Tweedle needle weedle

by Kieran Healy on May 16, 2005

What’s that sound? Why, it’s the world’s smallest violin playing quietly in the background as the NYT “counsels the neediest cases:”:

bq. Q. You’re a single worker without children, and your company is very family-friendly. Many colleagues with children take advantage of flextime to attend soccer games or school plays. You feel that you’re constantly picking up the slack because you don’t have family commitments to provide an excuse to leave at 5 p.m. Is this just part of paying your dues, or should you speak up?

A: My heart bleeds for ya, buddy. Speak up! You are the Rosa Parks of corporate America.

bq. Q. What should you do if you feel that you’re being exploited?

Go to bathroom, stick your head in the toilet bowl and flush. There. Things should now be back in perspective.

bq. Q. Won’t declining cast you as a poor team player?

No, because if you’re feeling gypped cheated over all the advantages that co-workers with children enjoy, chances are everyone already thinks you’re a langer.



Walt Pohl 05.16.05 at 10:59 am

In an American workplace, it’s unlikely that everyone thinks you’re a langer.


Ray 05.16.05 at 11:00 am

Last week’s Observer had an article called Smug Parents, complaining about similar things. Predictable storm of letters follows. Yesterday’s Observer carried a follow-up article from the original writer, complaining that parents and non-parents are polarized. Sometimes I weep for the world.


Kieran Healy 05.16.05 at 11:01 am

Yesterday’s Observer carried a follow-up article from the original writer, complaining that parents and non-parents are polarized

/ Rolls eyes /


Steve LaBonne 05.16.05 at 11:15 am

Thanks for expanding my knowledge of Irish slang (which is not difficult starting from a near-zero baseline!). A little Googling turned up which clued me in on what a “langer” is. Gotta love CT- learn something here every day.


Kieran Healy 05.16.05 at 11:21 am


Mike 05.16.05 at 11:45 am

In every company I’ve worked for, those with children have been given priority over those without, and it is frustrating.

Too often, I’ve been treated as if, because I did not have any kids, I had all the free time in the world, when in reality, I probably had just as many committments and obligations as my co-workers with children.

No, I shouldn’t be the one always picked to work on the weekend because I have not chosen to have half a dozen brats.

And, of course, refusing earns approbation only.

It’s a valid point — after all, you choose to have kids.

Everyone should be treated equally.


Harry 05.16.05 at 11:50 am

Wow, Mike, you inhabit a very fertile workplace. IS there something in the water? I know no-one with 6 kids.


bmj 05.16.05 at 11:58 am

Mike, that’s interesting. Where I’m employed, everyone is treated equally — anyone can take advantage of flextime and/or telecommuting when something comes up. Ironically, the only people who do take advantage are the parents. Perhaps there’s a larger problem with the culture at your employer.


wage slave 05.16.05 at 11:59 am

Fascinating! Clearly the “childfree” don’t have a monopoly on work-family-issue obnoxiousness, after all. I can’t wait for the similarly content-free flamewar.


wage slave 05.16.05 at 12:12 pm

bmj: The issue of discriminatory application of flextime policies is addressed in the (perfectly decent) article being mocked by the original post.


Edmundo 05.16.05 at 12:26 pm

Many of the non-parents I know take advantage of flextime by coming in between 9 and 10, where the Moms and Dads come in between 6:30 and 8:00. Also, the non-childed leave early on Fridays so they can get a jump on their ski trips, etc.
But if you are the one getting asked to work every weekend, then something’s wrong where you work.


Walt Pohl 05.16.05 at 12:27 pm

Kieran, based on the link posted by Steve Labonne, can you verify if you meant langer(1) or langer(2)?


david 05.16.05 at 12:31 pm


You don’t have kids. You do have all the time in the world.


JayAnne 05.16.05 at 12:50 pm


How do you know Mike isn’t a lone carer for a disabled or ill parent/spouse/partner? That takes up a lot of time and is a known health risk and is a form of work that is largely unrecognised (etc.).


bitchphd 05.16.05 at 12:57 pm


Please consider the possibility that, if your company is so short-staffed that it requires you to work overtime in order to “cover” for employees with children who are not, therefore, available 24/7, then that problem rests with your employer, not your colleagues.


otto 05.16.05 at 1:03 pm

“if you’re feeling gypped over all the advantages that co-workers with children enjoy…”

The word these days is ‘roma-ed’.


