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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

13 of the Most Hilarious “Take Your Daughter to Work” Stories

Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of April, Take Your Daughter to Work Day is a time to introduce your child to the office candy bowl and other important adult stuff.

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Close up aerial view of children hands typing on laptop keyboard.KK Tan/Shutterstock

“Thanks for the STDs, I mean, memories!”

“I work in IT and my job is basically just staring at code on a computer all day. So when my ten-year-old daughter, Sadie, came with me for Take Your Daughter To Work Day, she was immediately unimpressed. That is until I showed her the room where we keep all the old equipment, including an old Mac that still had Oregon Trail installed. You remember, that ‘educational’ computer game every kid from the ’80s played in school? She played it for seven hours straight. A couple of my coworkers even joined her on their lunch break. It was quite the party. On the way out, my boss asked what she learned. ‘I played in the back room with my dad’s friends and I got chlamydia like 20 times,’ Sadie answered. She meant cholera, as in the pioneer disease everyone dies of in the game. My boss looked like she was going to have a heart attack until I explained.” —Steven Johnson, Baltimore

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“I pooped on the floor! But just a little!”

“As a writer, I work from home. (And as a mom of five kids, that’s trickier than it sounds.) Still, on Take Your Daughter To Work Day, I didn’t want to miss out on showing my 3-year-old daughter what I do and she was super excited to ‘help.’ So I set her up with her own little phone and notepad in my bedroom while I interviewed a world famous neurologist for an article. Halfway through the interview, she realized she needed to use the toilet so I motioned for her to go use the bathroom attached to my bedroom, not remembering the toilet was on the other side of the wall from my desk. After some loud moans, she finally yelled, ‘I did it, mom! I pooped in the toilet! I pooped on the floor too! But just a little! I’ll clean it! Oh, I stepped in it! And now there’s toe poo!’ There was an uncomfortable silence as I realized the doctor could hear every word, clear as a bell. ‘Haha,’ I laughed nervously. ‘Do you have kids?’ There was a long pause then a firm, humorless, ‘No. And I never will.’ Then my daughter sealed the deal by yelling, ‘Mom, I’m ready for you to wipe my butt!’ I finished the interview while wiping her butt. And vowed to never take anyone younger than five to work with me again.” —Charlotte Andersen, Denver

3 / 13
Blurry face of little boy finger pointing at camera, Selective focus of kid primary school boy pointing at you with his finger, Spoiled children conceptAnn in the uk/Shutterstock

“Is your penis broken? My mom will fix it.”

“I am the director of nursing for Davita, a multinational kidney dialysis company, and on Take Your Child To Work Day, we were hosting a booth at a large health fair. At the beginning of the day, we weren’t getting very many people stopping by our booth so my son Marshall, who was six, decided to help me out, carnival-barker style. He understood that I did something with the organs that help people pee but that was about it—as I soon discovered when he ran out into the walkway and started yelling at everyone passing by, “Hey! Do you have a broken penis? My mom will fix that for you!” People were certainly surprised by his, shall we say, unique approach, and many stopped to see what I was really doing. He was a great salesman, I actually got a lot of referrals that day! Although I imagine some people were disappointed to discover there was no Viagra at my booth.” —Amy Duran, Denver

4 / 13
BUSINESS IMAGE-a headset on a white keyboardPayless Images/Shutterstock

“Well, #*$&%(* you, too!”

“I used to work answering phones in the reservations department for a large airline and sometimes people would get pretty heated when their trip didn’t go exactly as planned. One Take Your Daughter To Work day, I brought my eight-year-old daughter, Michelle. I hooked up a training headset to my phone so she could listen to calls, but no one could hear her. It was going great until one man became irate and started using every colorful curse word in creation. I forgot Michelle was listening in until I saw her stunned little face. I pulled the cord out but not before she’d gotten an earful. I guess you could say she learned a few new vocabulary words at my job that day!” —Julie Jarose, Omaha, Nebraska. Sounds like the gentleman in question should brush up on these 37 hilarious phrases parents say to avoid cursing in front of kids.

