What right does *she* have to work?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
What right does *she* have to work?
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 6:44am
I overheard a conversation at work yesterday, and I'm curious if anyone else has ever run across this attitude.

They were discussing a co-worker. This woman just moved here from NY, and due to the differential in housing costs, is living quite nicely off the sale of her home on Long Island. AND working FT. She has no children, just a SO. He is making decent money also.

I was a little astounded at the attitude that she has no right to have this job, when she doesn't *need* to work. She is taking away from the mom who has kids to feed, who *needs* to work. Blah blah blah.

I'm usually not bothered with gossip, but I did find this attitude bothersome. Where would we draw the line? Anyone who knows me, knows I am as sappy as the next guy in regards to children. But, in the retail business, I can say the kids are used as the reason for requesting nights and/or weekends off. Which is not fair to those who are childless. Very few retail establishments offer "mothers" hours. The co-worker in question is *not* working family friendly hours. Mostly nights. And also, a seperate question, pulled from the post below. Should the traveling and over nights be delegated to those who DON'T have family? Personally, I have always been keen on traveling. (Providing they put me up in a place with room service ;-)

How much SHOULD family factor in when applying for, or filling a position?

<a href="http://www.glittergraphics.us" target="_blank"><img src="http://mic.bpcdn.us/bpg0/a.gif" border="0" alt="Myspace Glitter Graphics, MySpace Graph


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 7:09am
As far as the first part of your post, those ladies were just being dumb, no one has a right to work. Takes me back 40 years to when my mom and aunt would talk about a lady taking a job that should have gone to a man with a family to support.

As to the the question of traveling, any one taking a job that requires traveling should be willing to travel no matter what their family status. If you don't want to travel then don't take that job.

I think that family should factor in but that should be done by the employee before they take the job. The employer should be very honest about what the expectations of the job are and then the employer should decide if the they can meet those expectations. If they can then they should take the job and if not then they should not. But they should not take the job and then complain about it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 7:33am
Honestly, some of the situations that I have read about on this board sound more like the things my mother and aunts encountered in the 1950s/1960s than anything I have ever encountered in 2003. The employment contract is strictly a barter between the employer and the employee. This is what we need you to do / OK, I can do that /or/ Oh, no, that's not the job for me.............

The coworkers are just plain jealous. They have no idea what debts this woman may have, what her setup with the SO is, what elderly relative she might be supporting, or any of a thousand other possibilities. They need to mind their own business.

If somebody doesn't want to travel overnight, then they shouldn't apply for or accept a job that requires that. How difficult a concept is that for people to grasp?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 7:49am
An employer should hire the *best* applicant for the job. Period.

If that applicant is a mom with 4 kids. Great. If it is a man with a high-income wife. Great. If it is a student right out of college. Great. I think that only a person's ability, education, skills, etc should be considered when deciding on the right candidate for the job. Their marital status, financial status, parenting status ... none of that is appropriate decision-making material.

And part of this plays itself out. If the job has awful hours, not many moms are going to apply. In fact, not many people who want traditional hours are going to apply. If it requires travel, not many moms are going to apply, nor are people with an elderly mother in the home, etc.

But, an employer might make concessions. If teh *best* applicant for the job wnats it without travel? And its the only way the person will take the job? that might be a better solution for the employer than another applicant who isn't as qualified who will travel.

And, when a person has proven themselves valuable or indispensable, established a work record, etc, it might be in the best interest of the employer to cut them a break. I have a friend who was traveling 40% in her govt job, but when she had a baby, they let her work PT with no travel. Why? Because she was a mom? Nope. because she had worked for them for over 5 years and they knew she was very good at what she does and if they had to either watch her quit or change her job requirements, then change they did. It was the best solution for the employer, and the employee.

Anyhoo ... that's my two cents.


FTR, I think the ladies in your scenario aren't very nice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 7:54am
Ditto. What she said. nt
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:03am
And if this woman with kids to feed does exist, then she should have applied for the job. And if she did, she obviously wasn't the best qualified or she would have been hired. Oh, but lets blame the woman who *was* hired because she was better qualified. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, lol.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:50am
It's irrelevant,BUT if jobs are scarce where you are,then I can see why she might be the symbol for their frustration.Unfair,but kind of understandable.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 9:26am
Honestly.... I think those people would be gossiping about her just as much if she decided to quit work because she didn't need to. Remember the thread a few weeks back about the SAH wife? Lots of people just like to gossip and if there's nothing real to gossip about they make up a controversy. Retail is not really family friendly in general (for management type positions) because everyone has to work nights or weekends at some point. As for traveling... there's nothing wrong to me with traveling. As long as it's not excessive. When I was little my dad traveled 2 weeks out of the month, which was necessary for his job, but still it was hard on us. Usually a job app asks you if you are willing to travel, and one can always say no. It is an employees responsibility to find a job that fits with their family, not the employers responsibility to adjust to their employees families. As an aside, when I was working retail, (not management anymore because of my family, hehe) they were very good about adjusting my schedule to my needs. When I had to switch to nights instead of days because my dh's job changed, they were happy to do it. But I know in a competetitive job market that's not as common.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 10:33am
This, in a nutshell, is why we still make 74 cents on

the dollar.

What you overheard was the whole rationale for the

existence of the SAHM of the postwar era. "What right

does that *woman* have to take that job when there is

a man who needs that income to support his family?"

Federally subsidized daycare programs were shut down

and women were laid off en masse, to make room in the

workforce for men after WW2 ended. The US govt.

finally let go of this around 1972, but still it

lingers on. Even at my DH's law firm, men are given

preference for partnership when they are married

with children, but women are not. I've actually

heard senior partners say it; the presumption is

that men are more stable employees when they are

married w/ children, but women are more stable

employees when they are single, or at least,


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 11:00am
I guess it depends on what your definition of family friendly is. I know that people who work FT in retail work long hours. But unless you define family friendly as no nights and weekends, in my book, retail can be family friendly BECAUSE of the variety of hours it offers. I know lots of people who work opposite shifts from their spouse and work retail because it allows them to do it. When I was in college, I worked retail throughout my college years because I could go to school all day and work nights and weekends. Most of my coworkers were moms who worked PT at night and on weekends after their Dhs got home from work. That can be very family friendly of you need (or want) to make money, but can't afford childcare. My MIL was a nurse for 40 years and worked a variety of shifts when the kids were little. There was really no such thing as childcare, so she worked nights, weekends, whatever, around my FIL's schedule.

As far as the gossiping women, it's jealousy pure and simple. They can't stand the thought that they have a coworker who does "need" the money, as I'm sure they would all love to be in that position.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 12:48pm
But, regardless of what PC party line you choose to believe, men are more stable employees.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approaching 90% of all men work to retirement. The number for women who *have* worked full time is approaching 75%. Women quit their the work force after having joined it almost a third more often than men do.

Considering that partnership in a law firm is a more-or-less career-length commitment I can see why partnership selection might be skewed in favor of married-with-families (read that "stable") men rather than married-with-families (read that "might quit to be mommy full time") women.

I'm not saying that it's right to discriminate that way - I suspect it's illegal, but it certainly is understandable.