How do you feel about being childless in the work place? Do you have more opportunities than your coworkers who call in or leave early? Are you able to move ahead faster than people who take time off for maternity?

Also, are you denied the right to leave early, without notice, just because?

Opinions?

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Replies to This Discussion

I haven't experienced this yet. My boss actually will ask things like: "did you want to leave early to be with your husband?"

I guess I am lucky :-)
Ok, so I just joined and am therefore a little over a year late to this discussion. But...

I find the opposite is more often true. In most workplaces I've been lately, cow-orkers with kids seem to always be leaving early, coming in late or taking off work altogether for their kids and the boss doesn't bat an eye. In fact, these are often the boss' favorites. The one day a year I call off sick or want to take a vacation day and it's a dramatic inconvenience to the workplace. I suppose because if I'm off on vacation, who will be there to cover for Betty when she has some non-emergency errand to run with her kid.

Annoying as all hell are those cow-orkers (notice the intentional misspelling) who have to micromanage their children from the workplace. Worked with one last Winter who I swear could not go half an hour without calling home.

Even worse, half the time these are teen and adult children.

So I find that while I personally am much more free to work any schedule or even travel or move for a job, I am not aware that any employers have seen that as an advantage. I know legally they really aren't supposed to, but more often than not I get that reverse discrimination because I don't have kids.
At one job I applied at, I specifically told them I don't have kids, I have a working car and 2 backup cars, because I knew that they'd had so many problems with parent (and transportational) drama. They still hired someone else instead of me, and still have drama...so I'm kinda like "haha!"

If there was a real emergency, I think that's understandable. Otherwise, if you can't handle working full time and being a parent, just work part time, or take some time off to be a stay-at-home parent. Should parents be home with their kid if they are sick? I know they are afraid about emergencies like if their kid suddenly gets a 105 fever, but I was usually home alone when I was sick, and I survived. It is about micromanaging--kids are overprotected and given less and less autonomy.

All this talk about parents getting special treatment and being allowed to take extra time off, but I wonder if employers try to avoid hiring parents b/c of the assumption of taking time off. It would surprise me if not. If so, it's a shame if parents who actually do have a work ethic are lumped in with the ones who take advantage.
I know that I am about a year late commenting I just joined nexus and the group. Where I work they are supposed to by contract treat all individuals equal when it comes to working over time there are a number of people who are asked to work over but cannot due to them having to be home with their kids at certain times so they are then given the option to come in early but when it come to me(child-free) I either take it or leave it. It kinda sucks but then I really sit and think about it and the reason why they're working overtime is because they have to pay for their kids needs and wants so in my mind were equal :)
I too have had issues with coworkers with kids seeming to get special privileges. I worked at a company where you had 3 kinds of time off - vacation (must be planned ahead), sick (call out day of, or use for medical appointments) and "personal business" (was supposed to only be for things that had to be taken care of during business hours). Seemed the folks with kids got away with using up all of their sick and "personal business" time without the bosses batting an eyelash, but whenever I called out sick they would give me all sorts of crap about, "Oh there are a lot of other people out, do you think you may be able to come in later?" In 3 years I used about 3 days of sick and personal business combined (stomach bug, migraine, couple of doctor's appointments, ocular migraine), while at least one coworker with a child used up all 15 days one year and took unpaid time as well.

Now I work for a much smaller company with just vacation and combined sick/personal business, but everyone is allowed, even expected to use up all of their time (last year I used up the last of my time to go shopping, and the boss knew it - no problem).

Having children is a choice, it should not come with special privileges in the workplace.
Having children is a choice, it should not come with special privileges in the workplace.

Well put.

I do empathize with true family emergencies and children are certainly family. However:

- "My child has a routine dentist appointment" is not an emergency. Schedule the appointment for your day off or trade shifts like the rest of us do.

- If you have to have certain shifts or days off because of your kids, be up front about that in the job interview. If you aren't, then you don't get to bitch that you don't have weekends off. Just like I don't take jobs that have me away from home for several days a month because I took on the responsibility of my pets, you took on the responsibility of your children.

- Your teenage and adult children's inability (or more likely, your perception thereof) to live their own lives without you hovering over them like a vulture 24/7 is not an emergency that warrants you dumping your work on the rest of us.

Again, I'm ok with some leeway for taking care of one's kids just like if I were caring for an elderly parent or a sick sibling. "Some." There's reasonable leeway and then there's ridiculous.

I've been a little reluctant that I have extended on the other side of the planet. I figure an employer will think "She's gonna want long vacations all the time".
As if, those of us who are childless by choice need to "grow up!"???

My feeling about this: people (sometimes) have a choice in how much responsibility they want to take on. It's not immature to avoid creating a responsibility that you don't want. Having a kid is a perfect example b/c it's not even something that someone else will have to do as a result of your not doing it. I don't have kids, and I don't have a mortgage, but I do take care of the responsibilities I have, and that's better than piling on obligations and not being able to do them.
If you companies have discrimination policies, you should check to see if they discuss "family status." If they don't, ask that it be added. This protects people from receiving discriminatory, special treatment based on family.
I'm against any and all procreation related perks. I realise poor children are a sad thing, but more subsidies and tax breaks and corporate daycare only encourages more baby making. Gotta put our foot down at some point.

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