We got an e-mail today from our Chairman, Dan Gilbert which almost sent the majority of Quicken Loans team members hightailing it down one of the busiest roads in Michigan – 8 Mile.
The reaction heard across the 4th floor of our building was mixed – "Whaaaaaat?" "Seriously?" "Wait a minute…." until we figured out it was a day-late April Fools joke on the whole company. And I use the word "we" lightly – word is some people might have taken the e-mail a bit too seriously….
After we realized it was a joke (many indicators in the e-mail), you have to wonder – do other company’s Chairmen have a sense of humor? If they do, do they use it? Does your leader make you smile? Do you work at a place where fun is frowned upon? I once heard a story about another company (which shall remain nameless) where two team members were reprimanded for high-fiving too much. Hmmm. Not a place I’d like to be.
I consider myself (and my fellow team members) enormously fortunate to work at a place where having fun is a priority and humor is celebrated. It’s this kind of stuff that makes Quicken Loans the #2 place to work in America. In fact, Web Marketing is spending tomorrow brainstorming and enjoying each other all day at an off-site at The Parade Company! I’m really looking forward to it.
Here is the e-mail from Dan (Chairman/Chief Prankster) in it’s entirety -
(For reference before you read this, "The Guy" is not part of the joke. We actually have specific teams designed to help other team members when issues come up – for loans, technology, facilities, human resources, client relations, marketing, accounting and security. It really is called "The Guy." Just another fantastic everyday perk at Quicken Loans!)
From: Gilbert, Dan
Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 1:03 PM
Subject: Urgent..Mid Day Inconvenience……..
Sorry for the late notice, everyone.
We have just been informed by the building management that our parking lot here in front of BOTH buildings in Livonia is scheduled to be re-striped today at 3:00 PM. “The Guy” and our facilities people were originally told that this would take place this weekend.
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
ALL CARS must be moved out of our parking lot by 2:45 PM today! We have arranged with the Sheraton Hotel on Haggerty Road, just North of 8 Mile Road and the Costco on Haggerty between 7 and 8 mile roads for the temporary use of the far end of both of their parking lots for our team members to park their vehicles for the remainder of the day.
‘The Guy’ has also set up a temporary valet service to move your cars for you if you are too busy. Please contact "The Guy" at extension 57373 option 4012008 and he will send up one of his ‘valet guys’ to collect your keys and move your car for you. Those of you who wish to move your own vehicles must do so by 2:45 PM.
We will NOT be providing transportation back to our buildings from the Costco and Sheraton parking lots. (Luckily, it is rather mild out and no rain is in the forecast with the barometer holding somewhere between 29.00 and 30.00).
The walk back to our buildings should take you about 20-25 minutes. Please be careful as you walk over I-275.
Please try to be back at your desks by 3:30 PM.
In addition, you should be very careful to NOT walk over the ‘freshly painted’ bright yellow stripes that will be on the asphalt all over the parking lot itself when you walk back to your cars at the Sheraton or Costco as you exit the building this afternoon or evening.
Just to make sure your heels do not permanently become neon yellow you will find several boxes of plastic ‘booties’ at the door of each exit of both buildings. Give yourself 30-40 minutes to walk back to your cars due to the traffic on 8 mile road, 7 mile road, Haggerty and I-275 during the afternoon drive time.
In addition, as an extra safety pre-caution, the Livonia school system has agreed to place several of their ‘safety boys’ and ‘safety girls’ at each intersection to help move all of the pedestrian traffic along the route back to your vehicles. Look for the kids with bright orange ‘safety belts’ worn diagonally across their upper body.
Please excuse the inconvenience and try to enjoy the walks and extra exercise if you choose not to have ‘The Guy’ and his ‘Valet Guys’ move your car for you.
Remember 2:45 PM is the absolute LATEST your car can be in the lot.
To quote Mark Twain twice –
"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all
our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes
"April 1st: This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three-hundred and sixty-four."