Kieran Healy 05.16.05 at 1:15 pm

The issue of discriminatory application of flextime policies is addressed in the (perfectly decent) article being mocked by the original post.

For the record, I thought the responses from the advisor sounded quite reasonable and fair-minded. I agree with bitchphd that the source of these problems lies not with those terrible people who irresponsibly choose to have kids, but with employers who assume they are hiring a specific kind of worker who can be counted on to work late, weekend or awkward hours whenever they are asked.


george 05.16.05 at 1:20 pm

Sheesh dude, venemous sarcasm seems a bit over the top here.


cam 05.16.05 at 1:25 pm


Exactly right. Or Mike might have a disability himself — dealing with one’s own disability can take a lot of time and planning too. There are any number of good reasons besides parenthood why someone would not have all the time in the world.


JoeO 05.16.05 at 1:28 pm

The article isn’t a stupid one. It gives good advice. People without kids are not oppressed as a class, but there is no reason for a childless individual to be taken advantage of. The article makes the point that working late and weekends can be good for your career and that it may be better to pick up the extra work and be seen as a go-getter rather than just stew in your resentment of people with kids.

If you really are being taken advantage of it is better to speak up. The fifties version of the family friendly work enviroment was to preferentially hire and promote men on the theory that they had to support a family. Women were right to complain.


billyfrombelfast 05.16.05 at 1:47 pm

I’ve worked in TWO separate offices where a formal flextime policy (the sort where, as mentioned in the article, X’s salsa lessons are as valid a reason for time off as Y’s son’s football game) have been instituted only AFTER the single people addressed their concerns to management – in other words, if we had taken your suggestion and shut the hell up we wouldn’t have the benefit now.


RSL 05.16.05 at 1:53 pm

Kieran . . . the sarcasm and dismissiveness in your post is a good example of why academics have failed so miserably at winning the hearts and minds of the Middle Class.

The problem the questioner asks about may seem trivial to people who spend their days thinking about truly important issues like the “macro-sociology of economic institutions, the social basis of self-interest and altruism, and the organization of exchange in human goods”, but it is a real problem for those who spend 60-plus hours per week toiling to earn their daily bread.


Pope Prior the Dark 05.16.05 at 1:55 pm

Parents stop bitching. We chose to have children and therefore must balance work/family more then singles or childless couples. I am all for alternative arrangements in terms of work hours, flextime, telecommuting but if your using your kids as an excuse for no longer pulling your weight you really are a knacker. Why don’t you use that child tax credit on some actual childcare?


JayAnne 05.16.05 at 2:43 pm


Right — thank you. I’m disabled but failed to see that point, which is absurd (I probably missed it because I haven’t got a job).


Steve LaBonne 05.16.05 at 2:44 pm

How can any sane person equate salsa lessons with caring for a child? (Or a sick relative- so properly written policies certainly do need to extend beyond people with children.)


David Moles 05.16.05 at 2:48 pm

In other words, if we had taken your suggestion and shut the hell up we wouldn’t have the benefit now.

Most places I’ve worked, it’s been pretty easy to just pretend such a policy exists, and go ahead and take your salsa lessons.

Although that kind of requires a smart manager with discretion, and doesn’t work well when the HR department has a strong power base and too much time on its hands.


SomeCallMeTim 05.16.05 at 3:13 pm

How can any sane person equate salsa lessons with caring for a child?

I am as scared of those CF folks as the next person, but unless you’re sending all of your disposable income to Sally Struthers, I’d suspect that you (along with everyone else) value salsa lessons (or the movies, or whatever) as more valuable than taking care of someone else’s child.

I’m just surprised this is a real problem. I don’t have kids, and I’ve never felt taken advantage as a result. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.


Cath 05.16.05 at 3:14 pm

After my co-worker “Suzy” came back from maternity leave, my boss told me I was expected to take on extra assignments that “Suzy” couldn’t finish due to her having to leave on time to pick her child up from daycare. I informed my boss that if “Suzy” couldn’t fulfill the job requirements maybe she should find other employment. Her private life was of no concern to me and that if I started working even longer hours than I already was, I would never have the opportunity of my own family life. My boss dropped the subject and didn’t make me do “Suzy” job.


Stephen Frug 05.16.05 at 3:22 pm

Otto made this point above, but he was a bit elliptical about it, so I thought I might spell it out: one really oughtn’t (morally speaking) say “gypped”. It’s an ethnic slur — against gypsies, more properly known as “roma” — the equivalent of saying “jewed” (which also use to be common, of course). Try “cheated”.



billyfrombelfast 05.16.05 at 3:26 pm

How can any sane person equate salsa lessons with caring for a child?

