Work It

This post by Jennifer Flaten


This post by Jennifer Flaten


My daughters expressed interest in going to work with me. It wasn’t because they are interested in my profession, more that they wanted to escape the house on a summer day. Plus, they are extremely curious (okay, really more like nosy).


And really, if I were in their position I would want to go to work too. Staying home means hanging out with their younger brother. Plus if they are home they have to do chores like mowing the lawn and what preteen girls likes to sweat?


After relentless hounding me about it for a month, I gave in and agreed to take them in one at at time. Taking the both of them would be akin to releasing a wild rhino in a crystal shop.


No, one at a time only.


I took the youngest shyest kid first. Her job was to report to my oldest more outgoing kid. If the shy kid survived then the other kid would consider going.


As I am a bookkeeper I could offer them such glamourous tasks as adding up columns of numbers, stuffing envelopes and using the postage machine. They both diligently did the tasks I asked of them and still managed to get in a fair amount of instagramming.


Both expressed interest in returning. I think it is because they got to sit in a spinny chair.file8571246480502


Did you ever help you parents out at work?


Hop on over to my Etsy shop, Dragon and Butterfly Design. Place an order for earrings, necklace or bracelet and get free shipping with coupon code SUMMERSHIP.



10 thoughts on “Work It

  1. Nope. Never went to work with my mom or dad. In the ’60s, mom had a part-time job at the JC Penney’s in San Bernardino, California. I do vaguely recall being in the downtown department store with dad when mom was working. I think she handled the drapes and curtains.


  2. When I was in college, I often worked with my dad in his coin-operated machine business. In the shop, I removed title strips from old jukebox records so they could be archived. I also traveled with him to various bars, restaurants, and other businesses where he serviced machines and counted and sorted coins. These experiences partly inspired my novel, We Shall Overcome.


  3. Jennifer,
    For most of my younger days my father worked from home. He was a manufacturer’s representative for the tile and tool trade. Basically he bought trowels from big companies and sold them to the guy who owned a store. Once a week a big truck would drop off dozens of cartons of tools. My father was gone 2 weeks of every month driving up and down the east coast delivering his tools so it was up to us, (my brother and sister) to make sure the truck was unloaded properly and the boxes put in the right places in the garage. My father had an office at home and I would love to go in and play office worker – using the stapler, sharpening pencils, writing letters to no one. So no, my father never took me to his office, he brought the office to me.
    – Stephen


  4. I was blessed to grow up on a farm, so I was with my parents and lived in their work place! I observed how they gave their time and best to everything they did. The rhythm of the farm was comforting. Early morning up, milk cows, feed all the animals and depending on the season, haul hay, work the fields, or in winter come back into warmth and paperwork or a winter nap. Saturday nights were for going to town, shopping, catching up with neighbors. I couldn’t wait until I was big enough to help with all the work! There was no disconnect between family members, disagreements yes, but everyone knew what the other one’s job was!


  5. My dad worked at DuPont, so the closest I got to his job was when the plant had family night and everyone got to take tours. My mom, on the other hand, worked in the corner store just a couple blocks from our house. I loved to hang around while she was working, or even when she wasn’t. You could almost always find some neighborhood kids sitting on the front steps drinking pop and eating penny candy they had just bought inside. I miss those days with neighborhood shops run by the owner and just an employee or two. They knew everybody and everybody knew them.


  6. Fun post, Jennifer. Since my mother was a stay-at-home mom I sure got to go to work with her! lol My father worked for the Michigan State Highway Department and before he became a Superintendent I confess to whining enough that he took me to the next block in a big snowplow once. I had to walk back of course.


  7. Interestingly, I never went to work with either parent until I graduated from high school. Then that summer before I left for college, I ended up working at the local community college in the counseling department scheduling appointments, etc. The only reason I got the job was because my mom used to work as a part-time counselor there. Luckily, she’d already moved on to work for a different college at that time so I didn’t have to run into my mom all the time at work. So I guess that doesn’t really qualify as “going to work with your parents,” does it?


  8. That’s a great question, Jennifer. I’m glad your teens enjoyed the experience of being with mum, whether they spun the chair or not. I’m sure the value was also that they got your (almost, except for work) attention. No, I never got to go to work with my dad, or my mum when she started working when I was around 10. My father was a glazier and working with glass was a hazardous job.


  9. Glad you and your kids had a “take a child to work day” experience (I hope you survived it as mom/bookkeeper! LOL) Never went to work with my dad, but my mom was a stay-at-home and I helped her with housework, gardening, and pet chores FREQUENTLY! I believe those experiences helped cement a solid foundation of friendship and love that she and I share strongly to this day.


  10. No I never went to work with my parents. Mom was a stay at home mom except for a short period when she worked in a diner. Dad did take us to visit her at work once. But we just got ice cream and headed home.


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