I once heard that silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone, so since 2010 I’ve made it my mission to loudly acknowledge those who wish me a Happy Birthday on August 3rd.
In 2010 I prepared handwritten “thank you’s,” uploaded each one to a Facebook album and tagged each respective person in their personal greeting message. In 2011 I personally acknowledged each person’s birthday greeting by thanking them on their Facebook wall. In 2012 I individually thanked each person via one of my Peculiar week episodes. Now, in 2013 I expect this 28th year of my life to surpass every previous year of my life, so I wanted to usher-in this year of my life by surpassing every prior birthday-thank-you effort with a special “thank you” gesture.
This year, I ordered a collection of special two-tone Peculiar PPL shades in blue (my favorite color) and black/red (my favorite color scheme). Even though these shades are part of the Peculiar PPL product lineup, I wanted each person who said “Happy Birthday” to have one well in advance of its release to the general public. I also selected a special carrying pouch for each set of shades and included a thank you card and a matching Peculiar PPL wristband in each pouch.
The difficult part was finding a way of delivering these fragile items to the 100+ people who I needed to thank. Since each set of shades needed a rigid structure to protect it while in transit, I ordered custom sized boxes to protect the shades without damaging them.
Then after taking note of each person who delivered a birthday greeting via text, email, in-person, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I separated the list into two categories: hand delivery and ship via USPS. The task of collecting addresses to ship each item was quite time consuming and required me to use some strategic, unconventional means of gathering the data. For the people who I was completely unsure of their address, I sent them a message asking them for their information so that I can update my address book. Some people declined to provide the information, which is understandable for such a random request, but most sent it through without any questions.
Then I spent every available moment from August 5th until August 21st printing labels, packaging the items, delivering them to the post office, then tracking each package to make sure that they were successfully delivered. I made sure not to publicly talk about this initiative so that each person receiving the shades would be surprised when it arrived in the mail. Now that 99% of the packages have been delivered (with 2 packages being delivered this week), I am happy to finally let the cat out of the bag!
All-in-all, this entire effort cost in excess of $1,000 to execute, but it was worth every single penny! Here are some statistics for the people (like me) who have an appreciation for data:
- Hand-Delivered Packages: 51
- Shipped Packages: 70
- Packages Shipped Internationally: 24
- Furthest Package Destination: Warsaw, Poland
I know that it’s outside of the norm to give gifts to other people on your birthday, but that’s what makes me Peculiar and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Maybe next year I’ll figure out a way of mailing brand new cars to everyone!