The point isn’t to compare them, Steve. It’s that companies that have an equitable flextime policy, in which everyone has a pot of free time to draw on for whatever family or personal reasons they see fit, avoid having unhappy staff. Or we can be unhappy about different benefits! That’s all.


Kieran Healy 05.16.05 at 4:33 pm

Man does this sort of thing push people’s buttons. It’s now rather later in the day and my post-caffeine self will happily admit to unwarranted snarkiness in the post above. The column’s responses were fine; I’m sure it’s often a real issue, etc, etc. However, this kind of high-minded response

Kieran . . . the sarcasm and dismissiveness in your post is a good example of why academics have failed so miserably at winning the hearts and minds of the Middle Class.

is just complete bollocks.


John Quiggin 05.16.05 at 4:53 pm

To endorse a point made above, if everyone either knocked off at 5pm or went on to overtime rates, a lot of these concerns (not all, but many) would be irrelevant. It’s the attempt by bosses to demand 24/7 ownership of their workers that’s the big problem here.


Shane 05.16.05 at 4:55 pm

How can any sane person equate salsa lessons with caring for a child?

Getting into a “my life is more important than your life” pissing contest is both pointless and irrelevant. You should be upset if you have to work extra because your colleagues are not fulfilling their professional obligations, whether they’re screwing off or they’re taking Billy to soccer games.

Neither snideness nor sanctimoniousness are useful responses to this issue, despite what Kieran and other respondants apparently believe.


Ikram 05.16.05 at 7:57 pm

This is a real issue at a lot of workplaces. If leaving at five to pick up kids from daycare is acceptable and leaving at five to get ready for a date is not, your employer is implicitly ranking your off-duty activities.

Of course, the employer is the one to blame for understaffing. But if the workplace culture (meaning both parents and the, er, blissfully child free) encourage such a ranking, and if parents see childfree co-workers as a resource to be taped when their kid is sick, and complaints to be “langerous”, then the blame should be spread around more widely.

And from this post, I’m pretty glad I don’t work with Kieran Healy. What a Langer.


A. 05.16.05 at 9:29 pm

It’s not just the attempt by bosses to “demand 24/7 ownership”–it’s that sometimes the parents don’t even make it to 5 PM, i.e. do the job they are getting paid for. I speak from experience, having had the experience a few years ago of picking up all the slack in writing a co-authored article with one collaborator who had a child midway through it. I wouldn’t have minded so much if there had been any gratitude for it. Those with children sometimes seem to feel that they are entitled to the extra work of others.


RSL 05.16.05 at 9:34 pm


Since you’ve apologized for your snarkiness, I guess I better be gracious and apologize for mine as well.

I do want to say, however, that the point I made isn’t complete bollocks: it’s exactly the kind of attitude that the right-wing uses to “prove” that we are ivory-tower elitists. And this argument has unfortunately stuck and hurt us as we try to get our ideas across to the general public.


jet 05.16.05 at 9:34 pm

John Quiggin,
When they create that law in India, then I’ll be for forcing Western countries to pay overtime after 40 no matter what. But until then, I don’t need another reason for my boss to send my job overseas.


david tiley 05.16.05 at 10:49 pm

So you and “Suzie” are lined up for a promotion. Who gets it?

There are some advantages to being a flexible plug-in work unit with few dietary restrictions and nothing to get in the way of your ambition.


bi 05.17.05 at 12:14 am

jet, so you’re saying that exploitation in other countries justifies exploitation in the US?


nate-dogg 05.17.05 at 12:32 am

I think you could make the argument that childless people, by virtue of being able to work the longer hours, are rewarded career-wise. I know from experience in corporate America, if you’re not a team player (i.e. willing to give up just about anything for the job), you’re not going to go far. The sad thing to me was how many men with children were willing to give up time with their kids.


JayAnne 05.17.05 at 8:25 am

Nate, yes you could make that argument, but I bet the data don’t support it.


fishbowl 05.17.05 at 9:19 am

Man, what’s with the bitter breeders?

Caring for a child is exactly comprable to salsa lessons, in terms of what people choose to do with their lives. One person demonstrably values caring for children over salsa lessons by doing so. Ditto the reverse.

Absent other criteria, it isn’t a manager’s place to value one higher than the other for their employees.

