Ken Kingdigger grunts at the alarm as he rolls over in bed. It's 7:30AM. He's been putting in way too many late hours at the museum recently, and he's not getting any younger. Ken stabs at the alarm to turn it off, then stumbles into the shower before he can collapse back into bed.
Once he's immersed in the blistering hot water, Ken starts to loosen up and gather his thoughts. By the time he showers, dresses, and pours his morning coffee at 8:15AM, Ken's reasonably coherent and ready to return a few emails from the crew in the field.
Ken's excavation team buddies have been working on a promising fossil dig a few hours away, and they've been burning the midnight oil quite a bit lately. They've actually unearthed a few almost fully-intact fossilized creatures—a huge find. The team very gently packed up the findings and drove them back to Ken's office about a week ago.
This morning, Ken will begin the tedious process of unpacking the crates and cataloguing the fossils before any more hands rifle through them. The more hands these fossils pass through, the greater the chance someone will drop and break a priceless artifact.
Opening the door to his office a little before 9:00AM, Ken eyes the crates carefully stacked in one corner. "Not much room to work," he thinks, "but the guys don't have much room to dig, either." He lifts one crate onto his work table, pries open the boards nailed across the top, and pulls out the triple-wrapped rock-and-fossil combo like a seven-year-old kid at his birthday party.
"This is absolutely the best part of the job," Ken thinks, "I get to play with the bones and not have to dig in the dirt." He reminds himself again that the awful master's thesis he worked on for so long seems totally worth it now.
Three hours later, Ken's muscles are screaming from first lifting hundreds of pounds of rocks onto his work table, then lifting them back onto the service cart that'll transport them to the museum's warehouse. He's also bleary eyed from staring at tiny bones with his magnifying glass, and his hand is cramping up from the detailed notes he's taken about each fossil.
The clock says 12:00PM, which means it's time for lunch—and a much needed break from the rocks.
Ken loads a copy of the team's field notes onto his iPad and hops into his car for a quick bite at the bistro down the street. He grabs a booth so he can stretch out while he flips through the notes and jots down exhibit display ideas. Lately, he can't seem to get his creative juices into gear at the office, so he uses his lunch break to sketch out exhibit diagrams and make supply lists.
When Ken returns to the office at 1:30PM, the warehouse crew has picked up the crates—which means one less thing to trip over this afternoon. He sends his assistant a supply list for the next exhibit, aware he should have done it a week ago. The exhibit will hopefully provide a nice time capsule of the species that existed during this time period.
Ken's especially concerned he'll lose the kids, though, because ancient bones can only compete so well against video games and smartphones (not to mention Steven Spielberg).
Ken's got some ideas, but he'll have to work with the museum's graphic designer and interactive specialist to pull off his plans. Good thing he's got several more weeks before the exhibit is set to go live; he'll need that much time to scour YouTube for some entertaining clips.
At 4:00PM, it's time to check in with the field crew. They're ready to wrap up their outdoor work for the day, as they've been at it since the sun came up. They'll spend the evening making sense of the day's observations (and probably eating a lot of snacks), which they'll send to Ken tomorrow morning (the observations, not the snacks).
In the meantime, Ken must sketch out a paper he'll present at a conference in Hawaii this January. He hates to write, but he knows he can't get away with just standing there saying "Dinosaurs are cool"—not a second time anyway. He gathers his research notes, hoping he can tear himself away from the football game on TV tonight for long enough to create an outline.
By 7:45PM, Ken's team is already way down in the football game (like always). He decides to turn it off and really get into the paper. That only works for about five minutes. "Too quiet," Ken thinks, so he decides to enjoy a movie in the background. He cues up Jurassic Park for the 3,000th time, sets his pen to paper, and waits for the carnage to begin.