Kids in the office?

by Kristina on May 7, 2014 · 9 comments

Kid Office

Good morning Dinks. Here we are again. In the office with kids I don’t know. Yesterday I was coming out of the ladies bathroom at my office and there was a little boy standing there. My reaction? I immediately froze. I didn’t know who the little boy belonged to or why he was in my office, yet there he was – standing face to face with me, looking me right in the eyes.

Pro or No: Kids in the office

I’m sure this is no surprise to you but I don’t spend much time around kids. Actually I don’t spend any time around kids. I don’t know anyone with kids and the truth is kids make me very uncomfortable. They are so small and fragile and they are just all around awkward.

When I first saw the little boy standing in the hallway my first reaction was, WOW this is not the place for kids. How do you feel about kids in the office? I am not sure why people bring their kids to the office, maybe it’s because they feel they need to show off their creations. Or maybe they just want to get out of the house and can’t leave their kids at home. Either way, it makes me uncomfortable. I just politely smile, tell my co-worker how cute their kids are and I move on back to my desk.

The money obligation of kids in the office

Do people in your workplace solicit donations and sell goods for their kid’s school fundraisers? They do in my office. I don’t mind contributing every now and then but why should I have to pay for other people’s kids? I love a good box of cookies and chocolate bars just as much as the next person but I don’t like feeling obligated to donate money.

I also don’t want to be the only person in the office not contributing, so whenever my co-workers ask I give money to their kids. I don’t want to be known as the cheap girl in the office but that doesn’t change the fact that I’d much rather spend my money on myself. I want to spend my money how I want to, not because I’m forced to.

What do you say to the kid question?

As a woman in my 30s with a long term boyfriend people always ask me when are we going to have kids. They don’t ask if we want to have kids, they just assume we are going to start a family and for some reason they want to know when I am going to get pregnant. Besides the fact that it’s really no one’s business, I find the question highly inappropriate for the workplace.

I used to tell people that I didn’t want kids, but I got sick and tired of people staring at me like I was crazy. So now whenever someone asks me when my boyfriend and I are planning to have kids, my standard answer is “Soon”.

Photo from flickr

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen @Sprout Wealth May 7, 2014 at 5:35 am

I have 6 kids of my own but never have I brought any of them with me in the office. I agree with how you feel that it isn’t appropriate. However, I respect whatever the reason of other parents why they had to bring theirs so long as they don’t interfere with the work flow.

2 Brock @CleverDude May 7, 2014 at 6:50 am

The only time kids are in my office are a.) when someone has a new baby and wants to show them off (which most people want to see) and b.) when someone is showing their family their office. The usual visit lasts a very short period of time and is generally disruptive. As far as soliciting for fundraisers, I have done this (sort of) in the past. I don’t send out a note to the office, nor do I specifically ask people. I simply put it on my desk, and people who come to talk to me see it. If they ask about it, I tell them. If they don’t, I don’t mention it.

The thing that DOES bother me is people bringing their dogs into work. My office has a strict “no pets” policy, but apparently my wife’s doesn’t (or it’s not enforced). There always seems to be someone’s pet running around her office. I love animals….but a place of business is NOT the place for a furry friend.

3 Kathy May 7, 2014 at 8:31 am

When I worked, a few people brought their kids to the office somewhat frequently and I have to say I hated it. Too often the parent was involved in their duties and the kids were unsupervised, running around, creating quite a disruptive and chaotic atmosphere. Other employees ended up babysitting them which kept them from doing their work. And this wasn’t for just 1/2 hour or so. It was often for hours at a time, mainly because the parental employee didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to pay for a baby sitter. I’ve never worked where pets were allowed but I feel the same way. I’m a huge animal lover also but they need to be at home.

4 E.D. May 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm

I am lucky. I work at a chemical research site and no one under 18 is allowed on-site. No exceptions ever.

5 Jesse May 9, 2014 at 12:37 am

You bring such clarity to the issue of having kids.
So many people just assume you “have” kids, without any thought beyond that.

6 John C @ Action Economics May 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

I’m glad people can’t bring in kids at my place of employment for both security and industrial safety issues. When it comes to the fundraisers, which very rarely pop up, I state my position on them. I am against the concept of corporations using our kids as shills to put social pressure on other adults to pay extremely high mark ups on relatively useless products, so the school get get a small percent of the profit and the kid can earn a “cool” cheap trinket for selling X amount.

7 Slinky May 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm

I don’t care as long as they are properly behaved and “contained”. A coworker had something come up and brought his two kids in for the afternoon and I didn’t even know they were there except that I saw one sitting in his cube. They were (very!) quietly watching a movie and playing games with headphones on. Totally fine. Other kids have raced up and down hallways on scooters or wanted to give “presents” (candy, artwork, etc) to everyone in the office. Very annoying. We also have dogs in the office and the same general rules apply to them. The ones that regularly come into the office are fine because they mostly just nap in/near their owners cube/office all day. No barking, or jumping or running around. Hyper dogs would be just as annoying as hyper kids.

8 Money Bacon Guy December 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Soon is a great answer. I’ll have to run that by my wife. If she is alright with a white lie then this may become our go-to answer.

Lately I prefer the slightly rude approach. But I know I’m not gaining any fans with family oriented coworkers.

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