I am not a spokesman for General Mills. Neither is my mother. But here at Mom’s place, this morning’s breakfast came in the form of a mixing bowl filled with “Oven Toasted Whole Grain Gluten Free Corn Chex,” courtesy of General Mills. (I’m not sure why all of a sudden people are taking the gluten out of everything edible, but my parents are on board with the trend, and so is General Mills. So as long as I’m here, I guess I am too.)
Anyway, I was enjoying the most important meal of the day and perusing last weeks unread email when I came across this – a photo of a check for $10,000. As you can see, the check was issued from General Mills, and made out to The mikeroweWORKS Foundation.
For the life of me, I had no idea why a giant food company would send me ten grand out of the blue, so I made some inquiries. According to Tina at mikeroweWORKS, someone called my office several months ago and asked if I would create a personalized video message for an executive within General Mills. I think the person was retiring, and his friends – knowing he loved Dirty Jobs – thought a short video from me might be just the thing to enhance the occasion. For my trouble, General Mills offered to make a generous donation to my foundation.
Naturally, Tina agreed on my behalf. Simple gestures like these are easy to do, and a great way to keep the lights on in our modest little corner of blue-collar philanthropy. But here’s where the story gets interesting, and why my memory is so fuzzy. The video never happened. For whatever reason, the event was canceled or postponed. General Mills however, in a fit of highly unusual largess, sent the money anyway. The felt they had “set an expectation,” and they wanted to make good on it.
Mother and I don’t give a gluten-filled, whole-grain, fiber-packed crap about the “oven toasted advantage” or the “unique structural design that allows every single scrumptious square of Corn Chex to absorb the optimal amount of milk.” But we’re very impressed when people do what they say they’re going to do. And we’re doubly impressed when they go out of their way to be honorable when they don’t have to.
So thanks, General Mills, for confirming my steadfast belief that people of integrity still walk among us. And more importantly, thank you for weaning my parents off the forbidden pleasures of gluten. I can already see a new spring in their step.
PS. So I got my foot x-rayed. The pressure to do so was simply too much to ignore. Both here and in my parents condo. Result? Nothing broken. Just a sprain. But crutches and a stylish boot, nevertheless.
Compliance is another matter…