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The NY Times Gets It Right

Posted by Peace 
The NY Times Gets It Right
August 21, 2020
From the NY Times: linky

This made the front page of the online edition today. I find it refreshing that the advice columnist Roxane Gay actually sided with the letter writer in saying that it's everybody's responsibility to complete work tasks, not just childless or childfree people. But then again, this is NYC. I wouldn't expect this to sit well in breederific regions of the country.

I'm copying/pasting the article here because there is a paywall.

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NY Times

This Bridge Called My Back

I work for a successful, fast-growing technology company. There are times when some corporate “crisis” requires that a number of us lean in more in terms of office hours. My married, straight co-workers with children can easily bow out — while as a gay, single and child-free person, I get left with extra work because I am seen as not having responsibilities at home. I’m not unsympathetic to the difficulties my co-workers have in balancing work and life, but why does it have to be balanced on my back?

— Anonymous

Everyone has difficulties with work/life balance. Marriage and children, which are not solely heterosexual conditions, are not the only responsibilities people have in their personal lives. Being single and/or child-free does not mean that your primary commitment is to your career. You have every right to push back when you are imposed upon like this. Either everyone is responsible for extra work, or no one is. Your co-workers do not get to categorically decide that you have the time to handle the company’s crises because your life is arranged differently than theirs.

You don’t even need to offer an explanation. Maybe you’re taking care of older parents. Maybe you have a new puppy. Maybe you just want to sit on your couch and stare into the void. What you do with your free time is your business. You are your own family, and your responsibilities to yourself matter. The next time you’re asked to take on responsibilities that should be shared among the entire staff, bring up this issue. You can explain that you’re willing to be a team player but that you cannot be the only person on the team. Boundaries, my friend. Develop boundaries and enforce them.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 21, 2020
This advice columnist is on the ball.

+++++++++++++

Passive Aggressive
Master Of Anti-brat
Excuses!
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 21, 2020
Definitely agree with the advice, and definitely agree with you, Peace, that it will send breeders through the roof.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 22, 2020
Glad to see an advice columnist actually say it.

Also willing to bet when review time comes around all the childfree coworker gets is praise for all the hard work and any raises and/or bonuses go to the breeder coworkers. Speaking from experience here.

Hope the CF coworker pushes back and updates the resume, because if/when he pushes back he'll get crap for not being a team player. Not optimistic that management sees how great CF coworker is and gives him a huge bonus and extra PTO in front of coworkers
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 22, 2020
Everyone has shit to do - some of it is voluntary/optional, some is not, and I'm glad to see the response was not pandering to breeders. Children are not a more important responsibility than anything else and the slack at work should not automatically be picked up by the people who don't have kids. Everyone has times when they legitimately can't work overtime, but you shouldn't get to use your kids as an excuse to never work longer every single time. I guarantee breeders don't "need" to leave work because of their kids nearly as often as they let on - they just use their kids as an excuse to not work harder.

If parents can't figure out how to shoulder more of the work because of brats, then they can either find a new job or fix their fucking shit to make time. Their birth control failures are no one else's problem but theirs. All the more reason to never ever hire breeders, if possible.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 23, 2020
I love this! Also, the more people who can split the overtime the less time it means for everyone. As opposed to making only "certain" people work the overtime and it becoming all-encompassing for them.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 24, 2020
Someone posted this in Reddit. It's too bad the LW didn't have Joyce Purnick as her manager. Purnick became a managing editor at The New York Times back in the late 1990s and the first thing she did was to end the policy of allowing reporter parents to get the major holidays off while the childless ones had to work these undesirable shifts. The parents squawked but the childless ones were delighted to finally get these major holidays off to spend time with their loved ones.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 24, 2020
Parents are eventually going to make themselves unemployable with this expectation of CF covering the workload for them. There is some anecdotal evidence the tide is already turning in Britain.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 24, 2020
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kman
Parents are eventually going to make themselves unemployable with this expectation of CF covering the workload for them. There is some anecdotal evidence the tide is already turning in Britain.

I sure as hell wouldn't want to hire a breeder, for all the reasons we discuss here every day.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 24, 2020
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kittehpeoples
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kman
Parents are eventually going to make themselves unemployable with this expectation of CF covering the workload for them. There is some anecdotal evidence the tide is already turning in Britain.

I sure as hell wouldn't want to hire a breeder, for all the reasons we discuss here every day.

I've read that in some workplaces, people being interviewed for a job have had their car surreptitiously inspected while in the job interview to see if there's a baby seat or other baby junk in the car, with the presumption being that a parent wouldn't be a desirable candidate for employment at that specific business.

It's why my car is spotless inside! grinning smiley
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 24, 2020
deegee, so glad you mentioned Joyce Purnick.

