The Vacuuming Guy at Panera

A few of us Indiana members of the Diabetes Online Community got together recently for a D-Meetup.

L to R: Mike Durbin, Cherise Shockley, Mike Hoskins - and... Build-a-Bear in front!
My wife and I, plus Cherise Shockley and her daughter, reside in Central Indiana. So, we were excited to meetup with Mike Durbin, who was visiting family in Kentucky and able to make a stop in our area on his way back up to Fort Wayne.

Our place of choice: Panera Bread on the northside of Indianapolis.

How do you really describe the awesomeness of one of these D-Meetups?

Simply put: Fun times, full of laughter and intellectually stimulating conversation. All while sharing some bread.

We chatted about some of the latest new blood meter technology out there (the Telcare meter) and our feelings on it. We talked about the dangers of D-Management technology all being connected online and what might happen if the power grid crashed or Terminator Machines took over and impacted our ability to use these devices and technology. Other topics involved personal life topics, our goals and passions, and pros and cons about what various D-organizations do to engage us as patient-advocates. There was also talk about the great DOC ideas out there and what the future holds as our community evolves and these ideas take more shape.

Mike and Cherise tried to persuade me that it was time to buy an iPad or similar tablet in order to make writing and D-advocacy more efficient, especially when being on the road for D-conferences.  Cherise demonstrated her persuasive skills that could essentially sell ketchup packets to someone wearing white gloves or Diet Pepsi to a die-hard Diet Coke lover (hi, Scott Johnson!) Meanwhile, Mr. Durbin whipped out his iPad and offered a demo of its awesomeness. This pair is persistent and their message is tempting... though I've not made the plunge at this point.

Cherise's daughter had some fun with a Build-A-Bear app on her kid-sized iPhone to make each of us our own individualized Bear. Great times, indeed!

Oh, and without a doubt: there was a carrot cake cupcake, diet soda and coffee amongst the group. As if that was even a question.

Sadly, as often is the case with these D-Meetups, time flew by too fast. And that's where the Vacuuming Guy at Panera appeared, weaving his floor sweeper around our table and not letting up as the minutes passed. It became obvious that he was trying to send us a message, that indeed it was past closing time and we needed to leave.

In recapping this D-Meetup and what this post should be named, Suzi mentioned the title and I absolutely loved it. Simply, it not only signifies the location of our meetup but also the fact of how good friends can talk endlessly even past closing time.

Getting the signal from Vacuuming Guy, we reluctantly packed up and headed out - taking a few pictures of the group in the front entrance area while enduring a few frustrated glances from the Panera crew trying to close up shop. We then made it outside and proceeded to talk for another 20 minutes or so in the parking lot before parting ways.

"See you in the DOC," we all pretty much said as we went our seperate ways. Knowing, of course, that we'd all have more opps for real-life meetups in the coming weeks. And in those times, we'll be able to talk and share as much as our hearts desire without the annoying vacuuming cutting our conversations short.

The conversation continues, both online and offline. As friends do. Or, you know, #likeyoudo.


Hi Mike, I know these meet-ups can be a lot of fun. In October, 2011, my wife and I went to a diabetes expo in Minneapolis. The next day we met with a group of 9 type 1's, 2 type 2's, and 2 non-D spouses. We met in the MOA (the Mall Of America). It was a blast! I wish we could meet with a group like that every year, but travel is so expensive.
Kate Cornell said…
Excellent! How fun to see three of the people I've "met" online together. Jealous but pleased for you. I think I know that vacuuming guy, or he has a cousin in my neck of the woods. ;)
Mike Durbin said…
Great recap, Mike. Was a fun meetup. Looking forward to the Chicago trip in a couple of weeks.

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