Today is Yom Kippur. I am not Jewish, but I live in LA and there is a decent-sized Jewish population here. Apparently, so decent, that the LA public schools have started closing on the Jewish holidays. I noticed this last week during Rosh Hashanah, because we live near a high school and have to drive by it in the morning on the way back from the gym as parents are dropping off their kids. It’s calamity. Except not last Monday. Or today.
Of course, the result of this for non-Jewish families is that you have to think of something to do with your kids for the day, because you still have to work and the kids now have a day off from school. Where I work is a very casual, artist-driven environment. It is also very family friendly. On days like today, people think nothing of bringing their kids to work with them.
On a different day, in one of my saltier moods, this would probably bug me. But, I haven’t been in touch with my family much lately and I really miss my sister’s kids, so I have some unspent “kid” energy right now, plus I haven’t encountered any annoying children today. In fact, one of my colleagues brought his little girl in, and she is beyond sweet and adorable, so it’s more of a treat than anything to have her here. Also, when I was standing in line for the Grill at lunch, a guy was in front of me with his two little kids. When it came time for them to order, the Dad asked, “Do you want a hamburger or a turkey burger?” And one of the kids replied, “Cheese!” Which I think is the best possible answer. Somehow the Dad knew this meant two hamburgers with American cheese, which is an awesomely impressive example of the type of language shortcuts that can occur between parents and children. It was an entertaining interlude in what would normally would have been a standard, boring wait in line for a chicken breast.
When I was little, I remember going with my Dad to work on a few occasions, but for the life of me, I can’t remember why. If it was a school holiday, surely my sister would have been with me too? I remember he sat in a bullpen of cubes with all the other sales people, and he would find a desk for me to sit at so I could color all day. But I really only remember doing that once or twice. Was it as pervasive then as it is today? Does this happen in a lot of work places today, or really just the more super casual places, like where I work? If it is something that happens more broadly, then it doesn’t seem like a trend that will slow down at all, as the line between people’s work and personal lives becomes even more blurred. If you have to check email while you’re on vacation, then you should be able to watch your kid while you’re at the office, no?