What's The Diff?

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Quicken Loans Abandons The DIFF for a Day


Work request for Quicken Loans Facilities team, Livonia, Mich.:
  1. Raid Clayton’s desk for gum. Watch for random squid and octopus hiding in his lunch.
  2. Put mustard packets on Ryan’s chair.
  3. Steal Kaufman’s Metamucil (and secret diet pills).
  4. Wrap everything on Jen R’s desk in bubble wrap.
  5. Create a big banner with “The Reg” and hang it from the ceiling.

A task list like this is what they get when they leave The DIFF Critic in charge for a day. I won’t divulge what happens to people who walk away from their computer without locking it first. Good thing for Josh, eh?

Yes, that’s right! All those crazy folks from the Quicken Loans team that handle web-based e-commerce-y stuff have taken off for the day. (Thanks, Matt… ever since we did away with titles, I have no clean way of referring to this talented group of people!) What’s better? They left me in charge of The DIFF!

But, wait… where did they go? They are all off brainstorming cool new tools and content for quickenloans.com, Q-topia and Quizzle, and probably dreaming up some new stuff that I wouldn’t be able to tell you about yet anyway. And they all went to a cool place – The Parade Company Studio.

Each year, the City of Detroit puts on a fabulous Thanksgiving Day Parade. One that rivals Macy’s. Really. And it’s all organized by The Parade Company. Now dubbed, “America’s Thanksgiving Parade,” the 2008 parade will be the 82nd to march down Woodward Avenue.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade began simply as the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade. So many of us Detroiters remember getting up insanely early in the morning, putting on snow suits, and still freezing our rears off before the parade even started. It’s become a fondly strange tradition in Detroit. In fact, it’s even kind of strange being there on the rare warm morning.

Yes, the parade has marching bands and floats, and the balloons get better and better every year. Well, except maybe for Captain Underpants. The Detroit parade also launched parade concepts that have been adopted in other cities as well. Take the Clown Corps – this group of business leaders dress up as clowns and march all to raise funds for children’s charities.

And then there’s my favorite, the Briefcase Brigade, otherwise known as Fred Hill’s Briefcase Drill Team. Fred Hill of Plymouth, Mich., began the corps as an innovative way to advertise his men’s clothing store. Hill organized 16 men dressed in suits who perform military-style “maneuvers” with briefcases. The drill team is now a national favorite.

The Parade Company pulls this off with the help of hundreds of volunteers and support from Detroit area people and businesses. But, the organization doesn’t exist just for its own survival. Their activities spawn so much more fund raising that goes on as these people join together and organize around the annual parade.

In fact, that’s how we ended up at The Parade Company Studio – you can rent their studio for a modest fee, benefiting the parade and all the other good that comes from this organization. So, next time you’re looking for meeting space, check it out!

Maybe I better call in sick tomorrow… the repercussions from that work request could be fatal.

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Detroit photographer Church of One (Flickr user) for letting us use the photo. See more of her work at flickr.com/people/church_of_one.

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  1. It’s not Metamucil, it’s Fiber-Con, and I want it back, elf woman.

    Posted by: Kauf | April 3, 2008
  2. Yesterday turned out better than I think any of us expected. Even the afternoon Kumbaya sessions were pretty cool. :)

    Posted by: Jen R | April 4, 2008

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018