Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Off to work....

I don't talk much about it, but I really do have much to say about my place of work, the work I do and how it is doing it in another language and culture. Since I have to leave in about 15 minutes, I can't cover all of that in this post, but I'll leave you with two comments/observations:

1. --(and Mom-in-Israel's guest post reminded me of this)--Because I work in a school where the staff consists predominantly of charedi women, with an average age of about 25, there are many nursing mothers on the staff. Why is it that I have walked into my office to find women pumping several times already? Nobody bothers to ask me if it's okay and it's a total inconvenience for me. With so many young nursing women there, a comfortable designated room (not mine!) should be provided for them, don't you think? I'm going to try to say something to the administration, but I have a feeling the attitude will be, "Big deal, it's been okay until now, what's the problem?"

2. I respect these women who are totally committed to davening (praying) everyday. But when I am in a room with 5 severely handicapped children and I tell the very inexperienced assistant that I want her to observe me treating so that she knows what to do with the children, that doesn't mean she has a free half hour. I thought she went to get something and next thing I know she is earnestly davening, while four kids are sitting in their chairs or laying on the mattress doing nothing. (The other assistants were out with other kids and the teacher was absent). Is that okay? These kids cannot stimulate themselves, they need the adults in the room to do it for them. Is it okay to let them lay there for half an hour so she could pray? Shouldn't she do that before she comes to work?

Am I being to harsh here?

Have a nice day, all!

10 comments:

mother in israel said...

The first one is odd. Obviously your office is not considered truly private.
According to halacha you aren't supposed to daven on your employer's time. From what I understand, in modern times there's reason to be lenient i.e. your employer won't care if you take three minutes to say birkat hamazon, but I think this is taking things too far.

Commenter Abbi said...

the davening thing is very inappropriate and so is your office thing.

Try to broach it as "We have many nursing women and they need a room" rather than "These b****es are taking over my space!!" (not that i think you would, but, you know what I mean)

Leora said...

About 2: could you ask her? (whether she has time to daven at home, if she understands her responsibilities). Maybe she's clueless.

RaggedyMom said...

One of those times when under the guise of "frumkeit" people assume they can a)encroach on someone's space to satisfy their own need for tzniut/ privacy and b)pray on company time - similar to doing anything outside one's job description for a sustained period of time during which one should actually be doing one's job! I don't blame you for stewing...

Baila said...

Part of the problem is that the place is run by charedim--I am the minority here. They really do think differently. I don't think anyone has ever complained that there is no place for them to nurse--it wouldn't occur to them, since they can use any office that is free. My office is not particularly comfortable--they sit on little preschool chairs, it's kind of cold in there--they choose because its empty. If I'm in there, they'll find someplace else. As far as the davening goes, it's ignorance coupled with a bit of callousness. In this particular classroom the children are not mobile--if you put them on a mattress on the floor, that is where they will stay. In another classroom you couldn't leave 5 active kids alone with an adult for more than a minute (maybe). Everyone does get a 20 minute break at some point in the morning and she could have waited for that. I did not mention it to her the next day, because I should have said it right then and there, but I did tell the teacher, who agreed that it was inappropriate and will speak with her.

Asher said...

right on sister, for speaking your mind

SuperRaizy said...

Davening is a personal obligation. Doing it on company time is the equivalent of stealing.

Robin said...

I'd think the women themselves would benefit from a designated (and comfortable!) lactation room. Perhaps talk it up with them a bit first?

RivkA with a capital A said...

the assistant should definitely NOT be davening when she is supposed to be taking care of the kids

Shari said...

As for the pumping, it's wrong to do it in a therapy office. For all 'pumping mom' knows, you could be starting a therapy session in 30 seconds. And the assistant daavening instead of observing/learning what you are doing with the child? Wrong! There's a time to daaven and a time to work. Not to mention taking her attention away from helpless babies. I agree that it's wonderful these women are so committed to daavening. I wish I was half as much. But not during therapy. Similarly, there are times I'll turn around to a mom in the middle of a session to explain a technique or ask an important question, only to realize their nose is buried deep in a siddur. Do I think it's sheer ignorance that the time is inappropriate? I'm not sure. I'd say you have to be pretty out of touch to think it's okay to daaven during a time when you are supposed to be learning, whether it is an assistant or a mom. So I, for one, do NOT think you are being too harsh. And it's perfectly fine to tell them as much.