If you disagree, then perhaps you also don’t mind your manager valuing doing volunteer work for Republicans over work for Democrats for you.


jet 05.17.05 at 9:36 am

I’m saying don’t legislate me from being competitive against Indian developers. I’m generally against labor laws in the US since real wages are so much higher than most of the world, so I wouldn’t consider many in the US as being exploited. When the rest of the world catches up with the US with wages, then I’ll be all for changing the 40+ hour overtime laws.


bi 05.17.05 at 9:49 am

jet: the only reason you don’t think you’re exploited is that you’re rich.

And so when will you support _any_ labour law at all? First you say that you’ll wait until India has laws against overtime, then you say that you’ll want until India has high wages. What other condition are you going to set next?

And besides, I thought it’s the US who usually sets trends for other countries, not the other way round. If the US starts forcing everyone to pay overtime after 40 hours, the rest of the world will follow suit.


Davis X. Machina 05.17.05 at 10:06 am

Why is it that the default response to “My job sucks, and yours sucks less” is “Make his job suck as much as mine!”

Why isn’t it “Un-suck my job, too!”


RSL 05.17.05 at 10:07 am

I’m generally against labor laws in the US since real wages are so much higher than most of the world . . .

Could it be that it is exactly those labor laws that have resulted in our higher wages?

When the rest of the world catches up with the US with wages . . .

Are they catching up with us or we catching up with them?


Dave 05.17.05 at 11:15 am

i don’t have kids, or care for the needy (are plants needy?) but, i work with 3 folks who all have kids.

case 1. single mom. get in a bit late, works til’ 7 or so works from home 1 day a week. never hear a peep from her about her kids, and she does a bang-up job.

case 2. married, 2 kids. kids are always sick. takes turns working from home with her hubby. you hear about them alot, but to date i’ve missed more deadlines than she has :)

case 3. single mom. seems to project illness onto her kid. is always taking off way more time that she has avalible, and when she does work from home, you can never hear her. she also makes a habit of bragging about how great it is to be able to use her kid as an excuse to call off.

#1 & #2 i have no issue with. #3 needs to get fired.


nikolai 05.17.05 at 11:35 am

This is just a case of equal pay for equal work. People without children shouldn’t have to do more than people with children when they’re employed to do the same job. Kieran would never posted like that if the complaint was that men were getting a better deal than women because they have a wife and family to support.

I think some people are abandoning the idea of equal pay for equal work. The idea that men should get a better deal than women on account of family responsibilities has been abandoned, but there are plenty of people who think that people with children are entitled to a better deal than those without.


snoey 05.17.05 at 1:25 pm

Not everybody works in offices. Back when I was young and stupider I worked a bunch of factory and warehouse jobs.

“Hey you, get out of there, you got kids” was common courtesy to a guy who couldn’t afford to miss a few days with a bum ankle or whatever.


Antoni Jaume 05.17.05 at 1:35 pm

“[…] but there are plenty of people who think that people with children are entitled to a better deal than those without.”

And then people worry about a lack of future population to pay for their retirement.



Njorl 05.17.05 at 2:21 pm

“My father tells me,
‘You been screwed again.’
‘If you let them do it to you,’
‘you got yourself to blame.'”-The Who

The single are not part of a persecuted minority. If your employer is taking advantage of you, it is either because you are either too unemployable to risk quitting, or you are a dumb schmuck.


Ray 05.17.05 at 2:48 pm

Nikolai – “This is just a case of equal pay for equal work.”

In a very particular sense, yes. Most of the complaints seem to be about parents doing the forty hours a week they’re contracted to do, and then (the slack bastards) going home. What ‘some people are abandoning’ is the idea of a forty hour work week – they’re complaining that if they ‘have to’ do unpaid overtime, then everyone should.


Helen 05.17.05 at 7:38 pm

Great thread. Where I work, the person with the most flexible work arrangement (she’s highly skilled) has NO kids. Well, she had them, but they have long ago flown the nest. She has arranged for herself a working day from 7.30 am to 3 pm four days a week at a higher salary than I get (again, she’s highly skilled. Guess what? She’s ASSERTIVE. If you think the people with kids are doing better with working hours at your workplace, rather than blaming them, approach the real culprits- the employer- and negotiate better hours for yourself like Marie did.


charlie b. 05.17.05 at 10:46 pm

… and then all my taxes go to give their children trust-fund bank accounts from the government (US readers: it is true), paying their kids through university, and 2/3 of my (unbelievable) council tax (paid in pounds that have already been taxed once) goes on schools — from the governance of which I am excluded, while the police (that use the rest of my council tax) spend half their time dealing with marital violence. But of course, I’ll get the benefits of these young workers’ productivity (that would be just as likely to occur without all the state spending lavished on them) and they’ll pay my pension (like, really).


