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What You Don’t Know About Brain Traffic

by Christine Benson on October 13th, 2011

Thanks to social media, many of our internal jokes are public information. While firing Meghan and a cake obsession may be well known, there’s more to us than you might have guessed.

1. We take pride in being a bunch of nerds and overachievers.

Every person who works here is driven by a high personal standard for quality. While we come from diverse backgrounds, it’s the one thing everyone has in common (other than an unnatural love of content).

It reminds me of a Family Ties episode where Alex and Mallory compete in a quiz show on TV. Their dad is the host of the show, and the team that wins is from the all-girls Catholic school. After the show, one of the girls comes up to Mr. Keaton and says, “My teacher says my answer about the Crusades was correct.” Mr. Keaton says, “What does it matter, you won?” The girl responds, “Yes, but we want to win by more.” We’re not jerks, we just really want to get things right. We take pride in what we do, not just for our clients, but for ourselves.

2. Most of us are introverts. Big time.

At events, we’re usually the group over in the corner, talking to the same people we see every day. And it’s not because we don’t want to talk to you—we’re just seriously shy (kind of goes hand-in-hand with the whole nerd thing). Feel free to come over and say hi. We’d be happy if you made the first move.

3. We genuinely enjoy each other’s company, even when we’re not working.

Every all-company meeting begins with story time. Some days, this takes up more time than the actual meeting. Also, at least once a year, we throw a party at our office. For ourselves. After many years of company outings, partying at our office was consistently voted the favorite (see #2).

Lots of party food

4. We frequently show up at places dressed like each other.

Seriously. This happens. On accident. All. The. Time. Even with the guys.

Matching outfits

5. Everyone gets a real paper card on their birthday, signed by their coworkers.

The first rule about birthday card signing is we never talk about birthday card signing. The card gets passed around in a folder with a checklist to record who has signed/needs to sign. We all pretend like we don’t know there’s a card in there. Any follow-up communication is handled over email. No words are ever spoken.

6. We have an unusually high number of similar or repeat names on staff.

There are three Christines (luckily one goes by Chris) and a Kristina, two Erins, and two Meghan/Megans. In the past, we also had two Angies and two Katies.

7. There’s an internal backlash against cake.

Cake will always be at the heart of Brain Traffic, but it’s nice to mix things up from time to time. Many of us secretly prefer pie, and in August we had a chip buffet.

8. However, we still have very detailed conversations about cake.

A thank you goes out to Erik Westra for noticing this. We don’t just eat cake; we have in-depth conversations analyzing cake qualities. Various flavors, cake vs. frosting, types of frosting … the list goes on. Even the cake backlash can trigger a good 10-minute conversation.

Want more behind-the-scenes info about Brain Traffic? Check out our other posts from around the office.

  • Paul

    Speaking of pie, and I’m sure more than one Brain Trafficker has seen it, this is the best pie chart ever: http://laughingsquid.com/accurate-pie-chart/.

  • John da Vinci

    I also strongly believe in points 1 and 2. It is sometimes difficult to reconcile those with my current work environment. I feel out of place not having people from work that I want to hang out with in other contexts but having a lot of pressure to “not be introverted” between 8:00 and 5:00.

  • http://floatboth.com MyFreeWeb

    The cake is a lie!

    Also, introverts, http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts – have you read this?

  • fermata

    don’t know if this post was just supposed to be fun, but it’s a great recruiting tool! I want to work with you. Even though I’m more of a quick-bread type.

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