A DINK in The Office

by Kristina Tahnyak on August 17, 2010 · 5 comments

retro colorful officeHow many of us DINKS work in an office environment? I do, and there is nothing more than I hate than office politics.  Unfortunately, politics are a major part of our office lives.

Is the way you act at work the same as the way you act at home? There is an episode of the popular television show Friends called “The One with Chandler’s Work Laugh”.  In this episode Chandler develops an office personality, complete with a fake office laugh.  Do you have an office personality?

It is said that a person must have a stable home life in order to have a successful work life. Is it possible that we can only make money if we are married? I would like you to think back to your single life before you became a DINK.  Were you more, or less successful than you are as a DINK?

Is being a DINK hurting your career and holding back financial opportunities?

Some people think that childless couples can dedicate more hours to their work week because they don’t have to rush home to fufill their family obligations.  Some people also think that  people without children may be able to contribute a larger effort into their overall career because they don’t have children to distract them. Yet somehow married people with children are considered more reliable in the workforce.

There was a time when hiring a single woman in her 20’s and 30’s was considered a liability because eventually she will want to start a family, and go on maternity leave.  Before a woman has children she is a liability.  But after she returns from maternity leave, she is considered a stable and valued employee.

As a married or unmarried employee with no children, are you treated differently than your colleagues with kids?

It is difficult for me to understand this logic of thinking because I don’t have children.  However, I guess the logic behind this mentality is that a married woman with children needs more stability because she has her husband and family relying on her financially.  She can’t afford to take the risks that us single DINKS with no children can afford to take.  Are childless couples considered as the new office slacker?

(Photo By Mudpig )

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenn Sutherland August 17, 2010 at 9:54 am

As DINKS, we’re hardly the office slackers…at least in my 12 years in office life, more responsibility for “off hours” work seems to fall to me – because I don’t have kids. Sometimes I don’t mind, especially if I can scoot out of the office early on another afternoon to do something fun. Oftentimes the extra hours mean working weekend events and it gets a little old to always be the one assigned *because* I don’t have kids in tee-ball. I have started to fight back a little though – I’ve registered for a TON of running and cycling races this summer/fall, and now I can say “sorry, I can’t work Saturday because I have a race.” It’s working out fine so far, and nice to have others pitch in and share the off-hours workload.

2 Jeff @ Sustainable life blog August 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I dont think the DINKs in my office are branded as slackers. While many people around here do have kids and occasionally leave in the afternoons early, I have not really noticed anyone around here having to shoulder extra work because someone else has kids.

3 Dirac August 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I would say that this is the case…I am in a DINK situation and I do not know how many times I hear, ‘Oh, but you don’t have kids’ to explain something or why my time is not as valuable. I do not know if they view me as a slacker per se but I do not have nearly as high a value placed on my time as others. I understand the importance of kids but really, should they get to leave early every time the option arises?

4 Kristina August 17, 2010 at 9:07 pm

The daily workload is distributed unevenly among people with kids and DINKS. Work hours (in my office) are also very uneven. I can not count the number of times that someone has come in late, or left early because of their children. I also find that in the man’s world of finance the opinion of a single young woman (like myself) is undervalued because of my “instability.” Excuse me?!?!?!? When did the choice not to have children and not be married (although it is not MY choice) become a sign of instability? My education and experience should speak for themselves. However, people without children who aren’t married somehow become exiled from the “married couples with kids club”.

5 Honey August 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I think that companies like folks with kids because they can never quit/move, because kids are so expensive and tie you so completely to the community. My boyfriend is an attorney and it is good he started dating me when he started to work there because a single guy in his late 20s/early 30s is considered a flight risk. We do plan to get married (though they still refer to me as his “friend” after 4 years to gether since we are not married) but don’t share the fact that we don’t plan to have kids because that would also brand him a flight risk.

I think most companies are fine with the topsy-turvy of day-to-day schedules as long as they know you have too many financial obligations to ever quit.

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