T.V. 05.18.05 at 1:45 am

However, this kind of high-minded response..”good example of why academics have failed so miserably at winning the hearts and minds of the Middle Class”…is just complete bollocks.

How exactly is it bollocks? An academic has just about zero experience with corporate flex-time policies, which are more likely than not the gooey unofficial whim-of-the-wingnut-patriarch variety (which can tilt toward “sentimentally family friendly” or “rapaciously single friendly,” depending on the patriarch).

It’s reasonable to want flextime to be clearly defined, available to everyone, equitable, and unsupervised–it’s no one’s business what any employee uses it for.

Both the married and single employees worry about vague, prejudicial opinions about whether they are “hard workers” in a system defined by idiosyncratic “adjustment” of their actual hours worked by the pet ideology of their boss (employees with families have a “good excuse”…or “divided loyalties”).

They are worried because these judgments will determine whether they are laid off in the next round of downsizing.

So it certainly does seem offensively myopic for a tenured academic to be writing sneering “tiny violin” dismissals of either party’s concerns–because, for all the feudal bullshit that they do have to put up with in their profession, academics 1) already have de facto flextime that is unrivalled anywhere in the job market, and 2) they don’t have to worry about getting laid off without notice at any moment.


bi 05.18.05 at 1:54 am

charlie b.: oh, and of course, in a utopian libertarian society where there are no taxes, the forces of the free market will ensure that marital violence suddenly ceases to exist. w00t w00t w00t!

If singles are a persecuted minority, it’s not for this reason.


Ray 05.18.05 at 4:40 am

Charlie B – so basically, what you’re saying is, after all the spending on schools and colleges, there’s no money left for your pony?


JayAnne 05.18.05 at 1:06 pm

I don’t know Charlie Bourne so will say what I’d say, but noting that 1) not all married people have children, 2) not all people with children are married, 3) that my taxes pay for police and other action against spousal abuse and other forms of “domestic violence” is fine by me, 4) that I should really see schools I don’t use as having benign externalities in that it is in my interest that children are educated (but I do have to tell myself that sometimes!).

Single non-parents have to pay more in tax and all singles have to pay (in my pension scheme) for pensions for spouses. The single tend to pay more for housing, probably have heavier utility bills. It’s difficult if not impossible in some kinds of work for singles without children not to take up the slack for *some* people with children without being called — yes — a bad team player. Singles may or may not get adequate pension provision, if they do it may or may not be paid for by other people’s children; they most certainly will not be cared for by their children in their old age (a slightly scary thought to anyone who’s known childless people in nursing homes).

But the real problem with this thread (not with all the contributions) is an overhomogenous view of the various categorical groups involved here (a view the original post, I’d say, encouraged). Not all single child-free people are employed; not all people with children are disadvantaged, “career-wise”, relative to the child-free, because they need — as they may do — to take time out when a child’s injured; much depends on the job and the employer. That having been said

1. married people with children do tend to be socially advantaged relative to single people

2. though I don’t believe our choices are totally “free” and know no-one has perfect information, still, most married people choose to get married and most people with children chose to have children.

3. That many single people are single by choice is not an acceptable reply to 1. and 2.


Ron Sullivan 05.19.05 at 10:38 am

The teeny-violin players here seem as shortsighted as the Republicans who are pushing for the “Nuclear Option” vs. filibusters — unless, of course, the Repubs are planning on being in power forever.

Why on earth would any sane person countenance his/her employer’s even knowing anything about his/her private life — or sex life including any results of it — let alone daring to have an opinion about it, let even further alone daring to act on that opinion?


Charlie B. 05.19.05 at 11:35 am

Jayanne, what a great post – and not just for the degree of support for my view. Indeed, part of the problem is that the positive externalities of state-funded educational provision are often so hard to see – and specific ones that one would expect are so ostentatiously lacking. Nor is local school policy considerate of, or governorship extended to the childless. To some extent inevitable, this would be less of a problem for me if the costs had not become so high, and the waste so endemic. One way to control this escalation would be to weight the costs of education in the direction of parents, so that they had an interest in keeping costs down and avoiding waste – which would then benefit me.

