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.
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.
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?
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.