Hundreds of online commentators showed sympathy for an employee who said they received a verbal warning to drive their mother to a doctor’s appointment, causing them to arrive late to work.
In a viral Reddit post posted on r/antiwork, Redditor u/dg2nice4u lamented the fact that they have been accused of being late, while co-workers with children rarely receive the same treatment. Titled “The Children’s Excuse Can’t Be Used,” the viral post received 28,000 votes and more than 1,600 comments.
u/dg2nice4u wrote that their co-workers were older than them and explained the frustrating circumstances that led to them receiving a verbal warning from their employer.
“My co-workers are always late because of their kids [and] The Redditor wrote: He’s leaving early because of their kids and I’m not in any trouble. “But me, I’m 30 minutes late because my mom needs a last minute trip to the doctor and get a verbal warning.”
And they added emphatically: “F**k you.” “Just because I don’t have children and a husband doesn’t mean I don’t have family obligations either.”
When COVID-19 first shut down the United States in March 2020, many tech companies (and companies in other industries) used flashy profit margins to provide employees with greater benefits, including additional time off for employees with children.
Despite rising childcare costs, temporary (or permanent) closures of schools and nurseries, and the apparent need for parents to take on more responsibility, childless employees were immediately outraged.
In an article titled “Parents Take Longer Leave, Then Backlashes Begin,” New York times It examined several companies where employees with children got more leave, and other fringe benefits, compared to employees without children.
Reporting that childless employees on Facebook and Twitter are becoming discontented with unequal paid vacation allowances, New York times It included a quote from Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, reportedly released during a video conference in August 2020.
“I think parents face certain challenges,” Sandberg told Facebook employees. “But everyone has challenges, and those challenges are very real.”
One of the challenges faced by childless employees throughout the pandemic is the greater workload, to compensate parents who have had to take extra time off leave to care for their children.
In some cases, this shift in workload has caused severe disruption and hostility among employees on the basis of parental status.
Journalist Jill Filipovich wrote in an op-ed for CNN: “If paid work that parents can’t manage falls on the shoulders of childless people – who already have full workloads…of course there will be resentment and anger.”
“This is not a lack of sympathy or a sense of entitlement,” Filipovic added. “It’s a valid assessment of the fact that your workplace is exploiting you because of your parental status, pitting parents against non-parents rather than solving the problem at hand: too much work and not enough people to do it.”
Today, two years after the COVID-related abolition marking the beginning of the pandemic in the United States, that sentiment still lingers among American workers.
In a comment left on the viral Reddit post, which garnered more than 3,000 votes, Redditor u/Illuminator007 said employees without children rarely bothered about employees with children receiving more leniency and benefits. Instead, employees without children want a similar level of indulgence with themselves, to accommodate their personal lives in a similar way.
u/Illuminator007 wrote “Let’s be clear. The problem here *isn’t* that people with kids have some flexibility.” “The problem is that this flexibility does not extend to others.”
“I think people’s frustration would be better directed if it were toward employers who choose the right commitments rather than parents who have [legitimate] Another commentator added.
Amid a sea of comments recounting experiences similar to those originally described by u/dg2nice4u, Redditor u/GuadDidUs described themselves as “gymnasts” when it comes to balancing work and parenthood, and said vitriol among employees is what allows unbalanced power structures to continue in the existence.
“I’m a millennial with kids and I need flexibility,” they wrote. “I get business calls from the football field, I tell my bosses I have to leave at 5 but can be back online at 8.”
They continued, “People have responsibilities and it is a shame that people should take on your sole responsibility to your children.” “But that’s not the case [the] The fault of the working parents. This is a system that requires your life and loyalty to them over everything else.”