with Avi Spivack
Hi, I'm Avi, and I try to put the work and the dad together, with mild success. This is all about trying to give you a view from what it looks like on the dad-man's side of the world, and I hope you find my ruminations humorous because I try not to take myself too seriously.
At my day job, I am so busy working for a large tech company that I am able to devote a solid twenty-seven minutes to writing this blog post, spend serious, productive time surfing the internet, and even watch video online all day and deem it “research.”
Pretty cool, eh?
Well, what’s not so cool is this: when another big tech company decides to give working parents a seriously raw deal on their daycare - click here to read all about it.
The company? Google (maybe you’ve heard of them?)
You can go and read all the sordid details, if you haven’t already, but the gist is that the daycare used to be affordable and now it’s not. Like really a lot more expensive.
And why does this really tick me off? Because I now work for a very big company and we’re headed into an economic downturn and I am worried that benefits that I took for granted to always be there might go away and will seriously impact my family’s monthly expenses.
My company in no way offers anything near the deal that Google offers its employees; we just have the flexible spending plan, which is nice because it saves us a bit of money using pre-tax bucks and something that I didn’t have at some of my smaller companies. But this situation, which Google has brushed away as a minor issue, is not so small when you have kids.
The larger problem for me is the (unspoken) perception and attitude about how parent employees are more of a drain on the company because they are more demanding, use more health care, and are thus more expensive to employ (and I think at a tech firm, where the employee base tends to be much younger and kid-less, this may be more of an issue).
For example, when we had our orientation into our new, behemoth company with our new HR staff, someone asked if there was paternity leave. The answer was a defiant no. And this caused many grumblings in the audience (where there were at least three new fathers-to-be).
Don’t get me wrong, I realize we live in the fabulous US of A, where many new mothers barely get paid maternity at their companies, so fathers - fuggedaboutit. But still, certain expectations are borne at big companies, particularly billion-dollar ones that have professed to want to “take care” of their employees. But the reality is always much different.
And the reality in Google’s case was that day care as a benefit to employees was costing them way too much to subsidize, so they turned the tables and are basically screwing their working-parent employees. And all those parents have no choice but to pony up the cash (if they can even make it off the waitlist and into the super-elitist preschool) or go find someplace else.
What do you do for day care, and how does your company help, if at all?
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