This blog has always championed the uniqueness of Maine and its diverse inhabitants, both human and non-human. January 11 is a great day to live here because it is “Bring Your Favorite Non-Human Being to Work Day” (they chose the day because 1/11 is supposed to symbolize how all the “1″s work together to make something greater…). I am proud to say that Maine is the only state in the Union to have such a day.
This Modern Philosopher is a huge fan of the idea, and it’s one of the few times all year that I don’t actually mind going to my “real job”. The hardest part of the celebration is deciding which friend I want to invite to accompany me to the office. Because of this blog, I’ve really gotten to know a lot of the beings in the state, so I have an exciting pool from which to choose. I often feel bad for some of my coworkers who really don’t know too many non-humans and have a difficult time coming up with a new “date” every year. Then again, I remind myself that if they just took the time to get to know the non-humans in their neighborhood, they wouldn’t have such a quandary.
I decided to ask my Gargoyle friend Gary to join me. We’ve really bonded over the past year, and I feel like I spend so much time in his world when we hang out on my roof, that I needed to show him another side of my life. Plus, it’s wicked cool to fly to work on the back of a Gargoyle.
I don’t have the most exciting job, but I do work for a very large company, and this is an event they plan and execute very well. My office is a small satellite one off the beaten path, so we don’t have hundreds of people around, but there’s just enough to really make it feel like a big party and for there to be some wonderful diversity around the water cooler on this day.
I always enjoy it when my coworkers bring young ones. Kiddo Aliens are just incredibly adorable, and they are like little sponges trying to learn all they can about human life. They actually enjoy hearing about why we photocopy things and they beg to be allowed to do mundane things like stapling and filing. A little secret? We let some of the more boring tasks piling up around the office in the weeks leading up to 1/11 because we know we can pass it off on the Alien youth.
Everyone loves seeing how the various creatures interact. The Ogres and Trolls never quite get along, so there’s always this cool tension that keeps us on our toes as we hope for a massive brawl to break out (alas, one never does…). The Vampires like to flirt, so the women in the office really get in to that…it’s the one Winter day that none of the ladies cover their necks. The Boogie Men and Ghosts compete with each other to see who can create the biggest scare. The Snowmen stay outside and bask in the cold temperatures while they serenade us with Christmas Carols (no one seems to mind that Christmas is long over when those guys are singing!). The Demons like to see if they can tempt the Angels into doing something wrong, while the Angels, in turn, race the Witches around the parking lot to determine if wings are faster than brooms.
As always, there are some embarrassing choices made by my coworkers. This year, someone from Billing brought a Giant. I’m 6’3″ and the place is too cramped with its low ceilings, so how the heck is someone 9’6″ going to feel? The poor guy had to stay out in the parking lot all day while the Angels and Witches zipped around him. Of course, the winner for stupidest guest went to Barb, the upstairs receptionist, who thought it would be cool to bring a Zombie to her place of business. Yes, Barb, that’s why you never get promoted and are doomed to a life of answering phones…or becoming a Zombie snack.
All in all, it was a spectacular day. I was able to get away for awhile and check out the roof with Gary. I’d never been up there before today, and it really was quite relaxing and offered an amazing view. Gary told me he was glad that he didn’t have to be chained to a desk all day, and that led to a great conversation about how I need to apply myself more to my writing. It would be cool to be able to sit up on the roof with my laptop all day and just churn out page after page of screenplays…
What did I learn from “Bring Your Favorite Non-Human Being to Work Day”? I learned that Maine is an amazing place, that I lead a pretty charmed life, and that a man always has room in his life for more diversity.
If you’re not doing anything next January 11, you might want to plan to be in Maine. I promise you won’t regret it.
What do you think, Modern Philosophers? Pretend for a moment that you’re lucky enough to live in Maine. What being would you ask to accompany you to work on this special occasion? What about your job would you most want to share with this friend?
Well, it’s been a long day. I really need to find a comb. It’s crazy what a little flying can do to a guy’s hair….