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Chocolate bar in foil on gray backgroundAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

“I’m DYING (without that candy)”

“I’m on the phone a lot for my job which sometimes makes it less than exciting to watch. Nevertheless, my five-year-old daughter insisted that she wanted to come to Take Your Daughter To Work Day. She wandered in and out of my office, finally coming in and announcing that I need to talk to her right now. I shook my head and motioned to the phone but she only got louder and more insistent. “It’s an emergency, I might die!” she finally yelled. I didn’t see any blood or other signs of impending death but put the caller on hold and asked what she wanted. That emergency? “I can’t get the candy out of the candy bowl.” After that, I decided to take her on a little field trip to the store down the street to buy a candy bar. Buying the candy was her favorite part of the day and pretty much the only thing she remembered about my ‘job.’ She liked it so much that it became a tradition for every kid thereafter to get to walk to the store and buy candy when they came to my work.” —Ann Hilton, Vancouver, Washington

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macro of colorful hard candyNino Cavalier/Shutterstock

“I did exactly what you told me!”

“I’m the receptionist for the headquarters for a large medical company. We have a sterile lab so if visitors want to go in there, they have to show their ID to me, get scanned in, and go through a complicated decontamination process to proceed. I brought my daughter, O., with me to work. She’s six so of course, the first thing she notices is the giant bowl of Jolly Ranchers and mints I use when people get grouchy about the complicated sign-in process. Most people who come through take at least a few. I told her not to eat it but all day she kept eyeing it. It was a busy day so I didn’t always notice exactly what she was doing but she seemed happy enough. At the end of the day I told her since she’d been so good, she could have a candy. Before I handed her the bowl, I asked if she’d already eaten some. ‘Oh no, you told me not to, so I didn’t eat any!’ she exclaimed proudly. Then, on the ride home, she guilty confessed that while she didn’t eat any, she had opened the wrappers, licked them once, and then put them carefully back in the wrappers and back in the bowl. I wanted to die and laugh. Our company who is so strict about hygiene had been handing out candies licked by a germy child.” —Amanda C., New York

7 / 13
Group of shipment barrels.J. McPhail/Shutterstock

“Honey, I lost our kid”

“I worked at a paper processing plant, so for Take Your Daughter To Work Day, I was struggling to think of things my five-year-old daughter might like to see that weren’t dangerous or just paper. I finally found some big cardboard barrels that the paper was shipped in and she loved playing in them. She was having so much fun I left her there while I finished my duties. I’m ashamed to admit this but once I got in the rhythm of work, I completely forgot about her! That is until it was time to go home. I raced around the plant looking for her but she was nowhere to be found. Just as I was trying to think how to tell my wife I’d lost our kid, my coworker found her in one of the barrels, curled up and sleeping peacefully. She didn’t know she was ‘lost’ and was delighted when we ‘found’ her, thinking we’d all been playing a game and she’d won. Truth was, I was the real winner that day because she’s the prize of a lifetime.” —Bill G., Idaho Falls, Idaho.

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Close up rear- vew portrait of a cute little girl with funny pigtails on white background. Fashion and happy childhood.Bilanol/Shutterstock

“Shhh… I’m invisible!”

“I work in the prison system and took my five-year-old daughter to my office for Take Your Daughter To Work. I had a court hearing I couldn’t miss but it wasn’t far away and wouldn’t take long so I left her in my office with her tablet, a drink, snacks, and access to the bathroom. I gave her explicit instructions not to talk to a soul unless she absolutely needed something. I also let my boss know, just in case there was an issue. I go to my hearing and when I come back, my boss comes up and says, ‘When I came in to check on your daughter she whispered, “I can’t talk to you my mom told me to be invisible.” So I pretended I couldn’t see her and asked if she needed anything. She whispered back, “Well I do need one thing—that sucker in the candy jar.”‘ When I looked at her, my daughter just shrugged and said, ‘You said I could talk if I absolutely needed something and I absolutely needed that sucker!’ My boss and I both cracked up, it was too cute.” —Quish Turner, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Shih Tzu, also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog, is a toy dog breed sitting on floor with showing tongueswapan banik/Shutterstock

“That’s… not a child.”

