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Working single in a double cube…

June 14, 2006

For those readers who may not delve into Salon.com on an hourly basis, I posted a response to Ms. Harris’s article about singles in the workplace (a Broadsheet blog).  

Singles need not be so sensitive
While I too have heard co-workers (as both a corporate drone and as a fly-in consultant) use family/kids as an excuse to dump off work, I have also heard, and used myself, the phrase “I have to pick up my kids” not as an excuse to dodge work but as a guilt-laden confession.
Workers of all stripes make choices about time, priorities and effort matrixed over personal desires for career advancement. Being a hands-on parent (which doesn’t mean having a child) is a choice that will mean, at times, loss of advancement. If ones “face-time” is at home rather than the office, careers will likely suffer.
So, that phrase “I have to pick up my kids” may very well be a personal admission/struggle with an internal choice (also factor in career advancement may very well mean a better life for said child…and it gets internally messy).
Ms. Harris should not make the situation so black-and-white.
The broader perspective Ms. Harris could have employed is to advocate a more employee-empowered workplace…one that benefits all employees (better access to information, more flexible work times and spaces, etc.).

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