Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not Quite One, Not Really the Other

The part-time working is going fairly well. I feel like I have enough time with and for my kids and Doug (thanks in large part to Doug's willingness to come home early to relieve the sitter and do the bulk of the cooking) but also enough time to get my work done at the office or at home. The folks who have had their calls interrupted by my kids may not feel quite the same way, but at least I'm still working on their stuff in the midst of the chaos.

At Annika's school, there is a definite bias towards the moms who don't work outside the home. No one has made any overt comments to me, there is a chilliness towards those of us who aren't there every day and who can't drop everything at a moment's notice to help chaperone a field trip. Interestingly, more and more of the moms seem to be easing back into the workforce in some way . . . but that is another story. And don't get me started on the "party" businesses. Ragsland, schmagsland. I'm not buying it.

Anyway, at work I'm still not "part of the gang" yet. I keep reminding myself that this will come with time and that I should make a move by inviting some of them to eat lunch. It's depressing sometimes to face the microwaved lunch alone - even if it is spectacular leftovers from Doug's dinner.

So today, the girls and I dropped some travel books off at the office for one of my co-workers. She is interested in going to Prague and I forgot the books yesterday so I thought it would be nice if I brought them today (instead of waiting for my workday tomorrow) so that she would have an additional day for planning. That, and we were going to buy some play sandals at the shoe outlet near the office. I know that it's not terribly professional to bring the kids to the office - but I was just dropping the books off. As I handed them over to one co-worker, another came out into the hall and made a joke about lording my "non-working day over them." SIGH. Such a loaded comment for me. The person who made it has no idea - I don't think it was meant to be off-putting at all.

"Hm," I said, "you think so?" "How about if you watch the kids for an hour while I go buy myself some shoes?" Ha, Ha, Ha. We had a big laugh about that. Clearly there were no takers so the mobile disasters and I left the office and motored to the shoe outlet. After Dagny removed all of the crocs and flip-flops from the extensive color-coded display, I got some cute sandals for me (pink is not my color, though) and new crocs for Dagny. She and Doug lost one of her old ones while shopping on Sunday and I haven't been able to find it at any of their destinations. A pox on the person who found that lone shoe and chose not to turn it in to the store.

One guy who was giving me job advice before I took my job mentioned that his wife had similar issues with the part-time gig. It's not necessarily the best of both worlds, I don't think.


Dorothy Gould said...

Steph, A very honest post, thanks for sharing. As for the co- worker's comment, he/she has no idea! Kudos to you for handling it in such a manner, I think I would have been tempted to lash out. On the croc front, I am impressed that Dagny can wear them, my two are still tripping around so much, and that is in regular sneakers!

Mike Maier said...

Steph, it can be really frustrating trying to explain the unique challenges of juggling family and work to people that have never tried to do both, and even more difficult trying to explain why you do it. Stay strong! Ragland looks like a crazy cult...

Wes said...

I'm sure the dude(ette) was trying to achieve some sort of personal satisfaction at your expense, joking or not. That's too bad, but in the grand scheme of things, you handled it very well. I would have struggled to not take pity on them... LOL. With Dee Dee working full time, and me Mr. Mom, I empathize with you. It's a tough job, but I wouldn't trade it in for the world.

Emily said...

I have several comments today
First of all, what in the hell is rags land? I went to the link and barfed a little in my mouth.
Second, it does take a little time at work to make friends. You have to make all the effort because you're the new guy and they can be lazy about making new friends. (maybe you could bring extra cookies or something to work. it always makes me like someone more)
lastly, forget (i would have used a curse, but i don't know all the readers of your blog) that stupid co-worker. You were obviously being extra nice and they can kiss your well-toned, runner's ass.
PS: t-minus one month till i'm home!

Dogwood Girl said...

Steph, people are idiots. I had the same problem when I worked part-time, too, and I worked at home, so it was amplified. I think people actually thought that working at home, with a kid, was easy. There were constant comments.

Fuck'em. (Apologies to sensitive readers - i am not as good at self-censorship as Emily.)