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Monday, September 17, 2007

Should women bring their babies to work?

One of my high school friends called me today in a snit. She's going through a break up with her business partner and she wanted my thoughts.

Here's what is going on:
My friend and her partner run a maternity store. But for the last year, her partner has brought her infant to work with her. Now that the baby turned one and began walking, the woman spends most of her day chasing the baby around the store rather than selling merchandise. My friend says the bulk of the ordering, bookkeeping and marketing has fallen on her shoulders. She's leaving her own child at preschool later to pick up the slack.

"She's just too preoccupied to be productive,'' my friend said. My friend sees only one solution -- to buy out her partner and hire a salesperson. Her partner disagrees and uses the time sheet to show she's put in her hours. She wants the business arrangement to remain the same.

Now, I'm all for accommodating mothers in the workplace. But I see my friend's point of view. On the very infrequent days when I have brought my kids to work with me, I have been less productive -- and my kids are older requiring much less of my attention than an infant. I think the woman needs to leave her child at home. What do you think?


Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Leave the child at home. There's a difference between "being there" and working.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who bring their kids to work, from the biz owner on down to the receptionist create a disruptive influence. I may smile, smile, smile, but inwardly I cring, cringe, cringe. Work gets harder under such conditions, with greater potential for errors. My solution? When rug-rats materialize, I take the time to make personal phone calls and take care of other personal tasks. Kid generated distraction keeps anyone from noticing. Later I get back to work feeling I've had a break and that I've prevented myself from being taken advantage of.

8:29 AM  

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