This year, my company participated in Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work day. Given that my employer is an association for the medical community, the theme was Aspiring Docs. That’s right boys, let’s use those brains for something other than memorizing 45 different football plays (sorry Coach Dell) or masterminding Candy Crush.
My employer had great activities for them all morning — they heard about what it’s like to be a doctor from an actual doctor. About which my son Nick shared with me later, “it just sounds like a lot of school if you ask me.”
They saw a model of our new office building that we will move into in 2014, and got to create their own model out of copy paper boxes, construction paper, glue, stickers, post-its and markers. My boys’ creation won for Most Realistic! depiction of our new building. It’s probably because they had made mom’s desk as disorganized as the kitchen table at home, which is — as their dad puts it — “so covered with your mom’s baking crap I don’t even remember what color it is any more“.
They had their picture taken wearing a lab coat and stethoscope, while standing next to a skeleton.
Of course, Nick’s darting eyes make me wonder what he did to the skeleton once the picture session was over.
Finally, they were given a “match letter”, letting them know what their residency specialty would be and how much they would probably make. Alex “matched” at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, as an Emergency Physician, who would make between $239,000 and $316,296 per year. His response to that was “it’s a lot, but it’s not as much I’ll be making in the NFL.”
Nick’s match was in Orthopedic Surgery at Duke University Hospital in Durham. He found this incredulous because “We hate the Blue Devils because they suck. Terrapins rule. Why would they give me Duke. This is stupid.” He wasn’t even swayed by the potential $397,879 – $600,000 salary, other than to say it was “way more than Alex will make. Ha!”
They thought the coolest thing about the area I work in was this:
Alex was so beat from getting up at 5:30 in the morning, that after lunch he found some bubble wrap and fashioned himself a pillow. He laid down on the floor of the office I share with a co-worker and went to sleep. Good thing my co-worker was out at a meeting most of the afternoon. I could tell Nick was tired because he sat quietly (!) and read (!!) a book (!!!) with more words than pictures (!!!!).
So, I think the biggest lesson learned was that when mom gets up at the ass crack of dawn to trek down to DC and then slug home again in the afternoon, we need to show her some props/love/respect because that’s what pays for all the sports equipment, DS games, iPods, summer camps and (ridiculously overpriced) authentic NFL/NHL/MLB/NBA gear they want.
And at the end of the day, having them come to that conclusion is really the best medicine.