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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Faux Pas

I’m truly puzzled by people who ask me why Klara is in daycare if I work from home this summer. I decided not to provide any answer to this question and treat it as if my interlocutors have committed a social faux pas that I’m graciously refusing to notice. 

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8 thoughts on “Faux Pas

  1. People can be so officious ….

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  2. “my interlocutors have committed a social faux pas”

    My favorite tactic in this situation is to simply slightly raise my eyebrows and with a simulation of polite courtesy ask “Excuse me?” and simply refuse to understand the question, maybe adding “I’m not sure I understand…” now and then.

    Not that such interactions last long, it is devastatingly affective in convincing people to drop the topic and/or mumble an apology.

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  3. Fie upon this quiet life on said:

    People have said this to me for years: “It must be so nice to have summers at home with your kids.” No, actually I work all summer, I used to say. Now I say that the kids get bored at home, so we send them to Day Camps so they can be around friends instead of hanging out with the tv all summer long. It’s basically true, but really, I need time to do actual work and they are better off in a routine anyway. I hate getting comments like this though. It shows how little people understand my life.

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    • What people don’t get is that this is work just like any other kind of work. I always have to explain why my phone is off during the day. It’s because I’m at work and unavailable!

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  4. Shakti on said:

    Trials of a freelancer/writer.

    It shocks me how many people assume that working at home means that you’re constantly interruptible on the slightest pretext. I see all these “work from home” jobs that are pitched toward women who will not put their kids in daycare/ or cannot afford to. These are all badly paid.

    Also, I think the whole norm of kids running around outside without adult supervision and just making friends with kids because they live next door is extinct? Or I get that feeling from the random conversations with women who have school age kids.

    Sure, toddlers don’t demand stimulation and need supervision every single moment they’re not asleep or in front of a screen! Who are these fools?

    I wonder how many people ask for a day to work from home and then put their kid in day care specifically because open plan offices are terrible for concentration.

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    • “Also, I think the whole norm of kids running around outside without adult supervision and just making friends with kids because they live next door is extinct?”

      • Klara is only 15 months, so that clearly is out. However, I’m not planning to let her run outside with me staying inside even when she’s older. We have a marshy creek and flows quite fast in the backyard, so no, it’s not happening. I had her at almost 40, so there is a limit on how laissez-faire I can make myself be around her.

      “Sure, toddlers don’t demand stimulation and need supervision every single moment they’re not asleep or in front of a screen! Who are these fools?”

      • Absolutely. At this age, when I’m home with Klara, I’m lucky if I get a moment to throw the wash in the washer. That’s the absolute limit fo what she lets me do.

      “I wonder how many people ask for a day to work from home and then put their kid in day care specifically because open plan offices are terrible for concentration.”

      • The idiot who invented open plan offices should be hit over the head. They are HORRIBLE!

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  5. Jonathan Mayhew on said:

    YOUR Mind is supposed to shut off in the summer. How nice.

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