Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Apparent Nightmare of Working Motherhood, or, "I Can Teach My Kids Spanish By Myself, Thank you Very Much"

This entry is all about advice I'm not qualified to give.

First piece of advice: Avoid Credit Card Debt.

Second piece of advice: Don't Bitch To Me About Your Nanny.

If you count a degree in Communications something real and/or of value, then you can call me a college educated, reasonably intelligent person. I realize that there are issues out there in the world on which people have varying opinions. Some opinions are stronger, some are weaker, and although I am a woman, I too have a point of view that some egalitarian societies would consider valid. While I generally tend to veer away from divisive issues because I want everyone to like me, this is a safe place where women are free, so I think it's OK for me to blog my mind. I'm a grown up now (not really), and after seeing the poster enough times I realize that being right is not always popular, and being popular is not always right. Or whatever.*

Don't worry, I'm not going to write about abortion or the death penalty or gay marriage or states' rights. Let's be honest, I have reached a certain level of cyber-popularity,** and now that I have an online reputation to maintain I'd rather not stir up any shit in my posted comments section lest I risk losing any one of my 4-7 readers.

Plus you already figured out that this entry is about Nannies, so you know it's not going to be that outrageous. This isn't Berkeley. And I'm not some fanatic (Berkeley is the only place you can find fanatics these days). So let's get started...

Face the facts, reader: Nannies are the new Mommies.

It's true. The times they are a'changin', and what was once commonplace, over time becomes passe.

Green Tea is the new Coffee.
Quitting Jobs and Moving Home is the new Hard Work.
Hooking up is the new Going Steady.

Nannies are the new Mommies.

Granted, the notion of "A Village" raising "A Child" is not an entirely new thing. Maternal Expert and Presidential Hopeful, Hilary Rodham Clinton, even went so far as to write a book on this very subject! One I don't plan on reading. But even before Hilary, it was supposedly an African proverb (however, the truth of that statement has not yet been verified by Wikipedia, but I trust 90% of what they say 90% of the time).

Apparently we have a lot to learn from Africa. And from Hilary Clinton.

Or do they have a lot to learn from me? Because I'm pretty sure that regardless of the truth in the idea that a child's community and society are very much influential components of that child's upbringing, I'm also pretty sure that Parents raise Children. Call me old fashioned, but I'm almost positive I'm right.

The way I learned it was: Parents get drunk... Parents conceive child... Parents give birth to child... Parents raise child. It makes sense to me, but my un-hipness is more apparent by the minute, because from what I can see, even this simple formula has become passe.

Why? You ask.

Because I hear a lot about Nannies. Specifically bitching about Nannies.

A woman I work with recently had twins and until she hired a new one, she was always bitching about her nanny. Ok, so twins have got to be a massive handful for a new mom. Zero to sixty in nine months. I get it. Taking care of one baby is enough of a handful, so naturally two babies would be very overwhelming for anyone... including a Nanny, right?

Maybe I'm really anti-nanny because I don't make enough money at present to justify getting one. If I had a kid, it'd be just as expensive for me to employ someone to raise it while I went to work as it would be to not work at all. Perhaps if I was actually realizing my earning potential, I'd be more inclined to hire a Spanish-speaking mother for my children. But likely not.

Lady, if you want your babies to be held a certain way, or fed at a certain time, or to acknowledge you as their primary caretaker, you should stop bitching all day about your nanny and either train her to be JUST LIKE YOU, or quit your job and RAISE YOUR CHILDREN.

I didn't hire anyone to do my homework for me in high school. I didn't hire anyone to do my job for me at work. And I don't plan on hiring a pinch-runner-nanny to raise my kids for me.

Mostly because I hate working.

*Note that I am actually too lazy to re-arrange the verbiage of that phrase, and would rather just insert a footnote.

**Also, it is un-confirmable.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Misery Loves (working for a) Company, or "I Quit My Job Again, Please Don't Be Shocked."

I quit my job again.

Surprise, surprise.

I didn't last too long at this one, either. Last fall I quit my first job. Here we are, in the dead of Springtime, and already I've quit my second job. They say (and They are always right) that the average person makes an average of seven career changes over the course of their average lifetime. Well, I guess if I was Average I'd have five more chances to get my shit together and amass my fortune.

But I'm not average. Am I.

Nope. I consider myself to be quite un-average, and in some cases even above average. It was true when it came to my BMI as a 9 year old. It was true when I took the SAT II Writing Exam (I am brilliant, clearly), and it is especially true now as I explore the very awful, unfriendly, and disconcerting world of Work. You don't believe me, perhaps, but I am something of a phenom when it comes to Working. Allow me to explain...

Regarding my experience in the workforce, my contributions are nothing short of astounding, and my potential to be an Outstanding Employee has only been overshadowed by my potential to be a Disgruntled Employee. In the last year, I have discovered that I have what some people might call "Extraordinary Abilities."

For example, I have the extraordinary ability to start showing up late once I have decided I am going to quit. And in fact today, having quit early last week and sensing the end of my tenure nearing, I left for two hours at lunch without remorse, nor regret. No one seemed to notice or care and I received all of ONE email over that span of time. So now that I have established this precedent, I will most likely not rush back to the office on my next much anticipated lunchtime voyage to the Northridge Trader Joe's.

Another example: I also have the extraordinary ability to take simple tasks that would take an "average" worker a few hours and stretch them out over the course of a workweek, thus achieving the two-fold goal of appearing excessively busy throughout the day while successfully using most of my time to chat online, draw nonsense pictures on MS Paint, and click on randomly selected links to Youtube videos that I am sent by people I love and trust - who are also extraordinarily talented workers.*

A third notable sample of my unparalleled, uninspiring on-the-job talent is my ability to manufacture water-tight, non-negotiable excuses to leave. Among those excuses have been: "I'm sorry, but I hate this job, and actually I'm not sorry," and "This is more inconvenient for you than it is for me, but I'm moving, and I won't be taking this job with me." Such exemplary reasons for quitting my job(s) have only come about as a result of my OTHER extraordinary ability to complain about my place of work and the duties I am forced to perform there. Chances are, if you have ever actually talked to me (and the chances are good), you will know just how overly-achieved I am at this (I guess some things never change). I like to list it on my resume under Special Skills. Yes, Future Employer, not only am I bilingual - for someone who looks Mexican I speak some damn good broken Spanish - I will also think of and vocalize to my friends and family a thousand reasons your company sucks, and how upon hiring me the work you'll make me do will drain my soul of its ability to feel.

My list of extraordinary qualifications goes on and on...

But the gist of it is, I quit it's my job.

Which makes me think a few things.** The first being, is it possible to be a Serial Employee? We've all heard of Serial Killers and hip, trendy 21st century catch phrases like "Serial Monogamist," so why not Serial Employee? I could make my living by going from job to job, nailing interviews, breezing through training, getting promptly into the swing of things and then lowering the axe - BOOM! BAM! TWO WEEKS BITCHES I QUIT!

If there is a job out there for someone who quit jobs, then I'm definitely a qualified candidate.

"Tell us, Ms. Zine, what was it you did at your last job?"

"Oh, well, I quit my last job. And the job before it."

"Fantastic! You appear to be just what we're looking for. We'd love to hire you, but we hope you'll leave soon."

Only in a perfect world...

Let the blog-record show that I have indeed quit my job and will be moving to Northern California sometime this summer. Instead of two weeks, I gave them two months. And while I have never used the excuse, "I hate this job," I really do hate working.

*We should form a League, and call it The League of Extraordinary Workers. Who's with me?!

** I have a very active mind, despite its being numbed by hours of mundane, drawn-out tasks.