April 23, 2009

Impromptu Birthdays

I took my kids to work today. I showed them some things I'm working on. They played in some 3D software, which they thought very cool.

I didn't know it, but one of the engineers I work with turns 60 this weekend. He's from Greece... so for this blog's sake, we'll just call him... ummm... Jimmy.


So Jimmy's birthday is this weekend and our assistant knew it and pinned one black balloon in his cube and baked him a cake.

My boys were beside themselves that it was his birthday. They felt it needed a big celebration.

They don't even know Jimmy.

Big celebration to them was... fill his cube with balloons.

No kidding.

They had me take them to the grocery store down the street and buy 55 balloons (they are kicking themselves that they did not by 60) and for an hour, as I worked, they blew up balloons.

I shoved them under my feet to keep them hidden.

We brought our assistant in on it, so she knew. As soon as he left the room, the boys, me, and our assistant, filled his cube with balloons, which was nice because it emptied mine.

He came back from getting his printouts to find his cube filled and a big happy birthday note.

Now, to be honest, I wasn't sure how he was going to take it. Kids come to work, they're noisy (but polite) and then they dump 55 12" in diameter balloons in his cube.

He was so happy. I immediately said, "Jimmy, I have a pair of scissors, we can help you pop them if you want!"

His reply?

"NO! I am going home to get my truck! I will take them ALL home with me!" (He drives a small car to work.)

Someone got the bright idea we needed a picture and being it was Take Your Child to Work Day, we knew HR had a camera. I went to fetch it when security gave me a 'paparazzi pass' and let me take it.

That could be dangerous, giving my group a camera pass. Seriously. We're the cut ups.

We took pix of Jimmy with my kids and 55 balloons.

We took a group picture of all of us crammed into his cube with... 55 balloons.

And then after he brought his truck back, we helped him fill it with balloons. He was going to have a tough time sitting. There were balloons in every seat.

My boys think it was a GREAT day. I'm not so sure they think what I do is cool, although they did like the software, but they definitely like my co-workers and they definitely loved celebrating someone's birthday...

... someone who wasn't expecting it.

It was very fun.

Posted by Boudicca at April 23, 2009 09:41 PM

Your boys gave Jimmy a wonderful birthday surprise that he will never forget. I bet Jimmy talked about it all evening long! You've raised some great, sensitive sons Bou!!

Posted by: Mary at April 23, 2009 10:14 PM

That's a lot of huffing and puffing to fill all those balloons. I'm not sure my boys could have focused that long!

Posted by: PeggyU at April 23, 2009 11:41 PM

I love it. What a great story. I bet the boys were disappointed that they didn't get to pop the ballons but loved watching the truck get filled.

Posted by: sticks at April 24, 2009 05:12 AM

LOL - Happy Birthday Jimmy!!! That is excellent.

Looks like they saw all three aspects of a good workplace. That there is tedious stuff, cool stuff, and fun stuff.

Gives them some perspective on what to look for in the work world when they get older. I'd say they had a good "take your kid to work" day.

Posted by: Teresa at April 24, 2009 10:36 AM

Be sure to tell that teacher what a marvelous time the boys had in finding compassion in the workplace.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at April 24, 2009 04:31 PM

I'll be sixty in less than three years -- and my office is soooo balloon-less.

Posted by: Bob at April 24, 2009 09:31 PM

I figure when I reach that age I'm just a big bag of wind, so just hand me a bag of balloons. I'll fill 'em myself... if I don't vapor-lock first.

Posted by: JihadGene at April 25, 2009 12:37 AM