. I love people, and I love connecting. For a short time, Dunkin' Donuts's closing provided that for me.