Thursday, April 28, 2005

Stop Bugging Me and Color This

Happy "Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work" Day.

Formerly "Take Our Daughters to Work" Day, the holiday was founded as a way to encourage young girls to dream beyond the traditional set of female careers (nurse, teacher, homemaker, secretary). It was renamed a couple of years ago. Now it has less to do with giving girls a positive experience in fields they may not have previously considered, and more to do with distributing acceptable excuses to skip school evenly between the genders.

My dad took me to work with him when I was in fifth grade. Most of the other kids in my class had dads and moms that worked in offices, so when I told them I would be spending the day at Crossways station with my firefighter dad they were so jealous they could've pooped right there, in the middle of Circle Time. [I know, fifth grade is a little old for Circle Time and the like, but my teachers were a couple of loveable old hippies who couldn't pass up a chance to gather us on the floor and break out the acoustic guitar.] [Seriously, my class had an album.]

Anyway, so, for days I strut my shit around the classroom like my dad was actually the King of England and I was in charge of ruling Canada for the day.

However when "Take Your Daughter to Work" Day finally arrived, I spent my afternoon washing a fire engine. The three on-duty firefighters sat in lawn chairs and drank iced tea. Somewhere around the fender of Engine 54 I couldn't help but feel just a smidge jealous of the kids testdriving their parents' leather chairs or helping themselves to the contents of the office supply closet.

I suppose I shouldn't complain all that much, though; I got some serious fifth grade cred when I presented the pictures I took of some firefighters cutting the roof off a smoking car. Besides, when my dad took my younger brother to work a couple of years later they didn't even get to the engine washing portion of the day's festivites. Right about the time he should've been scrubbing a massive hubcap, my brother was instead enthusiastically flagging down an ambulance for my dad, who was doubled over with pain from a "Take Your Host to The Emergency Room" kidney stone.

It was nothing serious, but that's kind of par for the course with my family. You give us a holiday, we produce a disaster.

But back to the point: I've yet to see a kid in my office today. Despite all the encouraging e-mails and the posters in the lobby it seems that no one could convince their sons and daughters that editing scientific texts is a fascinating way to spend the thirty prime years of your brief existence.

I'm kind of glad. What would a ten-year-old do for eight hours in this office? Hell, I'm twenty-two and I can just barely keep from curling up all fetal under my desk, budging only for lunch or to stab intruders in the ankle with a pencil I'd gnawed to a deadly point.

[Still no pencil sharpener anywhere in this entire office.]

I weep for the child trapped here for the day--building a fort out of DHL boxes under his mom's desk, waiting to get in a game of Minesweeper when she goes to the bathroom. Begging her for hours for seventy-five cents to use in the vending machine. Innocently flipping through the books on her shelf only to be met with a full-color photograph of eye surgery.

I've got an hour before lunch. I think I'm going to spend it dropping quarters and hiding coloring books in kid-high shelves.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

my dear do you not know the joys of the mechanical pencil, and also i would have loved to go on a take your offspring/stepoffspring/ neighbors kid with the drunken illiterate father and the glass eyed hairlipped mother, who you feel sorry for and try to help out whenever his/her parents are unconscious on the front lawn or threatening each other with lawn darts but my father was in the army and they dont let little kids fire artillery shells, they should but they dont.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous brad said...

next year i'm your 22 year old disabled son.

11:27 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Check.

11:34 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Yeah, except next year I think I'm gonna be working for these people instead:

http://nypost.com/living/23511.htm

11:36 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Update: Just saw a tour of three high school kids walk by. I've never actually SEEN the living dead, per se, but I'd be hard pressed to find a better comparison.

1:32 PM  

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