I still remember when I begged and begged my mother to take me to her work on the 1st Annual Take Your Daughter to Work Day. I didn’t so much care to learn about her job as a nurse at the VA Hospital in Menlo Park. It was more of the lure of getting to spend the day out of school that seemed so intriguing. My mother’s job was on the Psych Ward – there was no way she was taking me to spend the day with our nation’s heroes whose service in war had left them just shells of their former selves. It wouldn’t be fair for me and it certainly wouldn’t be fair for them.
Instead, I was allowed to go to IBM with my stepdad. At first it was exciting to eat breakfast at their cafeteria and get to drink Hot Chocolate from the coffee cart. But when my stepdad tried to explain his job as a Cost Accountant, I quickly realized that a day in school was far more interesting than a day as a Cost Accountant. I practically begged to do my homework before it was even lunch.
Back then there was no internet. No Facebook. No Google. My stepdad didn’t even have a personal computer.
Today is the 20th Anniversary of Take Your Daughter to Work Day. My 2nd grade son will be staying at school. Partly because his school is in the middle of standardized testing. Partly because I still think he is too young to understand (or care about) the work that I do. Try to explain business transformation to an eight year old and see how well you fare.
The biggest reason why I’m not talking my son to work is that I work from home. While he is gone at school, I attend dozens of conference calls. I write dozens more email. I draft work plans and write procedures. I remove virtual roadblocks that prevent the business from doing business. All from the former kitchen table that now serves as my desk.
For my son, a day at mom’s work is a day at home. I can imagine how our day would go. Me: on a call; he: whining that he’s bored. Me: drafting a new procedure document; he: whining that he’s hungry. Me: responding to an sales escalation; he: asking to watch TV.
So instead my son will be at school. And I’ll be at home, working. He doesn’t know what he’s missing. Or what he would be missing if he was stuck at work with me.