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Someone posted this in Reddit. It's too bad the LW didn't have Joyce Purnick as her manager. Purnick became a managing editor at The New York Times back in the late 1990s and the first thing she did was to end the policy of allowing reporter parents to get the major holidays off while the childless ones had to work these undesirable shifts. The parents squawked but the childless ones were delighted to finally get these major holidays off to spend time with their loved ones.

Elinor Burkett gave detailed coverage of this in her book entitled: How Family Friendly America Cheats the Childless.

The NYT has come a long way. IIRC, they panned Burkett's book big time--just were not ready to hear the truth.

Purnick was the first woman promoted to Metro Editor of the NYT. She managed 150 people. Prior to her commencement controversy (more in a minute) the Breeders at the NYT were already up in arms because when scheduling leave for the first 4th of July holiday, she asked a reasonable question, "who worked over the last 4th of July?" and assigned people who did work the last time. There was a Breeder entitlement culture at the NYT.

Also, Purnick was CL as opposed to childless. She did not marry until she was well into her 40's. There was a major controversy at the NYT when she spoke at Barnard College, where she was an alumna. She stated the obvious: she was able to excel at the job because she did not have family obligations. Being a Metro desk editor meant working long hours, and the time between 5-8 p.m. was the most important.

The book described what happened after that as a "witch hunt" where a bunch of Breeder Moos descended upon the Managing Editor. They wanted her censured or even fired for her speech.

Back to topic:

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The next time you’re asked to take on responsibilities that should be shared among the entire staff, bring up this issue. You can explain that you’re willing to be a team player but that you cannot be the only person on the team. Boundaries, my friend.

This is all good but call me cynical. During my 35+ year career I encountered managers who would still perceive you as a childless whiner if you stood up for yourself and demanded fairness. It's a given that many companies ride on the backs of CL workers. Sometimes they even tell CL people that "when" they become parunts they will get some flexibility.

Seniority is one thing--I do not think it's unreasonable for someone who has worked longer at a company to have first pick at vacation, but some managers will still bypass and bend seniority policies to pander to Breeders. I've changed managers and left positions because of this.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 24, 2020
Breeders in general are lousy employees no matter what type of work they do, but some jobs are incredibly demanding in one way or another and it's just not wise to hire someone with children because those children will always be a priority over work. I would love to know how many paramedics have kids, for example. You can't exactly call into work and say, "Sorry boss, can't go deal with that heart attack tonight because Zhandyir threw up" or "Hey Mike, go deal with that accident on Walnut Street. Someone looked at Myrra-kul'l funny in class and now I have to take her home."

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You can explain that you’re willing to be a team player but that you cannot be the only person on the team.

So very true, and this goes for any job regardless of the reproductive status of the employees. In this respect, breeders are the benchwarmers who miss every practice and game, but who also want all the same credit that the contributing players get and they want to be front and center in the team photo too.

If CF employees are going to be burdened with an unfair share of the workload, then they should be rewarded with additional perks such as more vacation time or small raises. I'm sure the breeders would piss and moan about that because they "need" vacation and money more than someone with no kids. Such a system would be fair, but breeders are all about fairness in the workplace right up until it does not work out in their favor.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 25, 2020
Along the same line, I wonder how many current astronauts have kids. I know that during the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo programs, even back then, NASA wanted to make sure that the wife would take care of any kids issues so that the astronaut could concentrate on the mission. It was almost like being "separated" in a marriage. Mission controllers were often away from the wife and kids too.
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 25, 2020
Bell_Flower, I have the book Burkett wrote. Its title begins with "The Baby Boon...." in case anyone searches for it on Amazon or elsewhere. It came out in 2000, so a lot of it today, 20 years later, is somewhat outdated.

In many companies which have group health plans, those with kids are already receiving added benefits in the form of the employer subsidy for health insurance. If an employer is paying, for example, 75% of HI premiums, if you add kids to the plan your employer is paying more of it for you. And remember, that benefit is usually tax-free, boosting its value. It's not like those of us w/o kids can ask the boss to get those extra dollars as part of our basic salary.

I'm glad, in my 23-year career, I was never given unpreferential treatment because I was CF (other than the HI issue). Many people in my division, including my higher-ups, were CF like me. I liked being able to take days off around Christmas and New Years like many coworkers. I would have had a fit if I were denied that simply because I was single and w/o kids so others could get those days off.

Peace, my car is 13 years old and in the back seat it still has a little of its original new-car smell because hardly anyone has sat there!
Re: The NY Times Gets It Right
August 25, 2020
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deegee
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Peace, my car is 13 years old and in the back seat it still has a little of its original new-car smell because hardly anyone has sat there!

If you had kids it would like take less 13 days to destroy the new car smell.
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