Last week we had “Bring Your Child to Work Day” at the office. I have been through many over the years and some are fun. Some are not.
I am logging onto my computer and I feel two pair of eyes on me. Their dad, let’s call him “Adam”, came over and said “these are my daughters, ‘manda and Meghan. I told them you’d help them if they needed anything - I’m going to be out of the office for an hour”. Well, ‘manda and Meghan were the cutest little girls, ages 7 and 9, all dressed up for their visit. They had moved to Minnesota a year ago from Nashville and had the most charming southern accents. Their dad set them up in an ampty office near me and told them he’d go get their “treats”.
Dad comes back with two frosted PopTarts and two cans of Mountain Dew.
He leaves. ‘manda promptly burns her mouth on the PopTart and starts screaming. But soon they were both engaged in a video they’d brought..
Half hour later - “Miss Kathy, can you help us open another treat?” Gummy Bears. I asked if they were allowed to have this and both explained that their dad doesn’t get to see them too often (mom has custody) and he wants them to have as “much fun as possible” so of course it was okay.
Adam finally comes back and says let’s look in the minifridge in his office, where he has a supply of pudding snacks. The girls squeal with delight and start shoveling the pudding. Then they got thirsty and had more soda.
But it was only 10 a.m. I was actually waiting for one of them to vomit.
Things calmed down after the kids found another girl to play with and went to investigate how the paper shredder worked. Then dad took them out for a special lunch.
They came back from lunch with a big shopping bag from Candyland, an old fashioned type confection store, and dumped its contents onto a file cabinet - jawbreakers, licorice, gumdrops. Where on earth did they have room for this huge volume of food?
One of my co-workers had been emailing all morning, asking what Adam was doing stuffing his kids with sweets. I could tell she was getting ready to confront him, and she at last stepped up to the plate.
Why are you feeding the girls all this sugar? Surely you know that eating too much sugar will give you diabetes, just like it did Kathy.By then, a couple other employees were taking in the conversation, and both looked at me and nodded solemnly. Within a second, the conversation had rotated from a dad trying to win his kid’s affection with candy, to me giving myself the db by pigging out on tootsie rolls.
I said “you know, I think I’m gonna call it a day” and left.
The next morning as I put my hand on the mouse it felt all sticky and crusty. There was a little trail of half eaten Jelly Bellys leading to the edge of my desk.
Then I heard someone say that Adam had was not coming in because both girls were sick with a weird 24 hour virus. He hoped they hadn’t been exposed to anything by coming to the office……….tough world, ain’t it?