March 7, 2011

Day At The Museum

Here's something you probably didn't know - my dad runs a museum. I hadn't really thought about how cool that is until we all headed to Monkeytown to visit on Saturday.

The building was constructed in the second half of the 19th century. And when you poke around enough, it becomes obvious. But not in a bad way. There are doors hidden in walls. Hidden passages cut through parts of the building. Old industrial elevators go up and down in barely-lit passageways. Some rooms exist as if they haven't been touched by time. Mahogany shelves ascend the walls the height of the eighteen foot ceilings, lined with old books that look as though they were placed there the day after the building itself was finished. It seems as though the ancient marble and wood used to decorate the building would stretch from here to Portland if lined up end to end.

I remember when I was a kid, my dad used to take me to work with him. We'd visit his office high in a bank tower then descend into the subterranean tunnels below downtown Houston where we'd have lunch and I'd get my haircut by a guy who answered to Red. I thought it was cool then and at 38, I still think going to my dad's office is pretty neat.

Did your parents ever take you to work?

Posted by Chris at March 7, 2011 6:45 AM

Yes - when I was in elementary school and would fake sick as my mother was dropping us off, she would take me to work with her. She was the secretary at a company that did mail order bird feeders and bird seeds. It smelled like bird seed and stuff. She had a couch (I think) in her office that I would either lie down or when I "felt better" would help her stuff envelopes for mailings.
My father worked for years and later owned a paint store. When we'd go up there if he had to stop by, we'd go through it looking at all the paint colors and art supplies, brushes etc. It was a really really old place.
When I got older (out of hs/in college) I would go up and type up the statements to mail out and help my mother (again) because she was his bookkeeper.
I guess that's how I got into the profession I did (secretarial/accounting)!

Posted by: NancyJ at March 7, 2011 8:09 AM

Yep; my dad was a philosophy professor, so I'd go with him when I was very little and sit through his lectures. It was a blast, hanging out at the university, getting to wander through the other buildings with him ( the biology department was extremely cool ), and the wonderful smell of the library. I totally loved every second of it!

Posted by: metawizard2 at March 7, 2011 8:25 AM

Never with my dad. He did high security defense dept. stuff. I guess yes with my mom - she was a librarian before she retired and I used to go hang out at the library. But I would have done that whether she was there or not! :) That was also my first job - reshelving books at the same library.

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 7, 2011 8:36 AM

My Dad was a teacher and I had to have him (he was the only music teacher for grades 6,7,8) and it was terrible. I cringe recalling those days.

Posted by: Maribeth at March 7, 2011 8:39 AM

My mom owned a cafe so not only did she take me to work she made me work from the time I was tall enough to take water to a table and tell them the waitress would be right there.

My dad worked for Civil Service and never took us to his job. Of course, there wasn't time because we were always at the cafe.

Posted by: daisy at March 7, 2011 8:55 AM

My dad worked for the Air National Guard in supply. His office at the airport looked like any other 50's era office (though this was in the 70's), but he would take us to see some of the planes on the base, including the huge supply planes. The fact that a visit was a rare occasion always made it special.

Posted by: J at March 7, 2011 9:55 AM

When my dad worked for Amtrak I used to go to his office, which was really a trailer at the train yard. But if I was good, he let me walk around the cars. Then, when he worked at the airport, I was first exposed to the internet. It was maybe 1992 and the only things I could find were personal sites by searching on Metacrawler.

Posted by: Claire at March 7, 2011 10:20 AM

I never did with my dad since he was in the Navy - hard to take a kid (girl) on a jet or an aircraft carrier. They used to do father-son "cruises" (for a weekend) on the carrier back in the day, but being a daughter meant I didn't get to participate in that fun. I'm guessing if they still do it that daughters are allowed now that women are aboard most USN ships.

Posted by: jen at March 7, 2011 10:41 AM

Ah, the Houston tunnels. Thanks for that memory this morning! And a family friend worked at the Natural History Museum in DC, so this post also reminded me of a behind-the-scenes tour he gave us when I was 11.

And to answer your question, my mom had her own CPA firm, so I was always at work "with" her, generally emptying her trash cans and making copies.

Posted by: Heather at March 7, 2011 10:49 AM

My dad worked was (is) a chemist in a lab and had all kinds of bubbling machines & tools that looked really cool. What they did was painfully boring, but they looked cool.

His office also had a long hallway that was perfect for skateboarding. We lived in the country with no pavement anywhere, so this was important.

