Thursday, May 3, 2012


The non-profit I've work for over the last 5 years was founded in 1986 by two amazing people. Our mission is to reduce the economic and environmental cost of energy, which makes it pretty easy to get out of bed and go to work every morning. 

Technically, 2012 marks our 26th year. And yet today, we kicked off our official 25th anniversary celebration in grand fashion. Over 260 employees, from 4 regional offices convened in Burlington to honor the company and the great work we've achieved to date. Add to that, two pretty inspiring speeches by Senator Bernie Sanders and Vermont State Governor Peter Shumlin—neither of whom are actively campaigning, meaning they came to our office because they really believe in and are proud of the work we do—and who cares if the math's a little wonky?

The after-hours pizza party had been billed Employees Only so we thought it would be inappropriate to bring Hudson. When I mentioned that to our Director, he said, "That's ridiculous." Add that to the fact that another couple (both of whom work with us) had gotten clearance to bring their kid, we decided to buck the system and bring ours too. After all, he relocated to DC for the firm. Didn't he deserve a little pizza?

After dinner came an epic trivia contest. (Imagine, if you will, 150 pretty nerdy people answering wicked nerdy questions.) After the 1st round of pre-scripted questions, the tables were turned and each team of 4 was asked to come up with questions of their own. Just as round 2 was beginning, 1/4 of our team went home and I had to leave the room to change a diaper. When I returned, I learned that Logan had submitted a question on our team's behalf. A geography-based question. I knew we were in trouble.

"What city is west of LA?"
A. Tijuana
B. Sacramento
C. Phoenix
D. Tahoe

He thought it was brilliant, given that we'd recently seen an awesome Google Chrome ad—and subsequently conducted a pretty funny Google search—that revealed the answer. Well, sort of

At first we were thrilled, NO ONE had guessed the right answer except our team, which meant we got bonus points. But when the "correct" answer (D. Tahoe) was revealed, the crowd revolted. Smart Phones whipped out faster than you can say Please do not bring your cell phones to this event. Engineers, Planners, Customer Services Representatives, HR Managers... all were up in arms. "It's SACRAMENTO!!" they yelled. What ensued was 10 minutes of arguing, Googling, and finally an on-screen digital presentation that proved that Sacramento was, in fact, west of LA. And while Tahoe is also west of LA, Sacramento is wester. Seriously, people? Wester? 

The crowd argued that we didn't deserve any points for our deceitful question, but I—in defense of my husband and the honor of my son who seemed perplexed, but greatly amused by all the commotion—retorted, "We deserve 5 points, not 1, for causing this much fun!"

Logan will likely never live down the great 2012 debacle now infamously known as "The Sacramento incident", but I know that 25 years from now—or 26 if you're really counting—I'll be as proud of being part of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation family as I am today.

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