Thursday, April 28, 2005

A bull in a china shop would've caused less damage

Today is “take your child to work” day. When it first started, I kind of thought that the idea was cute. Back then of course it was “take your daughter to work” day, inspired by the idea that girls would benefit from being exposed to the workplace at a young age. This would emulate all the benefits that the little girls working in Chinese textile mills see every day, which explains why their kids do so much better than ours in school. I think we could do the same thing just as easily by shackling all children to sewing machines for 10 hours one day and making them sew camisoles for Kathy Lee, but that’s just me.

Anyway, the day has gone from a day of watching daddy work (“So, you mean you sit here all day? You don’t get recess?”) to a carefully choreographed dance where folks from HR lead little groups of children on tours of the building, and try to keep them from getting hurt, lost, or downloading porn onto company computers. All the while ensuring that the kids never see their parent’s actual job (which, let’s be honest, is probably for the best as it avoids disappointment on both sides).

At my company, much talk had been made of the “special guest speaker” we had brought in just for the occasion. It turns out that we had gotten one of the official mascots of one of the local professional sports teams to come in. The act of said mascot was presumably to dance around, do handstands, and jump through flaming hoops. But in our conference room (where we had set up the whole event) the ceiling was a little lower than the mascot estimated. So when she jumped up and did her handstand on one of the tables, her foot caught one of the lights hanging from the ceiling and sent it crashing to the floor. Nobody was hurt (one of the HR folks actually caught the light before it hit the floor), but I expect that story to be one of the highlights when the kids all compare stories tomorrow.

I wish I had been there to see it. Of course, I really wish I had seen the flaming hoops part more, but the look on the mascot’s face must’ve been priceless. Well, the look on the mascot’s face was probably the same as it always was, come to think of it. But the look on the HR manager’s face would have been just as good.

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