I imagine the same sort of conversations take place in lunchrooms all over corporate America, in industrial companies, schools, medical facilities and car dealerships. For example, topics today included “Hot” dogs, hot dogs, and what dogsled dogs do for entertainment in the Alaska summer. These are the things that people talk about who don’t have school-age children at home. Those younger ones have pictures to go with the stories of T-ball, pee wee football, camp and baby stories. Others have their summer-vacation child in tow, usually reading, coloring, or doing games on their parent’s office computer.
Outdoors, as I walk between buildings on our campus, I see more people walking dogs around the business park these days. It might be my bias, but I don’t think they are the school administrators (the school district administration building and maintenance yard are co-located next door to our manufacturing building). Most of tradespeople and mechanical-support folks I’ve known have big dogs: Dobermann, German shepherds, and Labs. These are poodles, Corgi’s, and an Irish Setter ( but the latter might actually be a resident of the neighborhood across the boulevard). I do not believe these are support dogs either. The dog-walker and dogs seem to be too casual and distracted to be service animals. But it might very well be too warm to leave them at home- or the person might instead be the emotional-support person for the dog?
Today was a TWITTER-fied day to celebrate the processed meat tube, the American hot dog. With all due respect to the HEBREWS NATIONAL brand, I don’t think the process of making hot dogs is really worth dwelling on. I may eat them barbecued; however, there is an old saying about nobody wanting to know how sausage is made. Or hot dogs for that matter. But overheard on the news that it was a big day for a company acquiring the world’s largest mustard manufacturer (maker of French’s mustard). Exchanging $4 Billion, with a “B”, dollars for a company making condiments!
One of my co-workers was regaling us with tales of touring near Fairbanks by paddlewheel boat where a famous multiple-Iditarod-winning dogsledder once lived. It might have been something I imagine to see that these dogs, excited to see tourists, were game to pull a four-hundred pound ATV around to show off their strength. I think I was more interested in the ‘refrigerated’ “ice-bar”, where tourists can escape the heat – 85 to 95 degrees F in Fairbanks this month – and sit on a block of Alaskan ice sipping martinis. But if this was a tourist attraction for “Lower-48’ers”, I wondered what the ICE ROAD TRUCKERS did in the off-season? They perhaps have fled to Hawaii, to sip on Mai Tais and eat volcanic-rock cooked pork sandwiches. But I digress.
Of course, this sort of talk is the sign of content employees. Yesterday, I heard stories about aliens, the employee who ‘built’ a window ( with a “view” and backlighting) for his interior office, and banter about office space and lateral promotions. But there are still some questions that beg to be answered; one co-worker I saw today has Christmas lights – turned on – decorating her cubicle. In July. It is always the quiet ones. Fortunately, I will be on vacation next week.