Good Idea Gone Wrong

ExcitedI get very animated when I have a good idea, and when I think it’s a great idea, my heart flutters in excitement – a rush of euphoria flows through my veins, a smile spreads on my face and I can’t wait to tell someone.  Yesterday, I had a great idea at work.

I’ve been working on a project that includes planning activities for the company.  I had been struggling with one inparticular until a Google search ended with a “Eureka!” moment.  It was the perfect activity. 

My co-workers were going to love me.  I imagined the day I announced the activity, they would run over to my cube to give me high-fives.  When I entered conference rooms for meetings, they would all stand in spontaneous applause, cheering, whistling and chanting my name.  I was going to be a hero.

I sat at my desk with a goofy grin on my face frantically typing up the proposal and guidelines of the activity.  Midway through, I couldn’t contain myself.  I dialed Peter’s number. 

*ring* *ring* *ring*

Damn, he’s not there.  His calendar says he’s free.  Where is he?!

I stood up to look around, thanking God I am tall enough to see over the cube walls.  I immediately spotted him talking to a co-worker.  I hurriedly grabbed my document from the printer and headed over to him.

One of the most awkward things at work is when someone lurks.  Yet, I do it all the time.  I stand a few feet from a cube waiting for someone’s conversation to finish.  What I have to say is not important enough to interrupt but I want nothing more than to interrupt.  So I stand there, shuffling my feet around, occasionally staring hoping they’ll notice. 

They didn’t notice.

I sulked back to my cube to send Peter an email instead.

Subject: Peter, call me!

The seconds ticked by as I tapped my feet anxiously watching the phone.

*ri* I grabbed the phone interrupting the first ring. 

“Peter!  Are you in your office?”

It was a dumb question.  I could see that he was calling me from his office but I didn’t care. It seemed like an appropriate question.


“Stay there.  I am coming over.  I have the BEST idea.”

I hung up the phone before he could say another word.  It was not a time for objections.

I showed up at his door seconds later, flushed with excitement.  His back was turned to me as I started rattling of my great idea.  My arms were flailing as I talked. 

When he turned around to face me, he didn’t have to say a word.  He didn’t think it was a great idea.  But I couldn’t stop explaining.

As I continued to rattle of my ideas, the world became silent except for the whispered thoughts in my head.  I knew I was talking but all I could hear was this:

Elyse, he doesn’t like it.  Oh god, the look on his face.  Is that smile a legit smile or is he humoring me?  Why do you keep going on and on?  Maybe you aren’t explaining it well enough.  Just keep going, just keep going.  People like enthusiasm.  Oh god, it’s not that good of an idea after all.

“So what do you think?”  I asked smiling, hiding my disappointment.

“Well, I like the idea but I don’t think it will work.  Let’s stick with the original plan.”

“But Peter, the original plan isn’t all that great.  I am having a hard time coming up with a good way to execute.  But okay, I’ll keep brainstorming.”

I walked out defeated.  He didn’t even applaud.  I wondered how I could have been so wrong about my great idea.

An hour later, I turned around in my chair to see Peter talking to my neighbor.  I was flush with excitement again.  This time the idea wasn’t great. Instead, it was completely ridiculous.

“Peter!  I’ve been thinking and I’ve got it.  Here’s what we’ll do.  Each person will be blind folded.  We’ll spin them three times before they pick a random ball off the table.  The color of the ball will denote the category in which a trivia question will be asked.  If they get the question right, they will get a point and the chance to repeat the process until a question is answered incorrectly.  The person with the most points will win a prize. 

I put my hands on my hands on my hips.  “So? What do you think?”

It really was the most ridiculous idea.

“I love it!  Seriously, how do you come up with this stuff?”

Huh. I can’t believe that worked.


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