Sometimes the best way to blow off a little steam is to create a bit of your own. For some employees at the Boeing Everett site, the preferred way to break a sweat and re-energize for the second half of the work day is with a daily dose of pingpong.
Matt Jenkins is a 777 fuel cell mechanic who says he was fascinated when he first joined Boeing and noticed the intense pingpong matches being played in designated areas of the Everett factory during the lunch break.
He explains, “Seeing these guys play 10-feet off the table and hitting it as hard as they could I was just very intrigued. I wanted to play like that.”
The pingpong tables migrate around the factory and draw players from practically every program. If one bay becomes too crowded with airplanes, then Boeing helps these die-hard players find another spot to squeeze them in.
Employees bring their own paddles and balls, and only play during their lunch break. They say the table-tennis matches not only provide great exercise, but help their minds stay sharp as well.
And, it’s not just a factory sport. Pingpong tables also pop up during the lunch break in one of the sky bridges linking two nearby office buildings on the Everett campus.
Eric Assih, a 787 Configuration Chain Management specialist, says he added pingpong to his daily schedule nearly a year ago. “Physically, it gets me in shape because we run around a lot.” he says of the friendly, yet competitive matches. “And then it keeps me focused once I get back to my desk because I’m totally refreshed and good to go for a few more hours.”