So I got back yesterday from presenting at the Baptie Marketing Focus Conference to discover that my loyal team of marketeers had been busy on an integrated marcomm project: redecorating my office, apparently in honor of my birthday.

The first thing I noticed right away was that somebody had put a live potted plant on my desk. That was totally out of place. Then I noticed what was next to it.

I had come in on the redeye, and I had taken some medicine to help me sleep on said redeye, so the pinata actually had to be pointed out to me.

But I had little trouble finding the brownies and sorted M&Ms among the beads, straws and glow-sticks.

Those who know me might think that this was going to set me off, that I like my space the way I like it and don’t move my cheese and all that.

Those who know me well know that I’ve been waiting for this for years. As a middle manager, I could hardly go around pranking peoples offices, but now the seal has been broken, so I say, GAME ON!

But seriously, this was very gratifying. I love working with creative people who know how to be silly when they want to, and know just how too far to go, even when I’m in the midst of their performance reviews. And you don’t do this stuff to people you don’t like. They really [sob] really like me.

Now comes the part where I look the gift horse in the mouth and try to find a teachable moment in this kind act of randomness. There’s a point here and I’m going to belabor it.

What’s with all the orange, you ask? I’m not Dutch. Not Ulster Irish. Not even Ukrainian. Didn’t go to Princeton. This blog is limeduck not orangepenguin. What gives?

I seem to have developed a reputation for liking the color orange. I drive an orange car, which I bought largely because it came in orange. That’s a big one. I don’t wear orange that often but I have an orange suitcase (it’s easy to spot on the carousel) and briefcase. I have some orange things (sheets, towels, shower curtain, rugs) at home but none of my team has ever been over. But at the office, I have been known to advocate for orange logos, to hoard orange whiteboard markers and to sort my M&Ms by color before eating them. (It’s important to state for the record that I like to sort them; I do not have to sort them.) I have a chair that’s red according to the maker but sure does look orange in the fluorescent light. I think bright colors stimulate activity and creativity at work – that’s not so crazy, is it?

So it’s clearly part of the brand called me. I don’t think I could shake it at this point even if I went cold turkey on orange. But at what point do I become a parody or a one-note joke? That’s part of the subtle magic that separates the good from the great. I hope I’m on the right side of that divide. I’m going to think about that while enjoying a plastic coconut full of Fanta.

Stay safe and don’t forget to lock your office door while you’re away.