Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kids at Work Day

Today was national "Bring your sons and daughters to work day." A few weeks ago a memo came out in my department that they would be conducting activities in the morning for children ages 12 and up. Right away I signed up Tim. Three years ago I brought Tim to work with me when I was in a different department and building, but there were no planned activities, he just kind of followed me around for the day.

Well if you do the math three years ago Tim was Jeffrey's age. You better believe my Jeffrey solved that equation straight away. I felt bad about telling him no, but then they sent another memo that children 8 and up would be included, and so they both got to come.

Since this department is all about these kinds of things, and the building I happen to be in contains some interesting areas, it was a great day. First we went to my cubicle where they reorganized all of my cabinets, dug through the drawers, and met my co-workers. They watched a safety video and were issued glasses and earplugs. We toured the pre-production build shop where the vehicles of the future are put together in a simulated assembly plant atmosphere. There is a benchmarking room where competitor vehicles are torn down and all the parts are laid out on tables to look at. There was a demonstration of white light scanning technology using children's faces, and they fired off some airbags which was very loud and dramatic. Since this is a training facility there was a lesson on computer aided design where they got to work on a part in unigraphics on a UNIX tube, and the group from my department that does training of alternative propulsion put together a session just for the kids on hydrogen fuel cell technology. It included demonstrations and a video presentation of the "Project Driveway" where a set of very special hydrogen-powered vehicles were distributed to dignitaries, politicians, and celebrities to raise awareness of this emerging technology. The video included a segment at Disney World where the Jonas Brothers Band were shown driving one. Then they had that very same vehicle outside the room! There tables with juice boxes, cookies, and apples around the building, and they were issued goody bags which included all sorts of wonderful GM, hydro, and energy-themed objects.

It was all very fun and interesting and nothing at all like a real day at work.

To top it off (before Larry picked them up for an early trip home), we went to National Koney Island restaurant for lunch. As we settled into our booth I passed around menus but noticed that the boys were acting mesmerized by something across the room. The waitresses had brought their daughters to work and there were these cute little kids walking around dressed in the uniforms, delivering water and helping to take orders. My sons watched them with looks of jealous longing. I rolled my eyes and asked them what they were thinking: "We sure wish you worked here, mom!" Sorry, boys.

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