Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Don't Bring Your Child to Work Day (Please)

Back in the ancient and halcyon days of the '90s, Take Your Daughter to Work Day was invented as a way of exposing young girls to various professions out in the working world, rather than just the traditional female-dominated professions such as nursing and teaching. In 2003, the idea was expanded to include all children, on the useful and logical premise that all children should see what options there are out there, and because all kids basically need parenting time.

When Take Your Child to Work Day comes around each year, many companies organize activities with balloons and games and such. After those activities conclude, the kids are released back into the custody of their parents. While anything that keeps kids busy, happy, and engaged is arguably a Good Thing, I can't help but wonder...

Is your job interesting enough that your child will actually learn something from the experience? If so, then why are so many kids allowed to run screaming around office buildings, grabbing objects in cubes whose occupants are elsewhere, and getting jelly fingerprints over practcially every surface? Is it even possible to keep an eye on your work and on your kids at the same time? Is it possible to bring your child to work without disrupting the labors of those in the nearby offices?

Tomorrow is Take Your Child to Work Day here, and I will be working from home. As a writer, my work is mostly solitary when I'm not in meetings, and I need a certain amount of quiet in order to think. This process does not include having to watch out for other people's unwatched kids, keep their sticky hands off delicate electronics that don't belong to them, or invest in a set of noise-canceling headphones just so I can navigate from the beginning of a sentence to the end with minimal interruption. I'm happy enough to skip the commute tomorrow, but resent the fact that I must be the one to leave in order to complete the work I'm supposed to be doing at work.

Please, unless you're sure that your child will find double-entry bookkeeping or program management absolutely riveting, declare a Stay at Home With Your Child day and teach your kid something instead.

-- Post From My iSomething


Moonstonebeardie said...

Well said, Karen! Valid points. My beardie(s) would be less troublesome and annoying than someone's kid!

Salannka said...

I love it.....they don't have them very often here in Australia, and certainly NEVER whilst my daughter was young!!! But hey, can they let us take our beardie to work??