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Monday, September 28, 2009

How to fit in at the office

Every office has at least one. Maybe it's you in which case you shouldn't tell me it's you because we won't be able to be friends anymore. The co-worker who constantly takes time off because their kid is sick, their kid forgot their lunch, their kid is playing a thumb in the school play.

In my office, only the one co-worker (let's call him Jed) has kids. If Jed's not leaving early, coming in late, or taking a long lunch for some kid-related happening, he's talking to them or the wife on the phone all day. It's distracting when he's there and limiting when he's not because the rest of us have to cover the office.

Joe has one of these as well - in his case a single mom. Part of me wants to applaud her for setting boundaries and putting her daughter first. And part of me wants to build a case to fire her and get Joe some actual help because on top of her short workdays and frequent absences, she also sucks at her job. It's hard to cheer her on for turning down 6pm meetings because of her daughter when it just ends up being one more thing Joe has to cover when his plate is already full enough.

Anyways, this is just a long way of getting to the point of this post - finally, we have a solution. Business Week magazine had a brief write-up in their most recent issue about a product called The Office Kid.

It's actually a little kit complete with a framed picture of a random kid (you specify gender and ethnicity), original artwork, and a welcome letter that includes starter excuses! For a small fee, you can order additional original artwork and doctor's notes on realistic stationary!

Rather than spend the $20 on a one-time photo though, I think it would be more realistic if I can borrow someone's actual kid - that way I can get updated photos. Anyone out there want to help me out? In return, I'll send your kid a birthday card every year with a crisp new $1 bill in it. I'm generous like that.

22 comments:

Princess Andy said...

holy frig, i should be offended but i totally want an office kid.

it kind of looks like that "sponsor a child" shit from africa.

yeah, i should probably just support and sponsor an orphan instead because people already know i have kids so they'd be all "when did you get that black kid?" if the company sends me the wrong kit.

andy
p.s. google analytics has completely stopped working. i need your smarty pants "no kid interruption" brain to help me figure this shit out, dude. gmail me!

TMC said...

I don't mind the coming in late or leaving early as long as it comes out of their benefit time. If they've got no vacation time because of their kid, that's not on me.

Taking personal phone calls in the office (especially a cubicle office) drives me nuts. I shouldn't hear your cell phone ringing if it's not a work-related phone.

Grrr. Grumpy.

☼¨`*•.♥Rocío♥.•*¨`☼ said...

COOL!

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

I can see the delima about the single mom, but if she isn't good at her job in the first place AND takes all this extra time off, that's just not fair to anyone else. Same with the guy at your place. I understand there are emergencies and what-not, but why can't they be on top of everything during regular times? That way nobody else is stuck picking up slack all the time. The least that guy could do is use twitter instead - it's quiet!

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

p.s. you can totally use Monsoon.

Strange Mamma said...

Is anyone else totally seeing a way for their kids to finally earn his own keep? You could sell just the starter kits, or actual 'subscriptions' where you send the updated class/birthday/christmas photos and artwork. Dude! Total cash kid...er...cow...no, kid (I was right the first time).

Lyndsay said...

Dude, you can totally borrow Kate anytime. You could not only have an office kid, but the cutest one of course ... and we have plenty of artwork to share.

silver star said...

I know the feeling, this summer I had to deal with co-worker kid drama frequently, one couldn't stay awake on third shift because her kid kept her awake all day, one needed to leave on-time to take care of her kids, her relief was always late, so I had to cover their post, and then there were the "kids" I worked with (probably about my age, but they didn't act like it).

Seansmoma said...

lol That's great!

kyslp said...

I remember feeling that way at my first job. The other speech therapist went home every time her son was constipated, didn't eat well, or asked for her. Guess who had to cover for Mama?

Now that I have kids of my own I try not to inconvenience anyone else because of them.

Intense Guy said...

What a smashing idea. I'd like to order a matching set of twins and a side of untoilet trained please.

Nikke said...

I had a co-worker like that.
Turned out he didn't have a kid. He lied so he could get off work early and hit up the bar or go eat with some friends LoL.

mo.stoneskin said...

Hey why don't you tell me your work number? I don't mind ringing one, two or twenty times a day and I can do a an incredibly realistic kid's voice.

Matty said...

I feel your pain. I see it too. We have people who call off for "family leave" because their wife or kid has a headache.

Family leave is authorized by the government and entitles employees up to 5 paid family leave days per year, and some of our people abuse it. They actually ask how many family leave days they have left to use.

My wife/husband has a headache, I won't be in. GIVE ME A BREAK!

Rena said...

Hah. It's better than trying to make all that 4-year-old artwork, yourself, right? Because people *need* an excuse to skip work as often as that kid is probably skipping school.

Dr.John said...

People with kids have to make a living. Be thankful their kids prpobably will be well adjusted and not rob you or shoot you.

2cats said...

I was a single mom. I always said no to a late meeting. If they wanted me at the meeting then they had to have it a 6 AM. I could drop my son off at day care at 5:30. Most of the time the wigs didn't want to come in that early. HMMM I wonder why? I started my day at work at 6:30, so that I could leave early to have plenty of time in the evening with my son.
Cate, I am not getting any emails from you. Are you still answering them? Or is my email messed up?

blognut said...

I shall email you a picture of the boy immediately! I have a great one where he looks completely malnourished and on the verge of ebola or something.

C. Beth said...

Okay, I read that last paragraph and my heart started to go pitter-patter, because when you said "borrow a kid," it sounded like "free babysitting" to me. Then I re-read it and realized you only want PICTURES of them. Sigh.... I really got my hopes up there for a minute.

If you do decide to start downloading Chickie and Zoodle pics from my blog for this purpose, you should Photoshop them to see how much you can make them look like you and Joe. That would be fun.

In all seriousness, I think parents need to make their family kids high priority, and that does include taking time off work. I also think in the working world it should be okay if making your kids high priority means you make less money, don't get promoted, etc. We all have to choose to make sacrifices for our kids. If part of that sacrifice is a less lucrative career, that's not something people should get defensive about.

WeaselMomma said...

I'm game, but how about a $20 yearly fee for updated photos emailed straight to you. Plus you can have 5 kids for one low price.

InMyOwnZoo said...

Hey you could put this out there to someone who doesn't have health insurance and throw their kid on your policy.
This idea has endless options!

Sassy Britches said...

Do not even get me started on single person and/or no kid discrimination! Arrrgh.