Thursday, January 03, 2013

Dog days

Last night, for no particular reason, I mentioned to the kids that the people at one of my prior jobs were "mean."  Explaining workplace bullying can be challenging when you're new to the workforce.  How to describe micro-managers, no autonomy, constantly changing expectations, and belittling management to someone who has never even had a job?

Sanna wanted to know why they were mean--not how but why.  Distance gives me perspective here, although on some level, I knew this even then: They believed that treating us the way they did made the company better, even if it was difficult for the workers.  (And anyway, they figured, who needs these peons anyway?)

Karl, however, wanted to know what they did that was mean.  My children don't understand my job, even a little, so I tried an approach more on their level.

Let's pretend that at school, you were not allowed to sit on the carpet wherever you wanted at circle time.  You had to sit exactly where your teachers said, even if you didn't like it, and you had to sit there every day. 
At coloring time, your teachers tell you to draw a dog, and you draw a big fluffy gray dog.  Your teacher doesn't like that dog.  Your teacher wants a small brown dog.  So you draw a small brown dog.  Then the teacher tells you the dog's eyes are too big and the tail isn't right.  You try to draw the dog again.  Your teacher gets mad about the third dog and tells you to go do something else and asks another child to draw the dog.

At this point, Karl is near tears at the dining room table.  Brooke looks a little alarmed at how concerned he is.  I add, "But your teachers never do that!  They're happy with all the dogs you draw."

More on life later, folks.  More later.


Ms. Debbie G said...

So glad you are back, even if it's just for a little post. I've been thinking of you and hoping you have been well!

chelsie said...

So happy to see you back... I've thought about you and your family often and hoped that you were well. Keep posting! I began reading when we had daughters around the same time... I was looking for baby blogs at the time. Now they're big girls and we've added two more... hope your work relationships improved / they begin to treat you the way you deserve! and that you're healthy. -Your friends in Alaska