The Five Worst Kinds of Co-Workers

So, according to New York magazine, a local woman has quit her job and, with her husband earning a “low-six-figure income,” she has decided to raise children and not work at all! What an amazing specimen. But this isn’t your grandparents’ housewifery. “This is not the retreat from high-pressure workplaces of a previous generation but rather a more active awakening to the virtues of the way things used to be,” claims New York magazine, discussing how said lady rubs her husband’s feet when he comes home. (“Active awakening”! I’m really stuck on that language. I think it says that on a package of live yeast in my refrigerator? Also: there should be some mention of how the workplace has actually retreated from us, in the form of the radical instability of employment now, but perhaps I’ll leave my Marxist claptrap aside here.) In any event, I’m not sure I can question her choices. “HAVING IT ALL,” I have learned in the course of having had it all myself for some time now, often means doing a really bad job at everything.

But really? I’m glad more parents are staying at home instead of working. Every single person (by “single” I mean unmarried!) knows that on average — not in the specific, not in every case, but in the aggregate! — that they may be tasked with pulling the weight for certain kinds of employees. It goes like this pretty much:

• Smokers.
• Parents (particularly of two or more children).
• The Jews.
• Marrieds.
• People who work at home.

Smokers in Sweden, scientists have explained, took 11 more sick days on average than non-smokers. These poor people also take off for “smoke breaks” regularly. In the mind of a smoker, they all live in France, and work is something you do between luxurious smoky breaks.

Then parents! They are terrible. There is always some crisis with little Donkey and Munificent’s ears, or week-long applications for private school. Parents are terrible coworkers, you never know where they are. Sometimes they are hiding in a lactation closet and refusing to do their work, or they are “on their way to the office,” or they are busy reading New York magazine to learn what might be wrong with their children.

And then the Jews! They put down their BlackBerries on Friday nights and won’t answer you until Sunday. I appreciate a structured calendar, and I definitely appreciate time for reflection and solitude, don’t get me wrong, but even after working weekends alone without our Jews, then each year when the gentiles come back to work after Labor Day, we run pell-mell into Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Our biggest lesbian atheist Reform Jews try to run this holiday routine, even when you’re like “girl, please, you don’t even know Sukkot from Simchat.” By then it’s practically November, and we’ve just gone on without them.

Married people are always disappearing for spouse-related reasons and then leaving early to do gross things with each other while being cruel to single people. And everyone knows that people who work at home don’t do anything all day basically.

And while we’re on this topic? To be honest, the gays aren’t much better, by the way, with their late nights and drug hangovers, but let’s not get into that, wouldn’t want to offend anyone. Anyway! God forbid you telecommute with a smoking gay Jew with children, just quit your job and become a stay-at-home mom and get ready to do some serious foot-rubbing.