My new office has a lot of mothers. Some of the things I don't love about being around parents have been reinforced (e.g. You have a kid at home. You are with that kid some 16 hours a day. So why on earth do you come to work and want to talk about nothing but your kid? A chick has to read "Parents" magazine just to keep up with the conversation in the lunchroom because how to deal with the fact that Junior is biting the other kids at preschool is all anybody talks about.)
But I have learned a few new things from the experience thus far and overall, my attitude toward parents has improved.
1. You don't get sick time of your own, it all goes to when your kid is sick. Either that, or you take twice as much and everyone hates you.
2. I'm planning to go to GA. I've already filled out the form. My co-workers know two months in advance. I will do absolutely as much work as possible leading up to my time off to make it easier on them and no one will care. People with sick children do not get that chance. They call in the day of and everyone else is saddled with extra work and the less tolerant people hate them for it.
3. Parents really do develop soft skills, at least some parents do. One lady got a call last week that her 9-year-old daughter had been suspended from school. Another kid had been bugging the daughter and the daughter had whipped around and said "I'm gonna kill you!" Nobody would have batted an eyelash when I was a kid, but understandably, that's a big deal these days. Working mom is two cubes away and I can hear the conversation that follows.
Working mom was like a freaking hostage negotiator. She was totally on the vice principal's side. Oh, of course. But the important thing was that ALL the kids learn from this situation. And... And...
I don't remember. But the upshot is that the suspenstion was cut from eight days to two and Working Mom and the Vice Principal were cooing at each other like sorority girls at the end.
Working Mom got off the phone, filled us in on what we'd all been listening to anyway, then got back to work.