For those of you who don’t know, I’ve held both the stay-at-home mom and working-mom* positions. I definitely prefer staying at home. I didn’t have a career; I had a job. My last job was in a cubicle farm, taking phone calls and emails from the dumbest, rudest people in America. Besides all of the things that were specific to my jobs, here are some universal things I do not miss about being in the workforce:
Before I started my last job, I hadn’t taken an elevator in 20 years, since I got stuck in one as a child. I worked on the fifth floor, and I am extremely lazy. So I got over my fear, but soon learned that elevators were seemingly designed to cram as many awkward situations into one little box as possible: Running towards the closing doors. Holding it for someone who’s running towards the closing doors. Small talk with a stranger. Small talk with someone important. Smelly people. People who stand too close. Someone who arrives after you’ve been waiting and pushes the button, because they don’t trust you. Being that second button-pusher. People who crowd you when you’re try to get out and they’re trying to get in. People who would rather test the weight limit of the elevator than just wait for the next one. That guy who makes a dumb joke about getting stuck when he sees a pregnant woman board. Being that pregnant woman and hearing that joke daily.
The guy who will never get fired
There’s always at least one person who is an absolutely terrible employee, and a terrible person all around, yet the boss just never sees it. They do next to no work, they treat their coworkers like shit, and yet, they somehow hold on to their job. Sometimes this person keeps their job because they’re friendly with the boss. More often, they’re an “HR nightmare:” if they ever get reprimanded for anything, they cry discrimination, based on their sex/race/religion/orientation. Boom, they pressed the magic button and can now never, ever be fired, because maybe they’ll sue.
It is too friggin cold
Every office ever is too damn cold. I’ve worn long-johns at work. I’ve worn blankets. Nothing helps. I know this is an argument that will never get resolved. Half of you agree with me right now, and the other half think it’s too hot. Fine. How about every office splits into two rooms, two floors, two buildings, whatever, and keeps one at 65 degrees and one at 75 degrees? Don’t they realize how much more productive employees would be if they didn’t have frozen fingers or a sweaty butt?
What more do I have to say? In every office, there is at least one person who intentionally steals their coworkers’ lunches and eats them. They didn’t mistake it for their own food. They didn’t throw it away because it had been in the fridge for three months. They stole your lunch and ate it. Why do they do that? Has anyone out there ever caught a food thief, or been a food thief? Can you please explain this? If I ever ran an office, I’d install a security camera pointed at the fridge. A secret one. Fuck preventing theft, I want to catch the guy. I want to show the video at a surprise company-wide meeting. I want to turn him in to the cops for petty theft, and then call the local news.
Some people do their job, and they’re good at it, so they get promoted. But just because they’re good at assembling widgets or selling t-shirts or writing TPS reports does not mean that they are also good at managing human beings. Do you know how many bosses I have liked, out of the fifty or a hundred I’ve had? Three. Do you know why? Because they didn’t act like they were better than me. They asked me to do things, rather than telling me. Every directive came off as, “Hey, I guess the company put me in charge of this thing, so would you please help me out and do this?” It felt like we were on the same team, and they just happened to be the captain, the one whose responsibility it was to divvy up the chores.
Is there anyone out there who likes their “work clothes”? Work clothes suck. I don’t understand why they’re necessary. Some guidelines are obviously useful, of course- if you work in retail or food service, there should be some clue that you work there, so the customers can find you (I like Target’s “some kind of red shirt and a nametag” approach). And sure, nobody wants to see your nipples or your butt. But we don’t need a clone army. Lately, schools across the country have been implementing new dress codes for teachers, some even going so far as to ban tattoos because they might be “distracting” to students! I would love to debate that with someone. Love to.
That lady who shakes her salad
You know the one. She has salad for lunch every day. She puts on the dressing, closes the container, and then shakes the shit out of it to evenly distribute the dressing. That sound is so annoying! Does she do this at home? What about in a restaurant? That’s just unnecessary! Eat your salad like a normal person. Some bits have a lot of dressing. Some have a little. It’s a mixed bag. It’s a fun surprise with every forkful.
I’ll post my own rebuttal soon, where I detail what sucks about staying at home, so those of you who work can take comfort in the fact that the grass is not necessarily greener over here.
*As for my use of the word “work” to describe a job outside the home- this debate is fucking retarded. Everyone knows that staying at home with a small child or children is hard work. I know it, you know it. But I would never be offended if someone said I didn’t “work,” because I know what they mean. It’s just easier than saying “she is not formally employed outside her home.” Everyone get over it. Nobody thinks you’re sitting around reading “Us Weekly” and eating bonbons all day (unless you’re Ann Romney).