Monday, February 09, 2009

Thoughts on First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to the Main Interior Building February 9, 2009

Friday afternoon, Interior employees were told that the First Lady would be speaking in the Main Interior Auditorium on Monday. This morning, I noticed many of my co-workers dressed a little nicer than they usually do, especially for a Monday. My hallway was a buzz with contagious excitement, especially when my co-worker found out she was going to be on the stage with the First Lady until about an hour before the assembly when the hallway went completely silent. After realizing everyone was gone, I decided I’d better go downstairs to get in line to attend the event. I went down-stairs and the line started at the auditorium and went up the stairs, and into the 2nd floor hallway. Our building is 2 city blocks long, and the line was already more than 2/3 the length of the building. By the time the auditorium opened up, the line stretched the length of the building and all the way down one of the side hallways (about 2.5 city blocks). I got through without a problem, but one of my new friends that I met in line had a couple of expensive pens (pens weren’t allowed into the auditorium) and he didn’t end up going into the auditorium. We got in okay (100 or so employees were turned away) and the event started about 15 minutes later. Our auditorium isn’t a huge space (fits about 600-700 employees) and it was full. The event started out with a drum circle until the Secretary spoke. He gave a nice speech, and then the First Lady arrived. She was presented a native American shawl that Nedra Darling made her, and then we listened to another song by the Drum circle. After that, the First Lady spoke. She wore a conservative black outfit (very DC chic), and only spoke about 15 minutes or so. Several people said she looks much more petite in person. Personally, I was impressed with her down-to earth manner. She gave us what was essentially a pep talk, telling us that we have a lot of work to do, it was going to be hard, but worth it. She also called us her family’s co-workers and talked about how we were all in it together. Anyway, love her or hate her, but everyone in the room appreciated the fact that she came to talk to us.


ChelMo said...

So freaking cool! It's stories like this that make me miss DC like mad!

Then I remember the temperature this time of year, and the jealousy melts away.

Richard and Nicole said...

So did you guys take vacation time for her speech and standing in line when you should be working or do I least get a tax credit for listening to Obama tonight.

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Steve said...

Very cool!

With Clinton coming to my office and Obama to yours, it is very much a different atmosphere in DC now! So much more open and working together, at least west of the Capitol, hehe.

Sherpa said...

Richard-When did I start working for the IRS?

Spencer-I appreciate your passion, but I don't appreciate the emotional manipulation. I'll pass

Steve-It really is!

Sherpa said...

Chels-It's like 65 degrees today!

TC said...

Pretty cool that you got to see and hear the First Lady in person.

I saw your post over at Elvis Enthusiasts Unite regarding AK and RP's "Raising Sand" and wanted to ask why you thought it was spotty? With a producer like T-Bone Burnett how it can it be flawed? And what was the name of that "classic country song in the mid-90s that every girl that I knew would listen to ALL the time"?

ChelMo said...

Oh the irony! It was a soggy mid-50s day here today. Sign me up for a visit! When's the next big event?!

Sherpa said...

TC-T-Bone Burnett is good, but even the best producers have their missteps. Plus, AK and RP sound a little tentative in some of the numbers.