The XX Factor

Today We Brought Our Kids to Work. You Know Who Else Should Get a Trip to the Office …

“Mom and Mama, this is what I do all day.”


You may have noticed that some of your co-workers are looking particularly young this Thursday. Not young like millennials, usually the token youthful presence around the office—younger. Grade-school young. Shopkins and Legos young. You’ve stumbled upon Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, observed the fourth Thursday of April at workplaces around the country.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day evolved from Take Our Daughters to Work Day, which the Ms. Foundation for Women started in 1992 to encourage girls to pursue careers in all sorts of fields, including male-dominated ones. As the day has strayed from its original purpose—the Ms. Foundation is no longer involved—now it’s mostly seen as a time for kids to gain an understanding of what their parents really do all day (while also getting to skip school) and parents to show off the adorable time and money suckers they’re so proud of. But kids are far from the only people who fail to grasp what some jobs actually entail; there are plenty of people we’d like to invite to the office for a day of education about the places we spend most of our time. As an added benefit, people who don’t have kids can participate in these days too. HR departments, please plan ahead for the following events next year.

Take Our Parents to Work Day. Parents, bless their hearts, tend not to get what their kids do for work, especially if that work involves the internet. If we could just bring in Mom and Dad and let them see what goes on, maybe they would stop saying stuff like “Why do they pay you for that?”, “Honey, tell Grandma what it is you do again?”, and “You know, it’s not too late to think about law school.”

Take Our Significant Others to Work Day. Another important figure in everyone’s life who pretends to understand how we spend 40 hours a week but actually doesn’t. Shouldn’t the person who hears all your complaints about work get a chance to see the elevator ride you take every day, the fluorescent lights you work under, the meager offerings of your vending machine? This is the stuff of true intimacy.

Take Our High School Friends to Work Day. The people who witnessed some of your stupidest moments will no doubt delight in observing your attempts at cosplaying grown-up life. The sight of you in business-casual dress straining to act professional with your colleagues will surely send them into fits of laughter. “Hahaha, I can’t believe you’re a real person with a job,” they will say. Neither can we.

Take Our Therapists to Work Day. Imagine the time and money this would save! Instead of describing the hostile work environment, the nuances of your boss’ tone, the differences between all your toxic co-workers, and rest of the indignities you’re subject to, your therapist would actually get to see and experience it all. And the hours you would save in therapy would save your employer’s money, too, if they’re the ones that pay for your insurance. Win-win!

Take Our Landlords to Work Day. For every time your landlord has given you side-eye for being home during the middle of the workday, for every time he or she has reacted to the description of what you do with confusion or contempt, for every time you wished someone who was lucky enough to happen to own a building understood the struggle of creating content on the internet.

Take Our First Dates to Work Day. What better way to get past the small-talk phase and figure out if you’re compatible than being thrown into a corporate setting for eight hours of intellectual and emotional labor? This would admittedly mostly be entertaining for your co-workers and torturous for you.

Take the Bartender From Our Favorite Dive Bar to Work Day. So he or she sees that sometimes you do have it together.

Take Our Tax Preparer From H&R Block to Work Day. If there’s anyone who doesn’t get what you do for a living, it’s the no-nonsense man or woman doing your taxes. It’s a real job, we swear!

Take a Total Stranger to Work Day. Just grab somebody on the subway—before they can grab you!

Take the Person Sitting Next to Us on Amtrak Who’s Looking at Our Laptop Over Our Shoulder to Work Day. If they’re so curious, why not show ‘em?

Take Our High School Teachers to Work Day. So they can either be proud of or appalled by what you’re doing with your life and all your young promise.

Take the Skull-Faced Shadow Demon Who Stalks Us in Our Dreams to Work Day. Careful, though, skull-faced demons get shy around new people.

Take Our Dog Walkers to Work Day. Heck, have them bring the dogs with them.

Take a Writer of Literary Fiction to Work Day. This group of people consistently misunderstands what work is like, probably because some of them have never had real jobs. Let’s educate them!