To be proocative again – the costs of policing marital violence (if political society really does think the police should be intruded into this area that has nothing to do with their proper role) should be borne by those who cause it, that is substantial fines, colleced by attaching wages on those found guilty; and charges on those who call the police and then decline to assist in bringing a prosecution.


Martin L. 05.19.05 at 11:55 am

t.v., although your comments are generally on target but you start with “An academic has just about zero experience with corporate flex-time policies…”

I am an academic with 12 years of experience as a mid-level manager in a large multi-national corporation. I am quite familiar with dealing with the complex issues of flextime. Your comment is an inaccurate generalization.

Also as an academic who is coming up for tenure soon, we do face similar ‘parent/non-parent’ issues. I have a colleague who started the same year I did with my faculty but since she has a year off for her first child, that could delay her tenure decision for one year, and now is pregnant with her 2nd child, and that could delay it another year. The choice is hers. According to our current Union contract, the only way to delay the tenure decision is because of the year off for parental leave. If a faculty members does not produce a child before they go up for tenure, they must file in the fifth year.


Martin L. 05.19.05 at 2:25 pm


Rothausen et al. (1998) Family-friendly backlash – fact or fiction: The case of organizations’ on-site child care centers. Personnel Psychology, 51, 685-706.


T.V. 05.20.05 at 12:32 am


Sure, academia has issues of parent/nonparent equity; I’ve been embroiled in them. But this isn’t the theme of the cited case. It’s solely about flextime equity, and most academics don’t understand this issue in the corporate context–as witness the bulk of comments here from people who simply take sides with either parents or singles as the greater victims.

Academics don’t understand because they have flextime in such excess. They’re fish who can’t see the water. They don’t understand the precious perk it is in corporate culture and the way that vaguely defined policies cause unequal workloads and breed resentment, nor do they grasp the insidious privacy issues raised by the common “good excuse” proviso, nor do they grasp the fear of being laid off that complicates the situational politics of the issue from all angles (and makes “be assertive!” rather blithe advice). I only understand it because I’m married to someone for whom it’s been an issue.

Mainly I was challenging Kieran’s denial that he’d tread on an issue connected to public resentment of academics. He’s just dead wrong about that. Much of the resentment toward academics concerns issues of time. People vastly underestimate the number of hours academics work because flexible schedules allow nightowl-workers to go the gym or grocery shop during daylight hours. (Hence “Profscam” and the “five hour week” legends.) Flextime is an academic perk that’s bought with a lot of comparatively severe restrictions (choice of geographic location, mobility, ease of jobchange, salary) but nonetheless it’s certainly envied by 8 to 5 workers who don’t have even a little of it, and it’s crazy to think this kind of sneer doesn’t incite all the stereotyped animosities toward profs.


Martin L. 05.20.05 at 2:39 pm

t.v. –

I had to laugh when reading your comment. I am quite familiar with the stereotyped animosities and misunderstandings toward professors and your comments are on-target.

It’s noon where I am and I just returned from a nice morning walk on the ocean shore with my dogs. I’m working at my summer ocean-side home in British Columbia after travelling from eastern Canada a couple of weeks ago. I needed a break from writing on the computer so I went outside.

After my 12 years of a 10-12 hours a day corporate life, I greatly value the flexibility I have in my schedule now. I agree, though, that colleagues with no significant non-academic work experience may not have that understanding and appreciation.

My wife likes to watch people’s reactions when she tells them that I only teach 2 classes a term. They don’t understand how I can only ‘work’ for 6 hours a week.


lakelady 05.21.05 at 8:01 pm

People without kids are not oppressed as a class…

Of course not, just like parents are not a protected class, as much as they’d like to be.

The article makes the point that working late and weekends can be good for your career and that it may be better to pick up the extra work and be seen as a go-getter rather than just stew in your resentment of people with kids.

And then the parents claim “discrimination” because they say they’re not able to work those extra hours you are saying are “good for your career.” And they want “protected class” status so they don’t have to deal with the consequences of their life choice. They want the same raises and promotions as someone who HAS put in the extra time, because DAMMIT, their time spent at all those soccer games has to count for SOMETHING!


lakelady 05.21.05 at 8:07 pm

How can any sane person equate salsa lessons with caring for a child?

BZZT! That’s not a judgment you get to make. And any employer who offers flextime equally across the board isn’t going down the slippery slope of judging whose lifestyle choices are better or more valid than the next person’s. Having kids doesn’t make one automatically more worthy of the elusive “work-life balace” we keep hearing about.

Comments on this entry are closed.