Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why I Don't Read the Financial Post

From today’s issue of FP Working:

Exhibit A: "Say you left your job when your children were born so you could spend time with them during their early years. You didn’t plan to stay out of the workforce forever, and now that the children are in school, it’s time to dust off your suits and polish your high heels. That may not be as easy as it sounds. ‘You can’t go home and sit in your sweats for 10 years and think you can go back to being a lawyer or doctor or computer engineer,’ said Monica Samuels, co-author of Comeback Moms: How to Leave Work, Raise Children, and Restart Your Career Even if You Haven’t Had a Job in Years."

Okay, where shall I start? Polish your high heels? Sit in your sweats for 10 years? Preachy attitude towards na├»ve and casually dressed moms who dare to believe that they are still welcome in the workplace? (And, oh, in case you’re interested, the secret to becoming a "comeback mom," according to Samuels, oh-she-of-the-extremely-wordy-subtitles, is to do lots of volunteer work while your children are young, since clearly the reason women leave work in the first place is so that they can work for free and pay for day-care out of their bon-bon budget.)

If that’s not sufficiently depressing, consider –

Exhibit B: "Labour economists find evidence starting at the bottom is a recipe for being underpaid for a long time to come." A recent study shows that business school students who graduated during a recession were still lagging behind their peers twenty years later. That is to say, even when the economy recovers, employers would still prefer to hire freshly-minted graduates rather than equally educated applicants with several years of grunt-work in the trenches.

Though not obviously linked, these two articles certainly combine to paint a depressing picture for those of us on the mommy-track. One of the reasons those sad-sack recession-era graduates continue to languish in the bargain basement of the labour pool is that by the time the job market fattens up they are nearing their thirties and are thus at higher risk for becoming parents. When my husband returned for his third year of law school last fall, the trend couldn’t have been more obvious: all the 22-year-olds had articling positions lined up, while the former professors and audiologists who had children at home were still shopping themselves around, begging for the privilege of working for free.

Exhibit B ends with a helpful exhortation to graduating students to carefully consider their job choices. That should put an end, I hope, to the epidemic of university grads opting to wait tables instead of accepting six-figure job offers. There’s no advice to job-hunters who are hauling their asses around to interview after interview with resumes tainted by years of answering phones at the call centre. But in case you think the solution is to go back to school, check this out:

Exhibit C: "Overqualified shut out" – the story of Dr. Gian Sangha, who, despite his Ph.D. in environmental science, was not hired for a job with the Land and Water Board because he was considered overqualified.

I give up.

*****

Under the category of "Less depressing but equally disturbing": Tad's Number Farm, the new cartridge I bought for Bub's My First Leap Pad. I started to think something was a little bit off about this game when I heard the white chicken declare, "It takes me a-a-a-ll day to lay an egg!" And then Bub found a way to activate a voice with a palpably fake British accent which announces, "Flahhg numb-ah fo-ah!" But the icing on the cake is his latest discovery: when he touches the number seven with his pen it prompts a breathy Marilyn-Monroe voice to whisper longingly, "I lo-o-o-ve the number seven!" I guess we’re meant to be grateful that she doesn’t murmur her love for the number 69.

*****

Hubby’s suggestion for an alternate title for this post: "Why I Blog at the Supper Table … And Why that Makes me a Bad Person." Time to feed the baby.

4 comments:

sunshine scribe said...

That leap pad sounds a bit disturbing. But not as disturbing as the articles you cited. Yikes.

Blogging at the dinner table ... if only I had a laptop:)

MotherPie said...

Our culture and our society needs to become much more circular and less linear. Nice post.
Cheers.

lynsalyns said...

My hub reads websites at the dinner table. We have nearly daily, ahem, discussions about it.
I enjoyed this post a lot. But don't put too much stock in those idiots. As my dad used to say, the cream ALWAYS rises to the top.

mad_hatter said...

Ha! Now I am the one burying a comment on one of your early posts. I have been reading your archive in fits and starts over these past few weeks but today's post sent me back in for more.

As for Leap toys, all I can say is "Urgh" and "Arugh". Miss M had the Learning train. All she learned from it was the following: if she put the end of the batter-operatred engine in her mouth, she could give herself a shock--you know, the kinda tongue-on-a-9-volt shock I'm talking about. She clearly enjoyed the sensation and shocked herself silly for about 20 minutes before I realized what was going on.

Note to self: never buy another toy that has "Learning" in its name.