My first “real” job was with a debt collection agency. I endured day in and day out of listening to people’s hardships and being verbally abused over the phone. My boss was an arse; rude, condescending and nasty. The “human resources manager” had not a humane bone in her body, our breaks were the length of time it took for the kettle to boil, and friendships waned as we were pit against each other. Friday’s after work were spent catching up on anything we could.
At the time I was seeing (and living with) someone who worked in a factory. Lots of standing on feet, hard manual labour, breathing in lordy knows what fumes and particles as he worked. Smoko breaks were relaxed, so long as the orders got done by the time the shift ended, and Friday afternoons was knock off early, for drinks with the boss who shouted first round. Lots of catching up with workmates for bbqs on the weekend.
Regularly, he’d come home and comment how much “harder” his job was than mine. Not a debate I got into after the first two or three arguments, because, really, you couldn’t compare the jobs. Sure, his was physically more demanding and potentially dangerous, but mentally and emotionally, he was pretty ok. I was stressed to the max, not sleeping and sitting on my bum on the phone all day. I refused to enter the discussion, because I agreed with him on one level – his job was “harder” but on another it wasn’t. It was just too hard to compare the two.
(And probably part of the reason we broke up; that I wouldn’t argue with him, or worse, not agree with him!)
For a long time, I’ve been irked about couples arguing over who has the harder job, the more demanding, the more stressful.
Thus, I was most incensed when I was alerted to one of the latest “post this in your Facebook status” thingies doing the rounds …
I am a cook, a cleaner, a parent, a nanny, a nurse, a handy man, a maid, security, and a comforter x <number of kids>. I don’t get holiday, sick pay, or a day off, I work through the day and some of the night, I am under paid and over worked, now tell me that your job is harder than mine. Repost this if you’re a parent that works hard and is good at what they do : )
Firstly, what makes me a little narky is the whole “oooh, what I do is harder/better/more worthwhile/whatever than you”. Which I personally find extremely egotistical, condescending and completely dismisses everything about the other party. But that’s my stuff to deal with.
I’m not debating that some aspects of being a mother aren’t hard. They are extremely demanding at times, extraordinarily stress inducing and the levels of responsibility