Earlier this morning I was informed that yesterday was Adam LaRoche’s favorite day: “Take Your Child to Work Day.” Yes, that timeless concept that produced one of the greatest episodes of The Office is still around. It’s great in theory; parents get to spend a whole day at work enjoying the company of their child, and said child gets a glimpse into how miserable their parents are from 8-5 every weekday. There’s value for everyone.
Now you could be a part of the crowd that thinks this is still a great idea, because in theory, what does it hurt? A kid of reasonable age should provide enough cuteness, adorable questions, and patience to not cause too much of a ruckus in the workplace and make for an enjoyable day, right?
Wrong. Kids are hellbeasts waiting for the opportune moment to strike. I say this as a fully devoted father of a toddler I love very much. But in no way will he ever accompany me for a full work day until he’s at an age where I can saddle him with paperwork that he can’t mess up and I don’t have to pay him to do.
Maybe your office will be full of pre-teens that combine the rare ability of still wanting to spend time with their parents while also having the wherewithal to not be a little terrorist, but probably not. Aside from my boss/his wife, I’m the only parent in my small office. Their kids are teenagers, who can kind of act like adults, so all eyes would be on me for bringing my offspring in for a go-round. If I brought my two-year-old, the shit would hit the fan, but regardless, any kid at any age is going to wear out their welcome in any workplace (even a baseball clubhouse).
1. Office Productivity Would Hit an All-Time Low
Is it easy to get distracted from your computer screen when there’s work to be done? Anyone with a good work ethic says no, but I say yes. So let’s roll in with a child at 8 a.m. and see what that does to the office. My kid is unbearably cute, even to all the “never having kids” people, so already for the first hour, everyone’s going to be unable to resist watching him to adorable tiny human things. The rest of the day will be spent completely losing focus anytime he wanders into their office (Before you say to keep him in mine, toddlers are all about manifest destiny; no place is off limits).
Older kids would announce their presence by asking questions. There’s nothing worse than a question you don’t know the answer to, especially from someone who thinks you know it (your boss at least knows you’re clueless). There are only so many answers you can fake from a never-ending question machine of an eight-year-old before you realize that you’ve gotten miles behind on your work because you were telling Curious Johnny about sending an email to get robots to go fix a Flux Capacitor.
Eight hours of constant questions and energy from little people who you secretly envy for having no problems will make you feel like not doing any work and instead being pissed off at life. Children tire you out simply by being in the vicinity, so by 1:30 p.m., a few kids could physically wear down an entire office.
2. Something Would Get Broken
Children have an incredible 6th sense to find the most easily breakable or dangerous thing in their vicinity and make sure to get as much quality time as possible with it. If someone walked in the door with a puppy, a stuffed animal, an iPad, and a flamethrower, my kid would say, “Ay fam, what’s that flamethrower all about?”
Unless you work at a daycare, most workplaces aren’t childproofed, and not for the child’s sake. Kids get bored, and bored kids are dangerous. There’s only so long they can hang with you doing TPS reports before that power strip looks like it should be unplugged and used as Indiana Jones’ whip.
That eight-year-old who was firing off hot questions is eventually going to wonder to themselves, “I wonder if I can jump over that chair?” and either that chair or that kid are going into the wall. And your boss’s prized golf tourney trophy? I’d be double checking my resume after my kid laid eyes on it and Gronk-spiked it onto the hardwood.
3. Tears Would Be Shed
Now, whose tears exactly? I’m not sure. I know my toddler. That’s the only way he knows how to express his feelings when he doesn’t agree with something. Sorry champ, I can’t let you climb in the shredder box. Tantrum engage.
Plenty of other wild cards here, though. There are the early morning sad tears of anyone childless and longing calling their spouse asking, “Why haven’t we had kids yet???” These are then followed by tears of joy when they call their spouse at lunch saying, “Thank God we haven’t had these monsters yet, one licked my desk and then ran away.”
Remember our old buddy Curious Johnny? He’s likely popping off with some embarrassed tears after the guy he’s pestered all day, who doesn’t even care for the parent that brought Johnny, finally snaps and said, “Alright you little shit, why don’t you just do my job for me?” then going to take a smoke break. In a normal circumstance this would be an HR nightmare, but on “Bring Your Child to Work Day” it’s barely even a blip on the radar.
Maybe this is all just me being paranoid. Maybe the only kid who comes to your office would be a nine-year-old prodigy who not only behaved like a respectful human being but figured out a mistake that saved a customer $381. You can hope for that, but chances are, it won’t happen.
Had I made the mistake of working for someone who participated in bringing a child to work day and I had actually brought my own child, I know I would’ve been walking away an hour early from my office. I’d smell the smoke from a mishap with the microwave, look at the Sharpie that found its way onto my pants, and say to myself that “Bring Your Child to Work Day 2017” is a no-go..
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