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Parents @ Work

Some of us can remember when Family Day at Mom’s or Dad’s company meant an afternoon spent eating hot dogs and competing in potato-sack races. Then came the more serious Ms. Foundation for Women’s Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Now, as a new generation assumes leadership, we may be witnessing the creation of another new workplace ritual: Bring Your Parents to Work Day.

Just such an event took place last November in the New York City offices of Organic, a fast-growing Web-design and e-services firm. Roughly 125 parents spent half a day learning what their Web-obsessed kids actually do for a living.

The parents first participated in a sort of talk show, during which they did their best to explain what their children do. Frank DeBernardis, whose daughter, Jennifer, 29, is Organic’s director of business development, speculated that “business development” was just a fancy way of saying “sales.” Then parents were told what their kids really do — and why.

After a pizza break, the Organic employees checked back in with their parents. By then, Lutfun Miah finally understood why her daughter Badrun, 27, comes home late so often.
Previously, Mom had no idea that Organic was so big. And Harvey Hass felt better about the fact that his son Steven, 30, had quit the world of investment banking and consulting to join Organic. “It’s one thing to hear about what these kids do,” Harvey says. “But it’s another to see them doing it. We don’t mind that our kids are teaching us. They’re pioneers.”

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