“At my office, you have to sign up in advance to bring your kid to Take Your Child To Work Day. (They need a headcount because they go all out every year, buying pizza for the kids and setting up games around the office.) This past year, one of my newer coworkers, ‘Karen,’ made a huge deal about how she was signing up her daughter ‘Maddy’ and how she was so excited for all of us to meet her, racing to be the first person on the list. I mentioned I was bringing my seven-year-old daughter and said maybe they could play. ‘Oh Maddy is my baby,’ she replied, which I thought was a little weird because why would you bring a baby? But I figured it wasn’t my business, new mom pride, whatever. The day came and Karen showed up with an expensive baby stroller covered with a blanket. She dramatically pulled it back to reveal… a Shih-Tzu. I thought it was a joke at first but she spent all day carrying Maddy to every activity and even held the crayon between her paws. It was weird but fine until she fed Maddy a piece of pizza and the dog got diarrhea all over the office carpet.” —Eric W., Seattle. OK, so Karen wasn’t a parent yet but taking good care of pets is one of the 11 surprising signs you’ll be a good parent someday.

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Soviet cosmonaut or astronaut or spaceman suit and helmet, close upDedMityay/Shutterstock

Dad puns aren’t just for dads

“When I worked for NASA, I took my seven-year-old daughter, Lia, to work with me. She was always fascinated with everything I did and got a huge kick out of seeing all the machines. I took her over to our training area and let her play in some of the equipment we used to train the astronauts before their space flights. She felt like a real astronaut herself and soaked it all up. At home, my wife asked her how her day was. She answered, ‘It was out of this world!’ and then winked at me so I knew she was making a joke. I thought that was a pretty great pun for a first grader!” —John Flynn, Houston. Making terrible puns is a learned skill—like these 21 things parents wish they’d known before having kids.

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Automated External Defibrillator pads.Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

“I know how to do this, I saw it on TV!”

“Working as a nurse in a hospital gives me a lot of good stories but one of my favorites was when I took my nine-year-old daughter Mercedes to work with me. Lots of my coworkers had brought their kids too and so we were trying to corral them in a safe area, away from patients. (In hindsight, I kind of wonder what the hospital was even thinking?) They were all back in the storage room and it seemed to be going well until we heard yelling. We ran back to find them playing doctor with one kid pretending to have a heart attack on the ground. My daughter was standing over him holding the paddles from an AED defibrillator machine getting ready to shock him. Thankfully the machine was broken (which is why it was in the storage room to begin with) so it didn’t work but I still shudder to think what would have happened had it worked. When I told her to never do that again, she just said ‘It’s fine! I know how to do this, I saw someone do it on TV!’ Yikes!” —Maria Flores, San Jose, California

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Schoolgirl using mobile phone in classroom at schoolwavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

“Can I open my own 401k now?”

“When I took my ten-year-old daughter, Ashley, to Take Your Daughter To Work Day I didn’t expect my company to also schedule our annual benefits seminar on the same day. That afternoon I had to attend an hours-long PowerPoint presentation about health plans, PTO, and retirement contributions. I offered her my phone to play on but she asked for my notepad instead… and started taking notes. She was particularly interested in the financial aspects, even raising her hand to ask pertinent questions about 401Ks and index funds. I even opened up my investment app and let her see how my retirement account was doing. At the end of the seminar, we had the opportunity to change some of our benefit preferences. When I approached the HR table, and the man asked my daughter who she was, she answered, ‘His financial adviser, obviously he needs one, have you seen his portfolio?!’ My boss still hasn’t let me live that one down and asks if he should run any changes by my daughter first.” —Michael F., Columbus, Ohio

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Kraft notebook clean and blank diary with pencil on rustic wood background.PitchyPix/Shutterstock

“Eats muffins, often disappointed”

One man on Reddit found his son’s notes after he took his son to Take Your Child To Work Day at his office, where he is the Director of Finance. This was his kid’s summation of his job:

  • “Eat muffin and get news in cafeteria
  • Check calendar, cancel some meetings
  • Check “cash balances,” open the bank
  • Lots of math, fixing formulas
  • Keeps loans manageable, under a limit
  • Often disappointed
  • Review expenses and signs checks
  • Implementation of paperless process

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, BS, MS, has been covering health, fitness, parenting, and culture for many major outlets, both in print and online, for 15 years. She's the author of two books, co-host of the Self Help Obsession podcast, and also does freelance editing and ghostwriting. She has appeared in television news segments for CBS, FOX, and NBC.