I don’t bring mine because I don’t think it will enrich their lives to watch me sit and type on a computer all day long, with occasional stretches and trips to the bathroom. The jobs I’ve had since becoming a parent have all included lots of email writing, meetings, and phone calls, and those things bore them enough when I have to do them from home, where at least there’s TiVo and video games.
Some of those companies where I used to work went all out on kids’ day, and none of what they did had very much to do with learning about their parents’ jobs. My husband’s company even put them all in a room and let them play video games, because it’s a company full of programmers, psychologists, and salespeople, which means everybody’s sitting at their desks all day long.
So I thought about it, and asked my kids, and came up with the seven professions kids wish we had on Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day:
1. Sanitation Worker
Totally the No. 1 choice for any kid under the age of six. Best job ever. Many years ago when I was walking my son to preschool, we stopped to watch the garbage truck, and the man loading it said, “Stay in school, kid, or you’ll end up like me.” “Are you kidding?” I asked him. “You have his dream job.” And I meant it.
2. Newspaper Columnist Who Tells People What to Do
This was my daughter’s. She says she would step in for me and write the column, telling everybody what to do. I, too, would like this job.
3. Manning the McDonald’s French Fry Station
Another fantasy. Both my kids admitted that they totally wish that was my job and that they could go with me and help.
But not the sitting in meetings part, the drawing up of plans and building a miniature version of the building complex part. My son thinks that sounds pretty good, plus he likes a job that includes math and physics. Really!
5. Sales Clerk
We who have worked in retail know that it’s really hard work—and really hard on your back, all that standing—but, when you’re a kid, it sure looks cool to go behind the counter in a store and run the cash register.
6. Subway Driver
How fun would that be? They get to run giant underground trains all day long.
Everybody wants to feed the seals.