Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Whippersnapper Sidekick

The reason for this trip to Washington, of course, was not solely or even primarily to make sure my children could have some smothering unremitting torturous quality mom time. No, I was working. My professional development organization offered a seminar that was an opportunity to fill a gap in my professional knowledge, so I jumped at it. And because this gap happens to be one that is flooded with whippersnappers, I took a whippersnapper along so she could actually apply the things we were learning.

K is the social media coordinator at Small College. She is smart, hardworking, funny (and gorgeous), and has an amazing instinct for whippersnapper-related communication methods. She grew up with a cell phone in her hand so she knows what to tweet and when to pin and how to boost a Facebook post for maximum exposure.Also, she understands hashtags which is the modern equivalent to my knowledge of how many points are in a pica.

What I had not anticipated when I asked her if she was interested in the seminar topic was how good a traveling companion she would be. I mean, I've traveled with my boss before, and frankly, it's kind of weird. Not only is there a significant age difference, there's also the prospect of all those performance reviews looming in the future and hogging the thermostat in a shared hotel room does not help one in a performance review. I was a little worried that K would have a terrible time and that the three days she spent together would be way, way too much togetherness for a working relationship.

Well, maybe it was, but you wouldn't know it from the sheer delight she exuded during the trip. She had never been to Washington and we had an extra three hours so we hopped on a trolley tour that took us past the famous sights she'd never seen. I've seen the Capitol and White House and presidential monuments many times and I never get tired of them, but seeing these icons through her eyes was like seeing them again for the first time.

And K understood something that neither Husband nor any of the Boys have ever comprehended: taking pictures of food.

Not once did she laugh when I pulled out my phone to record whatever was on the plate in front of me. In fact, she usually was recording her own gastronomic delights.

And when Small College's women's basketball team was playing in the national tournament during one of our seminar sessions (the one that was waaaaay over both of our heads) she pretended it wasn't weird to share the earbuds of my iPad so that I could have someone to silently cheer with. She even posed for (and tweeted) the picture that documented our reaction in the final seconds of the game.

She may be a whippersnapper, but she's a good sport. She's also going to be doing great things for Small College's tweeting and pinning and hashtagging, and some day she'll probably have my job.

I think that performance review is going to go just fine.

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