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Taking Your Kids to Work Day, posted by Michael Trice

So, I work at home 80% of the time. This is useful because it allows me to work for six or so different places, which would be logistically impossible in any other format. That and I sometimes don’t have to shave until 3pm. And when I get fed up, I get to go to the garage to lift wieghts and not worry about being stinky when I return to my desk/cubicle/conference room. So, I like the fringe benefits.

I do worry about how the arrangement affects what my kids see. I’m a bit of a night owl, so sometimes I put in a ton of hours after they’re in bed. That can send mixed signals on how much Dad actually works. Given that I’m a strong lead by example of practice type, this does bother me now and then. 

It also makes for some interesting conversations about, “So what does your dad do?”

“Um, he spends lots of time on the computer and complains about driving 2 hours to San Marcos once or twice a week.”

So yesterday Texas State’s English Department had their annual award ceremony. This happened to overlap with Take Your Child to Work Day. Since Texas State is the only employeer I currently work for within the same state as our home (at leats until I also start working for the University of Texas in August), it was a nice opportunity to show the kids that I actually do a little bit more than “play” on the computer.

To fully embrace the opportunity, my wife and I took all three kids down to the English Dept awards, where I was receiving the 2008-09 Outstanding Grad Student award for the English Dept. Not really related to my job at all, but it was happening at the place where the kids associate with my working. On a personal level, it was also something I wanted the family to experience because it represented a big moment for the MA in Technical Communication program at Texas State. Not only was it our programs ten-year anniversary, but we swept the Department’s graduate student awards, and it was our program’s first time to receive the Outstanding Graduate Student award.

Anyway, the most rewarding aspect was that when I went up to accept the award my son started gravitating toward me from the assembled audience. I finally waved him on over to the podium and his younger sister immeditaely joined him at my signal. My wife and our near-teen daughter joined at the urging of the crowd, and everyone received a healthy round of applause.

All in all, it was a good day “at the office.”