BRING YOUR CHILD TO WORK DAY
Ever since my childhood, one of the most exciting time for us as kids was to go to our Dad’s office and spend a day. While it started as a fun thing, over years it morphed into some kind of a learning exercise. We used to at first help keep things in order, stamp an envelope, sort mail etc and gradually we were allowed to type a letter on the typewriters (remember those?).
To me it has been the most valuable internship I ever received. I went on to work in my dad’s office until I graduated, in various departments and locations – all of it pro bono. Today, I look back and wonder what skills, awareness and discoveries would have been impossible without that initiative. And the experience-memories-reward ….Priceless!!
Every time we had an opportunity, we have tried to let our kids visit our office and “hang around” my work place. I believe apart from the fun time they have with papers, staplers, markers and revolving chairs, they also get to observe our behavior at work.
I know for sure that I began to observe aspects of conduct, negotiation, phone manners, communication that I picked watching my dad and his colleagues at work. I also began recognizing how hard he used to work to make ends meet. This provided a deep rooted appreciation for hard work, diligence, work ethic and respect for my dad and his colleagues.
Today being the ‘National Bring Your Child to Work’ day, I had an excellent opportunity to take my child to my office and to the event at our new office facility. AAA and Bishop Ranch had organized a fantastic show. Apart from being able to pick some cool gifts and goodies, children were exposed to limitless possibilities their future had for them. They got a chance to talk to safety experts, health experts, get pedestrian tips, climb aboard a real NASCAR simulator and enjoy a lot of great snacks and food.
I was particularly impressed with the Fire, Police, Emergency departments’ participation. Kids got a chance to get into each of these vehicles and experience first hand what the feeling is like. They got a chance to talk to a few courteous experts and ask lots of questions. Some of which were – Is that cap of yours heavy? (to a fireman) Does that let you call home and talk to your kids? (pointing to a radio transmitter in a police car), Do you drop your kid to school in this van? ( sitting in an ambulance van), Where is the car seat for your child in this fire engine? Etc.,
Going around, meeting wonderful people, other lucky kids, a delightful clown, sipping on the juices and the popsicles handed out, the children were on cloud 9.
As we were leaving after two hours of pure sunshine filled joy, one of the Ambulance volunteer asked my five year old about his experience. The reply was, “It was the best-est day ever – I was in a Race car, Cop car, Fire Engine AND and ambulance the same day…cool!!!! I now have to decide what I want to be when I grow up!!!”
Thanks to a novel concept and thanks to community friendly facilities like Bishop Ranch and organizations like AAA that add a new dimension to the concept and make it fun.