Pam was collecting teddy bears for charity, as Christmas presents for children. She'd be delivering them, to kids on Saturday, accompanied by several other employees. I added the teddy to Pam's collection, and paused to talk to Karen about stuffed animals.
"I got these two giant pegasuses from Costco, for the Toys for Tots box," I said.
"Oh! I saw those. Those are adorable."
"They're so cute! And cheap! I always wanted giant stuffed animals like that as a kid, and I remember wishing there were charities that gave them away because my parents wouldn't buy one for me. Of course, when I was a kid you couldn't buy a giant stuffed animal for $12.00. Anyway, my boyfriend was sure that weren't both going to make it here. But I have enough unloved stuffed animals already; I wanted these to go to a good home."
"We could keep one here as a mascot," Karen said. "At my old workplace, one of my co-workers collected teddies. He had them all over his office; you'd walk in and they'd be hanging from the rafters. Everywhere. He had two chairs in front of his desk, and each of them had a big teddy sitting in it.
"If you came into his office with a problem, he'd say, 'Choose a bear' and gesture to the chairs. Then you'd pick up a bear, sit down, and hold the bear in your lap while you talked to him. And whatever problem you had, of course it was impossible to stay mad with a teddy bear in your lap. When the president came to our offices, even he would always stop by my co-worker's office to sit with a teddy."
Two days later, and I'm still thinking "what a great idea" about that story. Maybe I'll check this weekend to see if Costco has any giant pegasuses left. The office could use a mascot.