Saturday, June 23, 2012

The non-mom at the workplace

A new job means signing  up for new benefits. I will not be enjoying many of them, like discount tickets to kiddie stuff, discounts for daycare, the possibility of adding children to my medical insurance, money towards IVF, money towards adoption... wait, that one is still a possibility, right?

It's OK. Nothing is being taken away from me. Reading about it brings me some sadness, but that's nobody's fault.

What I can't stand, though, is the assumption that I can take just any shift or work overtime on a short notice. They can't really ask if I have kids or not, but they have probably guessed by now that I don't. I had to hear how X, Y and Z have flexible schedules in spite of them being parents of young kids... Well good for them. It still does not mean that I have to be as flexible as they are. Why does that make me feel selfish?

I've been there before, putting up with students who never left the lab on time because they had not finished their work. I had to stay late and deal with their rudeness and clean up after them, while my co-worker left on time because she had to pick up her kid from daycare. Nobody cared if I had tickets to the opera or plans for dinner. And I was never paid for overtime.

Anyway. My schedule is weird but I'll survive. And if the need arises, I hope they don't pressure me too much into volunteering for extra work. At least here I am guaranteed overtime pay.


  1. You have every right to be treated exactly the same as any other employee. They don't know if you're running off to care for an elderly relative or neighbour, or if you're volunteering somewhere, or if you just want to curl up on the couch with a book and a glass of wine.

    Hoping it will go well.

  2. Mali is right. You are under no obligation to stay and cover other people, just because they have children (or other expectations).

    At first when I started working, I was resenting the repeated 'leaving-for-home-to-pick-my-child-up-at-daycare' schedule. And then I realized something...since I have worked through some extra hours Monday-Thursdays, I end up not having to work Fridays (flexible hours). So the parent have to work Fridays. Childish of me, I know, but hey, I get to stay home, relaxing with my dogs.

    Make time for yourself; try not to take advantage of the overtime pay. Yes, it's cool to have extra money, but there's a reason why I sometimes call it "bloody" pay- because more you work overtime, more your health plummets, especially with people taking advantage of you at work- I speak from experience- ever since I avoid doing overtime. You are the first priority for yourself.

  3. your life and plans are just as important as somebody's plan with their children. NO WAY should you be less of a priority!

  4. A friend had a colleague who did this - took the piss about leaving early, booked the school holidays as soon as the schedule became available to stop anyone else getting leave at peak times, made a massive deal about being a parent.

    Her kids were teenagers at the time though - they really didn't need her to wipe their bums after school. It was a total scam! Some people are just entitled.

  5. Miss ya and just wondering how you are doing and how the new job is going? Hope all is going well. Take care.