Monday, March 9, 2009

On the fence

I think I am a bit on the fence about this article (warning, it, as well as my discussion is spewing with motherhood, pregnancy, and even a bit IF related related material). I definitely think there is a time and a place for this sort of chit-chat, but I think this author may be a bit extreme. For those who read it, do you think it depends on what type of work environment you engage in? The type of people there? Are lunch hours and break time excluded? Or is this simply the truth in ALL situations?

For example, I work at a college with a lot of mother colleagues and on lunch we will occasionally tell stories of how our kids are doing or swap advice on this subject or that. We are not forcing anyone to join our conversation, but does simply the fact we talk about it at all make us one of THOSE people? Also, even in the short time Cullen has been here I have noticed it does, undoubtedly, affect my work, especially in time. Such as, I used to always stay after 5 to finish up any strings for the day (now, luckily my strings don't affect anyone else immediately, so maybe my situation is a bit different), BUT now I have to leave right at 5 to get him from the babysitters because it takes me 30 minutes to get there.....or if he is sick (as he was last week) I have to stay off because I couldn't take him to daycare, and although I still got all of my work done for the week and I was using MY time...does it make me a worse employee than someone without children?

Now, I will say the CEO in question was a bit rude for keeping everyone waiting in THIS situation and a simple "Sorry for running a bit behind" would have sufficed AND you certain use an air of caution (as in not talking about it ALL the time-that is what blogs are for-lol or on a serious note, if you know someone is dealing with IF); however is talking (or asking) about children AT ALL a double standard? If children fill up a lot of your free time, then why can't you talk about it if questions like "how did your weekend go?" or "what did you do Friday?" arise. Is it true that singles or people without children (intentionally or otherwise) can talk about their exciting weekends of traveling or entertaining or even working at home and it is acceptable, but one mention of Billy's soccer game or Sally's dance recital send people running thinking you are a blubbering, less respected idiot?

Although I agree parents should have a life separate from their children AND it is important to keep your other life accomplishments in the spotlight as being "who you are" AND that it is more appropriate to say that "children are the best thing that ever happened to me" instead of "children are the best thing I've ever done", is the rest of this article on point?



Jen said...

I think this person was a bit extreme. I admittedly chat about Jillian a lot because she's pretty much the center of my universe right now. Similarly my co-worker next door chats me up about her dogs because they are the center of hers. It's called personal interaction and it helps make the workplace tolerable.

This chit chat doesn't really get me as long as it doesn't interfere with my work. On the contrary, it helps me understand my colleagues better which helps me know how to work with them better and more productively. Likewise, if I notice that a co-worker doesn't enjoy chit chat then I don't engage in it with them. I guess you just have to be aware of others and their responses to your interactions with them.

Okay, I've rambled on. Definitely time for bed =P

Chuck, Sarah and Emily said...

I didn't get through the entire article...but my thought is how is talking about my baby any different than an avid traveler talking about travels. If I walked into a room and a group was talking about traveling to Germany--I wouldn't join the conversation, but I wouldn't feel bitter or upset about them having the conversation. Maybe I'm simplifying it too much??