Butterfly Cauldron

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Parentism

Today was just....I wanted to throw someone out a window at work and I had TWO migraines. Well, I got my meds in time so they weren't full blown, but I still got the damned aura where I lose vision in my eyes. *sigh*

Okay. So, I'm had this migraine for ages it seems and last Friday I left work FIVE MINUTES early because I had my work done, I felt like hell and well, it was five fucking minutes. I forgot to sign out, so when I went to sign in this morning I was going to just fix that. . .only to find out that my office mate had signed me out. She's not supposed to do that, plus instead of signing me out at 4:30, she'd made sure to put down 4:25.

Now, this doesn't seem like a big deal -- until you find out that she was bitching to other people in the office last Friday that she's tired of me leaving work early and she was going to tell our boss. Here's the thing -- I DON'T leave work early. I shut down my computer and go into the other office (we have two big offices that are connected, ours is the back one so we leave through the main one) maybe two or three minutes before 4:30. I don't actually leave until 4:30, so if someone had some emergency between 4:28 and 4:30? They can still find me. I also come in about 15 minutes before 8, time I'm not allowed to claim due to state regs. She, however, routinely stays late.

Why does she stay late? Oh, maybe because she can't get her ass to work before 8:30 or 9 a.m.? Ever? She has three children, one of whom has had to have surgery on her club feet and well, she just /can't/ make it in on time. And our boss has let her slide because he has sympathy for her having so many kids and she's been with the agency for six or seven years. And you know? I'm fine with that. It does not bother me in the slightest, because hey, her being late does not affect my ability to do my work at all. So why would I be pissed about it? But, dear gods, let me leave five minutes early ONE time in the year I've been in this job and she's all angry and threatening to go to the boss and complain.

And you know, I really wish she would. I so very much wish she would. Because I'd just calmly go get the timesheet, hand it to him and ask him to explain why it was she was allowed to come in up to an hour late on a regular basis and I was being reprimanded for leaving early once when I had a splitting migraine and had finished my work. Because if I were to be in trouble, she'd better damned will be in MORE trouble or I'd be filing a complaint. (And, since I work for Civil Service, that actually means something.)

See, here's the thing. I know why she's mad. She's not mad at ME, she's mad at her life. She's 34 and she's got three children. The youngest was born in January, barely a year after the one before her. (Apparently, someone told her she couldn't get pregnant since she was breast feeding. Riiiight.) She's been at her job for six or seven years and will not be promoted again, because that position is a supervisor's position -- and she does NOT have the skills to be a supervisor. She just doesn't have the personality for it and she's pissed because I was brought in on the same level as she is, and have basically been suggested as the next supervisor for the department. They just have to wait to get the position re-approved. So, here I am, basically her age, no children, no husband that drives me insane and spends money on stupid shit while we're so deep in debt we're borrowing money from everyone we know, and I'm equal to her and, maybe, going to jump over her head in the promotion department.

The thing is -- it's not my fucking fault. I didn't make the decision to get married when I had planned on going to grad school like she did. I didn't decide to have three children in less than five years. I didn't decide to marry a man who has a seriously bad case of Keeping Up With The Jones when we don't make the Jones' salaries. I didn't decide to be so unpleasant and incapable of dealing with people that I will never be promoted to supervisor. It's not my fault. Those decisions were hers and she needs to own them and deal with the fallout.

She's trying to pull the parentism card on me and I'm not having it. What is parentism? That's what we call all those little things that parents get that those of us who have chosen not to have children don't. It's also the sense of resentment those parents seem to have against us. Parentism -- right up there with sexism and racism as a form of discrimination.

My co-worker is now the only parent in our office. Well, the only one with small children. The rest of us are all single and childfree -- or our children are adults and no longer at home. So, sometimes we get together after work for Mexican and margaritas. Or we hang out at each other's pools. Or we go to the movies. Or you know, whatever we can come up with. And yes, often we decide to do so on the spur of the moment, with no advanced planning. You know what? We can do that -- because we don't have children or husbands waiting at home for us. And it's not our fault she does and it's not our fault she feels jealous that we do and it's not our obligation to change our plans or not talk about our lives because it makes her uncomfortable.

You know, I have a certain amount of sympathy for people who have children who miss the lives they could have if they didn't. I really do. It's hard when you see something you want and you know you can't have it. So, I get that. But don't take out that jealousy on me. Because it's not my fucking fault you have kids and can't do all the things you want to do. It's not my fault your husband can't be bothered to help you get the kids ready and off to daycare so you can get to work on time. It's not my fault you buy into the Southern Baptist line that you're the one whose supposed to be doing all the giving and compromising in the relationship. It's not my fault you spend half of the day on the phone to your husband or your family or some bill collector yelling and bitching and can't get your work done by 4:30. If you're jealous because I have the ability to focus and to multitask, giving me more downtime than you have? Deal with it. You might notice that I'm not on the phone to my family or my SO or bill collectors every day for three hours or so. You might notice that when I get a project, I begin on it immediately. You might notice that I work fast, that I ask questions when I'm not sure what's expect of me, that I don't have the control freak nature that you do that compels you to refuse to ask for help until the very last possible minute. You want more downtime? Cultivate those qualities. Or at the very least, shut up and leave me alone.

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posted by Zan at 5:35 PM

3 Comments:

Seeing people get away with crap, though it may not interfere with my work, devalues it. What's the point of doing my best if slackers, assholes, or those who have people to put first share my job title or pay grade?

It must be weird for both of you and that woman, working alongside one of your alternate realities. Are Southern Baptists allowed to use birth control?

5:41 PM  

Well, I'd like it if she could get her ass to work on time, but ya know, otherwise I just don't care.....if she'd just shut up and leave me alone :)

And yes. SB are definately allowed to use birth control. We're like required almost ;)

5:44 PM  

Really? I thought it was way strict; why go ahead and let the husband make (all) the stupid decisions, but not follow or take part in the birth control deal?

10:50 PM  

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