If the clips I am seeing this morning are any indicator, kids and pets make the Globes way more interesting, just as they have made class more interesting for the past year.
Watching them, I finally figured out why op-eds from people preaching about how to “professionalize” your Zoom get on my nerves so much. Those people are pretending like our work lives matter more than our home lives, like kids and pets and occasional messes are the deviant and artificial part of our lives, compared the work-bots they want us to project, instead of the most worthy and wonderful parts of it.
I have read “the death of the office due to coronavirus” pieces, and I have no idea, but for all the pain and suffering the virus has wrought (over 2 million people globally dead now), I have been grateful for the chance to share my pets and places with students, and for the insight on the possibilities for capitalism and professional life that doesn’t act like it’s the end of the world if a kid interrupts a meeting to announce his sister as a loaded diaper. We have, if we have beening living right, extended each other a lot of grace for these things. Remember when having to bring your child to work because of a problem at daycare was embarrassing or a disaster—so unprofessional. Now it’s part of it–still embarrassing, still distracting, still tiring–but it’s real, it’s happened to us all—and it’s all fine.
Is there any chance we keep extending this grace to each other even as we go back with vaccines and the like? Working women need childcare; it’s dumb to romanticize it otherwise, like we can all just have kids around all the time. But I hope we take this time to critically examine the rank stupidity–and harm–of the capitalist office where emotions, “bringing your home problems to work” and other natural things aren’t treated like weaknesses or sins.
We are whole people who deserve to live our lives in all dimensions at all times.