Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reasonable or Another Example of Entitlement Behavior?

So I saw this Craig's List ad today:

Seeking part time attorney's position with daycare allowance (NYC)
Date: 2011-04-16, 2:09PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

I am a 33 year old married female attorney with a one year old daughter who would need to come with me to any office I work at. I had had this arrangement at my previous office however, my former boss passed away last year. She was not a bother and I took care of her myself throughout appearances and even during depositions!.....I would additionally request that any employer reading this ad keep an open mind and that things are not nearly as difficult as they may appear to be. I should know, I was living this scenario personally!

I have been admitted to the NYS bar for the past 8 years; have also been admitted to all Four District Courts, the 2nd Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. I have performed various levels of trial, and and covered numerous conferences on trips/slips and falls, auto accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and the like. I have jury picked in 4 out of 5 boroughs, and have additionally performed several bench trials.

I can work from the most basic pleading complete through depositions, subpoenas and trial preparation. As I know this market is not this best, at a FULL time position I would request 60K but for approximately 40 hours a week I am herein requesting 50K. I have references and of course a CV upon any request! I am looking to work in the Manhattan/Bronx/Downtown Brooklyn/or LIC areas in particular.


* Location: NYC
* Telecommuting is ok.
* This is a part-time job.
* Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
* Please, no phone calls about this job!
* Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2329006269

We're not simply talking about some payment for a maid or daycare center or time to drop a child off; this person is making demands to bring a 1 year old to the office. A few facts may need mention.

1. The legal field is notoriously unfriendly to small children. There are client meetings, court dates, depositions that are transcribed by people who are paid huge hourly amounts, etc. You have demanding bosses making you work very long hours. Part-time in law land is full-time everywhere else.

2. Many law offices are in buildings where other professionals have offices. Unless you are a very big, rich firm you will not have multiple floors or even one floor that is all yours.

3. If you are surrounded by other working people, there are inevitable noise complaints. Everyone is expected to keep noise to a minimum and screaming would be noticed.

See, where this seems a tad unrealistic & would rub me the wrong way as an employer? I don't know you. I don't know what type of parent you are or anything about your work ethic.

I presume this other boss may have worked with this woman for years and knew if she was capable of doing the job, how her parenting skills are, if she was a reliable worker, demanded childfree employees to accommodate her, etc.

Now I think it would be great if employers provided on-site daycare for employees or at least a space for this small kid that would not mean leaving her in the office during client meetings or expecting the whole office to play babysitter while this mother is in court. If she takes this baby to court, I have to wonder what the judge & court personnel say. Maybe this kid's a local celebrity but for all I know, it could piss off some judge who's trying to dispose of cases to hear a screaming baby in his/her courtroom. If there's anything you don't do, it's make a judge mad at you when you have to go before him/her in court.

But that's not the world we live in. Most law firms won't even give you flexibility in hours like the one I worked at where parents could leave at 4 so they could pick up their kids from school. My nephew is almost a year old & I can't see my sister demanding some employer to let her bring him to work. I've also never met a baby that was silent through a whole work day or never gets grumpy, cranky, bored, etc. without letting you know it by screaming bloody murder.

I say if you want to be a lawyer & bring your child to work, you should consider becoming a solo so you can work at home unless you can pay for a quality daycare center, leave your child with a babysitter or find a workplace that has an on-site daycare center. Little kids do not belong in an office setting (unless maybe your product is marketed to them & there are no confidentiality laws involved) and I think have more potential to be a hassle than a dog or a cat. Animals will at least kill insects, attack intruders, warn you of gas leaks and do other things little kids won't.

Not to mention how the child would feel. Grown ups wouldn't even want to be in a law office for 8 hours, forget 10 or 12 per day if they weren't getting paid for it. Doing it to a small child may as well be child abuse. Law offices don't have toys, games, books or other age appropriate fare for 1 year olds.

Oh, and fairness to co-workers anyone? Some of us don't want to be pestered about having kids or demanded to worship at the altar of your child. We also don't want to hear about the details of little Johnny's diaper mess or his feeding schedule. How does anyone know you aren't the type of mother childfree people hate (basically, those who expect everyone to fawn all over their kid or to get a metal of honor for breeding)? Not to mention seeing a baby brings out the evangelizing from parents to childfree women on the Church of Baby.

The co-workers probably won't get to say "I don't want that child here!" and get their wish. They could be forced to quit (or hostile work environment if they're being harangued daily about their breeding plans) and then the firm loses talented people who may have been there for years because of one person who can't be bothered with lining up daycare services.

Honestly, this ad just rubs me the wrong way as an employer & based on what I know about the legal field. I don't think most firms would accommodate this & I would never expect an office where no one knew me to do that for me.

Those looking for jobs: how would you feel if an employer told you after hiring you for a job that they had little kids in the office on a daily basis that you'd have to work around? I'd personally be pissed since I don't have kids for a reason & unless the child is related to me or I'm being paid for it, I'm not going to be a babysitter or take on motherly tasks. I would also wonder how much real work got done there & what the landlord, others working around the office, etc. thought of it. Based on this woman's demands, you can't help but wonder if she'd be the type of parent to foist child care duties onto co-workers.

Just goes back to the saying "You breed 'em, you feed 'em." Don't inflict your lifestyle choices on everyone else; be an adult & handle your own responsibilities.

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