Posted by: harmzie at March 7, 2011 11:12 AM

My dad manufactured rifles for Remington Arms so it might not have been the best place for a little kid.

Posted by: Ann Elizabeth Adams at March 7, 2011 11:18 AM

My dad was a dentist. We lived next door to the clinic. I used to love going for a visit, being fussed over by the hygienists, office staff and inhaling the distinct smell of dental office. Then seeing my dad, and being soooo proud of him in his dental tunic and face mask, working away on patients. It was pretty special.

I used to have cool jobs in museums/archives/ and loved to take my kids there. I would never bring them where I am now - I suspect they would find it all quite boring.

Posted by: meanie at March 7, 2011 12:45 PM

My mom would take me in to work with her sometimes, but she had a regular 8-5 desk job, so it wasn't very exciting :P

Posted by: Katie at March 7, 2011 12:45 PM

I LOVED going to work with my mom. She was a graphic artist and she worked in an "advertising factory." This was WAY before computers - so she would print out different fonts on this amazing machine, find art in clip art books that she would draw out - and then she would "paste up" to story boards and the like. I loved it.

I also LOVED going to work with my dad. He was a construction superintendant and he built many of the casinos here in Las Vegas. I have fond memories of walking around The Mirage, Treasure Island, Mandalay Bay and the MGM Grand holding his set of blue prints, sporting a hard hat, and carrying his radio on my pants. SO fun.

Posted by: Mindy at March 7, 2011 1:09 PM

My mum used to teach violin at my primary school on Wednesdays. The first three classes finished earlier than the other ones so when I was younger I used to go and sit in the room where she taught and wait until she was finished and it was time to go home. This room also doubled as the reading book storage room so I used to work my way through them all on those Wednesday afternoons.

I think it's cool that your dad runs a museum.

Posted by: Katherine at March 7, 2011 3:01 PM

I used to get dropped off at my Dad's office after school when I was in high school, pre-driver's license. He's an Engineer so there were cool drafting tables and machines in the office that were fun to mess around with.

I'm so intrigued that your dad runs a museum. That's what I originally went to school to do - I can't quite pinpoint where I went off track and ended up working for the Mouse...

Posted by: Melissa at March 7, 2011 3:15 PM

My mom worked on computers in the early 80's, so when she did take me to work, I was just learning to read and write. I was told that I couldn't type anything with a K because it was going to melt all the igloos in Alaska and the eskimos would be homeless.

K just meant kill, so no one wanted me to do that. They could have just SAID so!

Mom works out of her house now. I'm noticing a trend with my family...

Posted by: alektra at March 7, 2011 3:16 PM

uh, hello, your dad's museum sounds awesome!! a friend of mine is a curator for the smithsonian natural history museum there in DC. i am so jealous.

Posted by: kati at March 7, 2011 6:23 PM

My Dad had live frogs in a big fridge in the corner of his lab. We used to take them out of the clear plastic container at the bottom and let them hop around. It was absolutely brilliant. I fear that they may have subsequently met a sticky end at the hands of 3rd year med students but we didn't know at the time...

Posted by: Anne at March 7, 2011 6:32 PM

My dad did, actually. He's a pianist... and so over the years, he's had some cool jobs and some less than glamorous jobs. I've been to hang out at restaurants while he's played...

My poor kids. I work from home. It's TAKE YOUR KIDS TO WORK DAY EVERYDAY! :)

Posted by: sarah at March 7, 2011 9:25 PM

I didn't know that your Dad ran a museum, which is definitely cool, but for some reason it doesn't really surprise me...I guess just the general impression I have of your family as historically and socially aware.
I still wish I could go to work with Mum sometime - she's an OR nurse! I used to ride around in my Dad's police car with him, too, and use the radar to check how fast cars around us were going.

Posted by: Heather E Pollock at March 8, 2011 10:30 PM

My dad was a custodian at an elementary school for a long time... so going to work with dad meant vacuuming and emptying trash. (But dad was cool, so it was never a big deal... and there were usually donuts.)

Posted by: Kim at March 9, 2011 9:20 AM

Really informative post, looking forward to your next post

Posted by: cheap jordan at March 29, 2011 4:05 AM

It was a blast, hanging out at the university, getting to wander through the other buildings with him ( the biology department was extremely cool ), and the wonderful smell of the library. I totally loved every second of it!

Posted by: Alexander McQueen Shoes at November 24, 2011 12:58 AM