Monday, August 2, 1999

A Weekend With The Fools

by Joann Floyd (Hunzi)

I had an opportunity to be a guest at the Motley Fool's fifth anniversary party last weekend. It was an unbelievable honor to be chosen from over a million Fools to represent all the Foolish users at the event. I received an invitation from TMF Bogey to the party about a week ago. After a few phone calls to work out the details, I was whisked away on a plane and taken to a very comfortable hotel.

While I was there, I met David and Tom Gardner and many of the better known Fools, including TMF Selena, TMF Cheeze, TMF 2Aruba, and TMF AnnC. I also was able to meet some of the staff of Fool UK and many of the fantastic people who work behind the scenes, like Dwight Gibbs and Julie Levine. I sat in on a few meetings, had a terrific dinner, and watched a killer game of Trivial Pursuit (I even knew one or two of the answers). These Fools take their playtime seriously!

While it was very exciting to have a chance to take a trip to Fool HQ to meet my favorite Fools, what struck me most was the focus and vision of everyone in the company. They are driven to provide the best content and customer service possible. Although I can't give any details, I know there are some exciting improvements in the works.

The wacky sense of humor the Fool is known for was evident everywhere: there was the street performer who played surprisingly good tunes on water glasses, the parodies of blues songs sung by Fool staffers at the dinner, and the contest to make the best flag at breakfast. (Our table's entry was great but not the winner.) I was never short of amusement.

I think the best part of the trip for me was when I had an opportunity at the dinner to thank the many Fool staffers who have personally touched my life. I hope I spoke for everyone who has ever had a question answered on the boards or gotten an e-mail reply from the people at the Motley Fool. The personal touch this company has is the one of the things that makes it so special.

Overall, the trip was fast, fun, and fantastic. We shared a few laughs, a bunch of hugs, a couple of jokes -- and it was time to go home. I left with some fun pictures, a few lovely gifts, and some great memories. Hopefully, the Fool staff left with a sense of how their efforts affect the Fool Community.

Just call me grateful.

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