Back To The Stable

October 11, 2010

Good news! You can go home again. At least, if you work at Fast Horse.

About two years ago, while working at Fast Horse, I learned of an opportunity in Geneva, Switzerland, with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. While my French was non-existent and my knowledge of Switzerland was limited to a few hiking trips, I went for it.

Two years later when I shared that I was heading back to Minneapolis after living in the land of neutral, the first question was always, “Why Minnesota?”

Why Minnesota? Hadn’t they heard of Minnesota Nice, the Minnesota Twins, Paul Bunyan, Prince or Red Wing Shoes? (Oddly, most Swiss were quite familiar with one Minnesota legend: “Little House on the Prairie.” Good or bad, our state is represented on late-night European TV.)

Thus, I present my “Top 10 reasons for moving to Switzerland,” followed appropriately by the “Top 10 reasons for returning to Minneapolis and Fast Horse.” If you make it to the very end, I’ll send you a bar of Swiss chocolate. (Or, stop by the world headquarters of Fast Horse. I’m not a courier, dammit.)

Top 10 reasons for moving to Switzerland

  1. The Swiss excel in dark chocolate.
  2. The Alps are no joke. Please see exhibits A, B & C.
  3. The next-door neighbor: France, which includes Paris, crepes and cheese.
  4. Working in a country where people found my verbal crutches unique/endearing: “My only thought that I’d like to mention is” or “I’m just thinking out loud, but” or “Great, great, sounds good.”
  5. International aid work during a fascinating transitional time.
  6. Great colleagues from around the globe.
  7. Cow fights. Exhibit D.
  8. Clocks.
  9. Close proximity to Italy and all things Italian (leather, food and fashion).
  10. Great health care (I swear I’m not starting a debate, just stating the facts).

Top 10 reasons for moving back to Minnesota and Fast Horse

  1. Minnesota Nice. I swear it’s not just a promise, but a pledge.
  2. Lattes.
  3. Great clients (yes, a not-so-subtle plug for Marvin Windows).
  4. Minnesota Twins (Yes, this was written pre-sweep. Please see #1).
  5. Lunches under $20.
  6. Housing where there are no rules about when water can be run.
  7. Customer service.
  8. Stores open past 6 p.m. (apologies, this list was so positive until #5-8. I will work out my aggressions against Swiss laws/pricing/norms in other fashions … perhaps spending $20 at Target at 10 p.m. on a Sunday.)
  9. Great culture. Minneapolis IS the “mini-apple.” We’re beyond lucky to have the Walker Art Center, Guthrie, Ordway, etc.
  10. Amazing colleagues. I’ve worked with a variety of agencies from a variety of countries and I can honestly say that I came back to Fast Horse because I love how we do business and do fun.

Somebody get me a latte and let’s get to work!