Dear Amy, Maybe my profession makes me a little salty, but I hope you can rethink or share some ideas about this irritation.
When the pandemic started, everyone was sent to work from home.
All most people could do was complain about how hard this was. As a nurse and head of a medical unit, I obviously didn’t get to work from home. I also didn’t have “boring” days like so many people complain about.
Now, three years later, many people have gotten used to working from home and love it.
Now they complain about having to go to an office a few times a month.
Speaking for most of us in healthcare (and any service industry), I really wish people could appreciate their situation.
Turning every work environment or situation into a complaint is distasteful to those of us who don’t have these luxuries.
— Salty nurse
Dear Salty, I want to thank you for your service, and also for the invitation to reflect on and possibly rethink a category of human inquiry that we should be thankful exists: post-pandemic issues.
So let me start by taking the world’s smallest violin out of its case and playing a sorry tune for anyone who has the temerity to complain to a health or service worker about the burdens they are called back to the office a few times a month.
Now for the recap: we’re back! We once again overlook our obvious lucky moments (we are alive, be one), and we begin to take for granted the simple privilege of being able to visit, touch, hug and kiss each other.
We have resumed our habit of airing out our petty grievances, even when the rest of the world is on fire.
Your burden is also your blessing: while others complain about the long line at Starbucks, you’re already wide awake and inhabiting your salty humanity.
You have my permission to remind others to put their problems in perspective.
Dear Amy, I am a newly married woman, 20 years old, looking for a new job.
Recently, during an interview with a local private school, I was asked about my pregnancy plans. The question was whether she had a “plan to balance children with work”.
I said coldly, “My husband and I have talked about it and we’re not worried.”
I was offered the job but declined because of this question as well as a “no pants” policy for women.
When I told the company I was declining the job, I explained my reasons, as well as including a link to the EEOC on pregnancy discrimination, which included a recommendation NOT to ask this question in interviews. They responded with a general response wishing me well in the future.
Was there a better way to handle it?
Dear K: “No pants” policy? Wouldn’t that upset the kids?
(I thought only TV anchors could get away with their jobs.)
All kidding aside, your choice to reject this position was obviously a good one. Your follow up was spot on.
Here’s the EEOC information I assume you linked to: “Federal law does not prohibit employers from asking you if you are or intend to become pregnant. However, because such questions may indicate a possible intent of discriminating on the basis of pregnancy, we recommend that employers avoid this type of question.”
In the future, when asked about your family planning in a job interview, you might say, “I’m curious: why are you asking?”
The interviewer would probably offer a benign explanation. If after that you’re still interested in working at that particular job, you can respond and deflect by saying, “I have an outstanding work ethic.”
Since this baby-balancing question was asked in a real school, you might have answered, “Given that I’ll be working with kids, it’s all about balancing kids with work. I’m looking forward to it.”
Dear Amy, I related to the “Stop Haunting my Dreams” question. Like this person, I have had recurring dreams. Mine are college related (dropped out right before I got my degree).
I agree with you that this is the subconscious trying to close the loop of unfinished business.
– In my dreams
Beloved in my dreams: My recurring college dreams are arriving in the wrong classroom to take my final. I’m still trying to sort it out.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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