Don’t Feed the Animals

One of roles I assume at work is that of inhabitant of a sort of technological Potemkin Village.  While my primary employer does have neat stuff like 3D scanning equipment, an SLA set-up, and some pimp multidimensional visualization software, these are rarely used and never in conjunction, but for tours we pull all these technologies together to give the illusion of living in the near future.  My job also never requires me to use these technologies except to impress people during tours where I sit behind a glass wall and act as if I can’t see the gawkers wearing oversized lab coats as they are dragged around the building to see our “Operation of Tomorrow”.

During today’s tour, a group came by and, having been notified in advance, I was spinning around and arbitarily modifying a CAD drawing of some piece of production equipment by adding a racing stripe, wings, or some other bullshit when I heard a tour participant lean over to the tour leader and say “can he hear us?”  The reply was “yes, but their work requires focus so don’t be too loud.”  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the tour participant lean very close to the glass separating my office from the hallway, squint at the wizardry of my screen and then she waved at me.  I didn’t move in response and she said “He is focused”.  The tour guide indicated that the group would return to this area after visiting elsewhere and I prepared a gift for their next visit: A sign that I posted in the window that said “Please do not tap glass”.