The title suggests yet another story in the countless instances of how women are treated differently and unfairly. But it is not. It is about how sometimes men are in a spot which does not do justice to them or to their families.
It all began today evening or rather night around 9 p.m which is around the time hubby darling flies back to our nest. He was especially drained tonight and told me he had a tough evening. It is the time of the year when appraisals are done and he is responsible for 30 appraisals. When the appraisals are made public the employee concerned are free to agree or disagree with the evaluation. Out of 30, 3 disagreed. One was a genuine case of technical glitch. That leaves two out of which one is and has been a problem case. It is the case of a woman whom we shall call Madam X.
Madam X has been having problems with her appraisals since last year and maybe even before, who knows. She according to my husband has 9 years plus experience and her work is not in accordance to her years in the industry. In an industry where working hours are anywhere from 12 - 14 hours and sometimes more. Working on weekends is also not unusual. The offshore-on site model leaves you with hardly any personal time since after work (US hours in this scenario) , these guys are on the phone after 10pm talking to India office. In such a setting Madam X works for 6 hours. She does not take any extra responsibility considering her experience. She is also not a team player and teams under her have complained and do not want her as an appraiser. Even the 6 hours she puts in are lacking in the effort and excellence expected from her.
She also has a history of turning any discussion about her appraisal nasty. This time when she realized her appraisal was not going to be changed (for all the right reasons), she turned hysterical. She started crying much to my husband and his boss's horror. She went ballistic and even cursed them and their families (shudder shudder). She has a child and is expecting her second one. She went to the extent of saying that they, as in her appraisers, were trying to kill two people: her and her unborn child. She talked about her family and how difficult it is for her to manage home and work. She left the office threatening one and all of dire consequences. More drama ensued even after she left but I will give it a skip.
As a woman I understand how difficult it must be for her to manage home, be a mother and be pregnant too. But as a wife and a mother and someone who is almost single handedly raising children considering hubby's working hours, I am angry. As a person with a professional degree who could have had a promising career but chose to give it all up, I feel angry. As a wife who misses her husband, who works long hours not because he is a workaholic but it is the demand of his industry and such are the times, I am angry. As a mother of children who get to interact with their father for just 1 hours or a little more on weekdays, I am angry. As my husband's best friend who sees the amount of hard work, both mental and physical, my best friend , my husband puts in, I am angry.
As a woman I understand and support women friendly work policies. I understand and demand the need of maternity leaves , day cares etc. And anything else that is needed for a conducive work environment for women. But there is a limit to everything. How can we sing the song of equality when these women want to walk off with equal wages, perks etc. while putting in less hours and even lesser quality of work. Working while pregnant or as mothers to young children is a choice they make. Do I need to bear their burden? Should my husband and others like him give up what they deserve because a woman struggles between her work and home. Should women have it easy because they are women and mothers and juggling work and children requires superhuman efforts?
It is a choice she makes and she should learn to live with it. Should she not understand that you cannot get everything. If being a mother and wife are also important it may come at a cost. It could mean lesser pay, fewer promotions. Working by the industry standards could mean coming up short as a mother, wife , homemaker. I am not here to judge the choices. But I do feel and strongly so, that it is high time for women like Madam X to take the bitter pill and accept facts. I as a woman , mother, wife and someone with a sense of justice think , this is taking the concept of equality in a different and totally wrong direction. Fairness is something at stake here.
P.S Objectivity is possibly not a USP of this post since it affects me personally. Would love to hear your opinion on this.