Saturday, August 23, 2008

Everybody has to Eat!

Leaving the Seahawks in 2008 as their all-time leading rusher with 9,429 yards and 100 touchdowns, Shaun Alexander has been a staple for the rainy city. From Kentucky's "Mr. Football", a red-shirted year at Alabama, NFL awards, playoffs, superbowls and unfortunately injuries, Alexander has always had the 12th man as part of his being.

Not only is he a high profile athlete, but has always been a loyal Pike Place Fish customer. We can't tell you how gracious we are as a company and as individuals for the tourist presence, but sometimes it's the locals who can make big differences for us as Seattle residents.

I know Shaun had his share of salmon and crab over the years but the one who really reaped the benefits of his fish market patronage is his mother in Kentucky.
"He ships fish to his mom all the time, I think it's awesome when he comes down to the market," says shipping manager Jeremy.

Always rolling in style on Autumn Sundays by Qwest Field, eight year fishmonger Anders says "I'm a season ticket holder man, it's rad to see him behind the counter. And not just hangin' out, he's buying fish!"

For me and my athlete starcrossings at 86 Pike Place, I found myself screaming about the Seahawks, then catching a halibut draped in a New Orleans Saints jersey that I quickly spiked on the ground, piled on top of and then shredded. I then realized it was not only the jersey of Saints Quarterback Drew Brees that I shredded, but Brees himself actually watching me from the crowd and jokingly shaking his head. I'm not one to offend men bigger than me, so I graciously shook his hand, asked for an autograph.........and sheepishly tell my story while not mentioning the hawks loss the next day.

Either way, I know we all appreciate what Shaun Alexander has given Seattle and to see him go gives us a bit of sadness. Turns out athletes make a bit of money too, so we like selling them fish when we can. Good luck Shaun wherever football or life takes you, call us when your mom runs out again!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Step Farther

Nothin' to it but to do it!
~Erik Espinoza

Erik "the Spaniard" has seen and experienced a lot of stuff here at Pike Place Market in Seattle. When he's not throwing fish or going through people's shopping bags while they shuffle by our fish market, he's always nearby no matter what. He'll be chatting with people about organic produce at the Alvarez Farms booth or in this particular instance, sharing a choice phrase on how he came to make his job enjoyable.

I post this phrase and these pictures because I was blown away by one man's initiative and assertiveness to really find out why that "how to have fun at work" FISH video was so energizing. We get people everyday telling us they've seen it, they've had to watch it, they want copies, etc.. but for this particular family therapist and business owner, he had to find out for himself. The real kicker though was that as we all rolled into the corner of First Avenue and Pike Street on one particular morning, Rich had a shovel in hand and was getting the clams and mussels ready for a day on the display. We huddled up and talked about what our day was like and how we were going to balance our register, keep the hallways clear so people could walk by, and very simply generate the energy possible for a fun and effective day. As we talked, Sam raised his hand and said "Uh, wait wait, who's this guy?" pointing to the already sweating gentleman with a shovel in hand.
Rich spoke up, "I was here yesterday and Ryan told me to really get the full experience and show up at 6:30! I use you guys in my office and the philosophy is all well and good but I had a few days here in Seattle so I wanted to find out for myself".
As the displays filled and the broom was put to work for fine tuning of the area, Rich headed off back to his family to rest from the early wakeup. Rich returned with his wife and young daughter to express his gratitude for such an exciting morning.

Although people have set up the shop with us before by using BizFutures consulting (probably the best way), and some people have even started working here by simply showing up (myself included), Rich really set me back by going ahead and creating an experience for himself. Some of the best things in life, whether they're toys, experiences, jobs, whatever, are made possible by going after them. They may be difficult and they won't be handed to you but they can be completely worth it. Thanks Rich for reminding us of this and how everyone can create great things for themselves if they really want. From everyone on the crew, thanks you for sending us the pictures with individually labled messages!! We love hearing from people about their time at the fish market!

You've definitely made a difference for the Pike Place Fish crew and we hope you can translate the joy and fun you had here into your office environment.