Monday, May 5, 2008

Y is for Yak

"Whenever it is in any way possible,
every boy and girl should choose as his life work
some occupation which he should like to do anyhow,
even if he did not need the money."
William Lyon Phelps

If I had posted all these alphabet musings as I had planned, I would have been long finished by the time a particular news item that caught my attention came along. I'm still a day or two late, but as you've probably guessed by now, that's what I call close enough!

Since my children are well grown and much more career oriented than me, I was unaware of the recent passing (4/28/08) of National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (TODASTWD). Since 1993, when the Ms Foundation began a program to encourage young girls to spend time with their working parent(s) so she could get a more realistic idea of career choices than those the Barbie had to offer, the 4th Thursday in April has been designated Take Our Daughters To Work Day.

Then, in an age of political correctness, the program was opened up to boys as well. This inclusion, gave all children, regardless of their sex the opportunity to see that being a grown up is not all fun and games, owning a car and having money in your wallet; adulthood is actually about WORK. Unless of course you work in the circus when I think it would be pretty hard to convince your little princes and princesses that flying through the air with the greatest of ease is work.

Of course, the idea of showing off one's business environment and trying to instill good work ethics - Sit! Shhhhhh! Come! - could not stop with children. In 1999 Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWD) was established to celebrate the companionship of dogs and to promote adoption of these benevolent and hard-working in their own right, four-legged creatures from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs. If you missed TODASTWD last month, do not despair. TYDTWD is just around the corner, on June 20.

I happen to be a pet person. With the exception of poorly-mannered, teeth-baring breeds, I like most dogs. I come from a long line of cat lovers. Birds are messy, but the song they sing can brighten even a curmudgeon's day. My son has owned and loved both an iguana and a scorpion. Reptiles aren't my favorites but I agree that everyone has their own thing to love. I do, however, draw the line at taking pets to work, or day care centers, or beauty parlors, or birthday parties. Let's face it, pets are animals, not people.

[I know I'll get some flak for those renegade statements. I am also aware that what I'm going to say next might just get me the silent treatment from a certain anonymous blog commenter but I feel I must. I'm making a slight detour in thought, here, but hopefully I'll be able to bring it back around. ]
I believe it's worth saying that, in my opinion, people in the Northwest, particularly Seattle since this is the one NW city I've been to more than once, are different. Not bad different; just different. For example:

* Their style of dress is not what I'm used to. In Florida there is not a great call for flannel shirts, hiking boots, striped wool socks and multi-pocketed pants.

*Floridians consider orange juice health food. We don't have wild black berry bushes, and salmon streams and granola gardens to pick from.

*It rains a lot in both Florida and Seattle. Unless a hurricane is ferociously bearing down on the Florida coastline, afternoon storms come are the norm. Most people have learned to stay inside when the skies open up and lightening zaps anything in its path. Seattle-ites, I've found, put up with dreary, gray days that hint at rain with a constant drizzle by donning brightly colored slickers and rubber boots.
*People in Florida complain of the heat; Washingtonians picnic in a park on warm days.
* Sunshine State residents don't think of driving without the air conditioner on; Evergreen staters revel in Mother Nature's forests breathing in cool fresh air.
* Southerners load their iced teas with sugar; Northwesterners drink coffee ... lots of coffee.

* People in Florida take their children or dogs to work with them. People in Seattle show up with a thousand pound yak.

I am aware of these bi-coastal differences so I shouldn't have been surprised when I heard on the nightly news that on April 30th, Jim Harding, CEO of a Seattle "start up" decided to take his yak to work. YAK? I have to ask, how many people even own a yak to take to work? Okay, so Harding raises yaks; it's a little odd, but someone has to raise them, right? But is there anywhere else you can think of other than Seattle where even an enterprising and think-outside-of-the-box executive would consider taking his friendly yak to work with him?
I'm guessing this half-ton bovine pretty much had the run of the place. Undoubtedly people who want to keep their Cirqe Technology jobs said things like, "Hi there, fella" and "Sure, go ahead and drop a load right there in my cubie, I don't' mind," when the boss's yak came calling. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with TYYTWD, but it does beg the question what next?

Along with that question to ponder, I'll leave you with these "Y" words ....
yin yang
yakety yak
... and this picture which is proof positive that there will never be a Take Your Cat To Work Day!
[Photo: by Melanie Warner]
Merry ME


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought the anonymous commenter was AJ until I kept reading and realized you were talking about me!

We don't wear flannel anymore, Mom. That was the 90's. And we wear hiking boots when we're going on a hike.

You need to get back up here so you can update your image of the emerald city.

Hadn't heard this yak tale, but I love it.