Giving a F**k About What Parents Talk About (compared to corporate talk)


 

Recently flying home from London to Geneva, I picked up two best-selling books about “giving F**ks”. Being the book-lover I am, I took both and gave Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k” to a good friend and kept Sarah Knight’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k.”

 

I tried really hard to read it and follow the instructions. In my notebook, I have a page with two columns. One is headed “Things I don’t give a f**k about” and the other, “Things I do give a f**k about”. In the first column, I have written “What other people think.” There is nothing in the second column. My ideas dried up from the futility of this exercise, which I did in the tram on the way to work.

 

On the next page of my notebook, the two columns are related to “Work Stuff” and I have things in the column of “Things I do give a f**k about” which include:

  • Getting paid
  • Ensuring employees get paid
  • Fair treatment
  • Accountability
  • On-the-job bullying
  • Bullshitters and arselickers who are the boss’s favourites

 

And then I gave up. When I give up on a book I then skip through it and look for bits that will grab my interest. It is then that I came upon page 90 about children. On page 93, Knight writes about “Things even parents don’t give a f**k about,” which include:

  • From where your baby emerged
  • Whether you choose to breast-feed or not
  • Sleep training

 

There is dominant cultural discourse about how it is that what parents have to say, especially mothers, is so uninteresting. You hear about how stay-at-home Mums go to cocktail parties or dinners and people stop listening to them as soon as they say they are stay-at-home Mums. This makes me want to spit. Being a parent is, as even Knight admits, so “rewarding and worth giving a f**k about.”

 

I have been working in corporate life for over 30 years and I want to tell you about the things I have to listen to people at work telling me (disclaimer: really far more important  and rewarding to listen to than any of the kid stuff):

  • You didn’t get the 15% raise that you asked for and it doesn’t matter that nobody else did
  • Your annual review of your employees was badly done but “nothing compares to what you’re a**hole of a manager wrote” about you
  • You have to have a desk by the window
  • You must absolutely have a reclining chair with armrests
  • You weren’t sick, you were “working from home”
  • You can tell how dedicated someone is by the amount of overtime they do at the office

 

Tell me about your epidural any time.

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