Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Unwinding rant

12 Comments

The latest ‘late winter storm’ is beginning today.  Sleet stung the windows of my office this afternoon and then it turned to snow right at 5 p.m.  Apparently everyone (including me) stood up and left our office and all the surrounding offices at the same time.  It took me over 10 minutes to leave the parking lot, and another 15 to make it the two blocks to the freeway.

Once there it wasn’t much better.  We cruised along at 15 mph – when we were moving.  But I’m OK with that; as long as everyone is moving at the same slow speed we’re all relatively safe.  So now I’m home and I’m going to unwind by talking to you.

Long commute

Long commute

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about.  It seems like many people at work are no longer focused on work.  When I was a kid and had appendicitis (though to be fair they didn’t know it was that) in junior high they wouldn’t call my dad at work after my mom didn’t answer the home phone, because I guess, it would not have occurred to us to bother someone at work.  Especially the dad. But these days I hear phone conversations all around me, people controlling from work every tiny aspect of their family’s lives.  From the grandmother that gets calls from her grown daughters every single morning and often later in the day to discuss the grandchildren’s activities, health, tempers and homework, to the woman on the other side of the wall who has just moved and apparently needs to instruct her husband (I assume a grown man) how to order cable and change the utility bills into their name,who provides detailed instructions to call the paint contractors, the carpet cleaners, the dumpster guy.

Roads get worse

Roads get worse

Is it just the age of cell phones that causes this?  Or is my generation full of helicopter parents who have turned into helicopter grandparents and helicopter spouses?  Is being in constant contact with everyone a good thing?  Or would we live just as productive and fulfilled lives if everyone didn’t feel it imperative to update us all on every single thing that occurs during an entire workday?  Would grown children grow up if they had to make a decision or two on their own?  Would their children be better off if they observed their parents making decisions without going to Grandma?   Or is it a good thing the parents have support at all times of the day and, I assume, the night?  And what about that spouse who apparently can’t do anything without specific instructions from his wife?  Did he manage to become an adult without making those kinds of decisions?  Would he really be unable to get cable connected without the wife giving him the phone number and the speech he should recite?

Almost home

Almost home

Come on people!  How about we focus on our jobs when we’re at work?  How about we let our families handle whatever is going on in their lives and learn their own lessons?  How about we let the person on the other side of the cubicle wall do her job in relative peace without informing her (ok, probably not deliberately) of all details of your totally not interesting life.

Ok.  I’m done now.  Thanks for listening.

Home again

Home again

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

12 thoughts on “Unwinding rant

  1. Dog Dad votes for our generation of helicopter parents. When Dad grew up lots of families had four or more kids. If a parent was a helicopter parent, they would collapse.

    Then came smaller families and Dr. Spock. In those days the people were stronger in character and things were taken in strides. Then of course back then we weren’t worried about feelings, we just wanted to make it through life.

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  2. Definitely helicopter parents…do you know 37% of parents have a child above the age of 24 still living with them! What happened to teaching kids to stand on their own two feet?

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  3. Funny, I remember those days. My mom simple never called my dad at the office. It wasn’t done. I taught myself to control my anxiety when Cole leaves home and now only request that he phone home to inform me of his plans, and to let me know if they change dramatically. Parents at one of our class meeting were upset because (phones have to be put away and turned off during school hours) they could not reach their teens during their lunch break.
    I started off trusting Cole and from an early age–I let him decide when he needed to wear a coat, when he was full, for the most part what clothes he wanted to wear, and how high he could safely climb up a tree. I controled bed time….Ok, I’m not perfect :-D. And I rescued him often from his mistakes–took a coat along in case, offered a snack before bed, and cleaned up scrapes and cuts–because you have to trust your mom to help you suffer the consequences when you don’t make the best choice. I watch parents micro manage their childrens life, I try not to judge but to me that is not what being a mom is all about….as far as managing my spouses life—OMG that is laughable. Joe had a phone but it was never on unless he wanted to call me….
    Glad you made it home safely…we have big snow too.

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  4. On the bright side, mommy gets a kick out of everyone’s ring tones on their cell phones going off at work. Especially when cell phones go off in meetings, etc. Why don’t people just silence their phones at work is beyond me.

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  5. I think it’s a bit of column A and a bit from column B. My dad’s a farmer, and for the most part my mom was a do-everything-else mom (which seems more fair than just saying she was a stay-at-home-mom). If they needed to communicate, my mom had to physically track him down. And since his hearing is sketchy now, it remains much the same even though he *does* now have a cell phone. But I think people would feel less inclined to make all the interrupting phone calls if communication weren’t so direct a cheap. It used to be that to call an office you had to talk to at least one other person along the way to your target, and then that person didn’t necessarily know who was on the other line. Now, we have direct access with our phones announcing precisely who’s calling.
    And, just for the record, if you think your rant is bad, you should have heard mine on Sunday…the entire way back from Ann Arbor. I might have left out the HOURS of homework I helped my nephew get caught up on because of *rant, rant, rant*
    In any case, I’m glad you’re home and safe. I’m not even too sad this storm is mostly missing us!

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  6. Oh, and the new generation will be even worse! I think they are addicted to being in constant communication.

    Although, I’m not sure its entirely a generation issue. I’ve seen people of all ages acting this way.

    I admit, I do call/text Jeff had work sometimes, especially when there is a dire emergency – like a dead animal in the yard! Of course, he must leave work immediately and remove it 🙂

    Otherwise, we both have really strong work ethics (always on time,never take a day off,work thru our lunch hours, etc), even though our upbringings were polar opposites. I wonder what made us this way?

    Hope your commute isn’t too bad this morning.

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  7. I agree with Katybeth. I’m definitely NOT a helicopter mom. In fact, my sis (who IS!) often appears totally perplexed that I don’t call my son a gazillion times a day, every day, like she does with her kids (who are older than Domer!). No, I just believe that parents have to give their kids roots AND wings — they have to ground them in the basics, then back off and let them manage for themselves. Not that I wouldn’t be Johnny-on-the-spot should Domer really need me (mom, the safety net!), but he doesn’t need me to tell him to get up in the morning, what/when to eat, when to go to bed at night, and what to wear!! Glad to accompany you home safely!

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  8. I’m glad you made it home. After a drive like that, you appreciate it anew!
    I remember being appalled at a principal telling me I had to call parents about a (barely discernable) rope burn a kid got on his hands after disregarding the safety rules of a science experiment. He learned about friction and I witnessed stupidity upgraded!
    Too many phones! Too little personal responsibility! Vanishing work ethics!
    (says a Mom of one adult child who is proudly self-sufficient, and one child who brags about being in the hole $200 a month because neither she, nor her partner want to work at conventional jobs. And no, we’re not bailing them out, but I suspect his parents are!)

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  9. I always think these people are controlling freaks!

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  10. As always, I love your photos (although the red emergency lights indicate something sad for someone). This is why I have a cell phone–for on-the-road emergencies. This is why it’s never ever turned on: I don’t want to be connected 24/7! As for personal calls at work–unless one is working at a low-wage hourly job where they want every one of your minutes, or unless the calls have to go through a receptionist of some sort, it does seem like no big deal when people can call you directly at your extension. I don’t remember worrying about personal calls at work since 1979 when I worked in a manufacturing plant where most of the workers were hourly blue-collar jobs, very few of us “professionals”–funny that the higher-per-hour people the companies aren’t as worried about getting every one of their minutes.

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