Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Cow Who Made the Bus Driver Cry

This is Tammy. She’s a friend and coworker. (I love that “co-worker” begins with “cow”.)
During a binary counting exercise. Trust her. She knows.
She’s one of the Cowculator’s biggest fans. So much so, she became a Cowculator yesterday at work right along three udder colleagues. 
Cape-able Cows
Our company hosted a field trip of 290 students and 30 chaperones and the five of us boarded each bus as they arrived to give the day’s welcome – Cowculator style. 

Organizing the Herd
We had a script to tell the kids the following:

Greetings!  My name is                                       – but today I’m talking to you as “The Cowculator!”  A lesser-known super hero. Solver of problems; lover of STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math. Before you come into our corporate corral, I’ve got a few important announcements. Some bull-et points. Or a Cattle-log of things. There are 3 C’s just like “Cowculator” to help you remember.

First C – Careers.
That’s why you’re here today. You’ve got a little time before you need to decide what you’d like to do in life, but this is exactly when you should be thinking about your future and a possible career. You know – a job that will put a roof over your corral and food in the trough, and afford some of the fun things.  Pay attention to the careers like no udder that you’ll be exposed to today. 

Second C –Capes.
Usually we think of super heroes who wear capes. Super heroes solve problems. They have a fearless approach to problem-solving; they have confidence and courage to tackle hard things.  Just like professionals in a tech field.  You are going to see some things that look complicated or overwhelming today. You might think, “this is way outta my league” or “I’m not smart enough to do that”.  Bull!  Imagine your own cape. You’ve all got the capacity to do hard things.

Third C - Courtesy
Although you’re outside of your corral today, you’ve coming to our company corral today. Please remember, our colleagues are working and need to continue to get stuff done. Be courteous to them. And also – you may have a classmate who’s interested in what’s being presented, who’s imagining their own cape, be courteous to them. Please don’t detract from their experience.

Three engineers, an operations manager and an admin. Women you can cownt on.

And, boy, what an experience the day was!  We had over 40 employees corralling kids and giving workshops on semiconductor processing, failure analysis, concepts of electricity and the power of innovation.  Tammy was the event’s Head Heifer. The Divine Bovine. The Main Moo. She thought of every little detail from color-coded name tags, to lunches for the volunteers, to photo-ops, to the welcome sign, to parting gifts for the students and chaperones – and the bus drivers. 

Two of the six bus drivers opted to join in on the day’s tours and near the end when the students were eating lunch, Tammy escorted them back through security. I saw Tammy after she returned from the parking lot making her deliveries and asked where she had been. 

“Oh, just making a bus driver cry.”

Earlier in the day, Tammy showed me the gifts she prepared for each driver with a company water bottle and pen – because, really. The bus drivers were critical players in getting loads of kids including our next generation of scientists and engineers to our facility. She told me that one of the bus drivers, a man, started to tear up and said,

“Wow. No one ever thinks of the bus driver. Thank you.”

And there we were. Standing still in our corporate corral, now both of us tearing up at that exchange. Students were swarming in the halls and conference rooms around us. Volunteers were scarfing lunches. It was a brief moment before we re-began the bustle because that’s how we both work. A zillion things and thoughts churning, and we’re acutely aware of most of it while getting stuff done.
And, Tammy gets it done. She’s a natural Cowculator, solving problems and figuring it all out. She does the thinking behind the scenes when many just see the result. It makes me happy that the bus driver appreciated her thoughtfulness, because I do, too.  A Divine Bovine, indeed

"One way or an udder, I'll get it done!"