Spending the Night With Sheldon the Robot

Spending the Night With Sheldon the Robot

By: Calvin Chung
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It all started with the most innocuous of mornings. I came into the office, raring to go, when my manager, Tiffany, approached my desk and asked me, “Hey, are you doing anything on Wednesday?”

“Working…?” I reply, unsure if she was up to her usual antics so early in the morning.

“Great,” she replied. “I’ve got something more fun for you. Want to go to Victoria?”

See, Tiffany’s original plans were to have my co-worker Michael attend the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) Connect with her. OCIO Connect is a conference designed for governmental CIOs to discuss new and innovative technologies on the horizon.  They were to arrive and showcase the #BCTECH Summit to incentivize the CIOs to attend our event in mid-January of next year.

However, Michael had just started his position as the Marketing Manager for the #BCTECH Summit, and he was just getting his feet wet, getting acquainted with the giant beast that this had grown into. So, she thought that this would be a good time for the new intern to “gain some valuable and practical work experience” in attending conferences. I thought about the matter for a bit, thought “why not,” and accepted her offer.

The plan was simple: rent a car, pack up all the things I needed for the event, drive to Victoria, set up the booth in anticipation of the first day, make nice with the bigwigs, and Tiffany would fly in from Vancouver in the morning to show me the ropes. Easy Peasy. But as in all things that sounds easy, the execution was less so.

Problems from the get-go: My first time taking the ferry on a weekday, I failed to reserve an earlier booking and was forced to wait at Tsawwassen for the next ferry instead. My first time setting up a conference booth, I completely forgot to exchange business cards with the governmental CIOs, slightly defeating the reason why I went. Also, due to the intense rainstorm that raged on those days, Tiffany was unable to make it to the event, which meant I was the only person to staff the booth. My first time renting at Budget, I chose a car that was slightly smaller than I needed. This meant I couldn’t leave Sheldon the Robot in the trunk of the car at night, and why I had to cozy up with dear Sheldon; I wouldn’t want to lose our $3,000 robot!

 Now all that might sound slightly negative, but I have to say that it was one of the most educating and empowering trips I’ve ever taken alone. Problems and situations come up in life and you wonder if you’ll be able to handle them. Before going on this trip, I wondered would I be able to stand tall and face problems head on, regardless of whether the choice was right or wrong? I can say with certainty now: yes. All the issues were inconvenient, but nothing was ‘ruined.’ The event was a success, I was able to showcase our event, and I even made quite a few connections with the exhibitors and the CIOs (in fact, an exhibitor tweeted about my company here)!

There may be times during your co-op you may feel unsure if you should take on some new responsibility, or some new task. But as long as it doesn’t endanger your life, I say go for it. Even if it means snuggling with a robot.

For those who have never seen Sheldon or his compatriots in action, take a look at this informational video from the company, Double Robotics.



Beyond the Article

  • Connect with Calvin on LinkedIn!
  • Sometimes it's ok to make mistakes and to fail! Jani Tsui shares how there can still be success in any failure.
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Posted on March 11, 2016