I brought my friend’s daughter, Tess, to work one day because she was 12 years old and therefore too young to job shadow her actual mom at the hospital.
Newspapers have no such age restriction, although I did have to explain to her that the state senator was riding on a segue because he got a DUI and this was how he could still go door to door campaigning for re-election.
Is that appropriate sixth grader talk?
Tess also witnessed me getting yelled at by the town administrator in the small South Carolina city where I used to work.
That town administrator and I did not get along, and on that particular day, he and I were arguing over the price to copy the council members’ town-issued credit card statements.
He didn’t want me, the reporter, getting copies of it, because he knew I’d write about all the unexplained charges, especially the ones he made.
I already fought with him over getting copies in the first place. I had to file a Freedom of Information Act request and everything.
We finally agreed on a fair price, but he yelled, was visibly rebuffed and offended, huffed and puffed and flailed his arms a lot.
Tess sat in the corner with a reporter’s notebook and a pen.
We were there for 45 minutes and he was in the worst mood ever and I had to sit there and ask him all these questions about the charges while he acted like I was the biggest inconvenience ever.
Then, I took Tess to lunch at a very old, established “who’s who” of restaurants in town, where business deals go down. Very much a "place to be seen."
It’s where the senator was lunching.
He left before we did, and on the way back to the office, my car passed him on the road. He was on his segue.
I told Tess that he was on the segue because he had just gotten a DUI, driving home from a fundraiser at the church (where people said they saw him drinking wine).
When he got pulled over, cameras on the cop car caught him telling the cop that he’s the God damn state senator and not to arrest him.
He totally got arrested, and then his one phone call from jail to his wife (also recorded and released to the media) heard him angrily telling her to call so-and-so legislator and so-and-so higher up in the police department about the meaning of this.
And his DUI case got thrown out because of a 30-second gap in the police car camera recording. It was so convenient crazy! (He did not win for re-election.)
Tess seemed impressed.
Other adult things? She got oooo-gled by the Web/tech guy at work (“SHE’S 12, BEN!!!” I kept having to say. It was easy to forget since she was much taller than me and could have easily passed for 15 or 16.) Also, I made her listen to Howard Stern for the whole 40 minute ride to work, because that's the only thing that can motivate me in the morning.
It actually ended up being a fun day, even with getting yelled at by the administrator.
I hope no one yells at me tomorrow.