Bring your kids to work day

Thursday evening

So, today was bring your kids to work day….

(Excuse me. I suddenly feel a need for a drink.)

Friday morning

So, yesterday was bring your kids to work day.

(Shit. Hold on. I want another drink.)

Friday afternoon

I foget what I wanting talked to.

Oh, so sad!


So, last Thursday was Bring Your Kid to Work Day. (Coincidentally, the Dow Jones plummeted the following week. Take that as you will.)

Hobbes loves coming to my office, for reasons that I can’t understand very well. About all you can say for the place is that there isn’t any blood on the actual walls, and people are not regularly flogged in public1, but other than that — it’s a cubicle farm, and I live in a cubicle. I’m Dilbert, with more hair. Despite that fact, Hobbes regularly asks if he can come to work again with me, on the off chance I might have hit my head and forgotten the last time he came with me. Every so often, mostly on holidays where his daycare is closed, he lucks out.

For the first time since I’ve been there, my company went all out on a half-day event for the kids of employees. It was well-organized and run by young, enthusiastic people with — and this is key — no kids of their own. Volunteers at the company offered up hitherto unrecognized talents. There were scheduled activities, a tour of the office, a pizza lunch, balloon animals, face painting, and some art activities. They had company ID badges made up for the kids that had their pictures and names for them.2

Hobbes waiting for a balloon animal.

There was also sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. Chocolates, lollipops, gummy treats, juice boxes, fruit.

See above re: young, enthusiastic people with no kids of their own.

I wasn’t able to stick around for a good hour of the event. I had a meeting at the same time, scheduled during a fit of amnesia. “Can I leave him with you guys?” I asked the young, childless woman from HR.

Perennial optimist that she is, she looked delighted at the prospect. “Sure! We’ll have fun, won’t we, Hobbes?”

But Hobbes had already dashed off to explore something else. I looked after him. “Maybe if I give you my cell phone number,” I suggested. “That way you can ring me if he causes you trouble and you feel yourself on the verge of hurling him out a window.”

I was untroubled by phone calls during the meeting, which puzzled me. When I returned an hour later to the main conference room, site of the jamboree, everything was quiet and still.

“Have they killed all the kids?” I inquired of the sole person remaining, a guy from IT.

“They’re on a building tour,” he said. “They should be back any minute now.”

The building isn’t that big. It isn’t that interesting. One and a half floors, blanketed with cubicles. And yet, it was another 45 minutes before they came back downstairs.

Hobbes came dashing into the room through the crowd of children, full of beans, and unleashed a barrage of disjointed information at me before disappearing again. One of the young, childless women from Marketing approached me. Her face was drawn and haggard. “Is he yours?” she asked.

“Yup. Why? What did he break?”

“Nothing.” She offered me a wan smile, the shell-shocked, autonomic response you might get from the victim of a horrific crime. “He’s really high energy, isn’t he?”

“You could say that,” I said. Hobbes was pinging around the room, chattering indiscriminately at people at the top of his lungs. When I glanced over at his last known location, I discovered him wedged half-in, half-out of a spinning office chair, in imminent danger of breaking off one of his legs.

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