Why I Go With My Mother to Work on Vacation


I’ve gone with my mother to her job these past days of winter break. If I didn’t, I’d sleep till 10AM and watch TV and not exercise. Instead, my mom wakes me up at 7AM, I go to the local gym, and get a lot of work done without the distraction of the Internet. I feel very accomplished by 5PM.

My mother is a molecular biology researcher at a global pharmaceuticals company. While she works at the lab bench with other oncologists on cancer drugs, I read books, blog, and sample every flavor of prepackaged espresso and tea in the lounge.

On my third consecutive day at the office (more accurately described as a huge research and development complex with unique Swedish architecture), an employee finally asked me about what the hell I was doing there. Human resources employee Andrew approached me as I reached for the “Sumatran blend” flavor.

“Are you a new hire?”


“I see you hanging around in the lobby these days reading newspapers and drinking tea. Do you work here?”

“Not unless I want to get fired.”

I knew it was strange for a diligent worker trying not to get axed in this job market to see a colleague flipping through magazines and newspapers from 9 to 5. HR Andrew laughed.

“I came with my parent,” I said. “I get more work done in an environment where other people are doing work.”

“Ah…,” he mumbled as he turned away slowly, nodding to himself as he returned to his office.