JOHN McNAMEE KEEPS ABREAST OF A NUTRITIONAL NOVELTY….
SOMEONE pointed out to me the other day what would have to be one of the most bizarre “incentive options” to a job description application.
The actual position was for something vaguely esoteric in the IT industry, a “digital production analyst” or something like that but it was the final line in the advert which caught the eye so to speak: “Breastfeeding facilities available on premises.”
Not being an expert in the IT field, I’m not sure if these “digital production analysts” are a particularly fertile group of people who require such facilities throughout their presumably arduous eight-hour working day.
Maybe this particular field of endeavour attracts a rather headstrong, ferociously fecund type of person who can’t keep their normal reproductive urges under control.
Maybe it’s a tribal thing where the early mother-child bond cannot be severed by the mundane pursuit of a career.
To be fair, maybe these digital production analysts whoever they may be, are a fiercely family-orientated, propagative group who can’t bear the thought of their new-born infants being torn from their bosom by rapaciously demanding employers.
I mean the very implication of the phrase “breastfeeding facilities” implies that the child involved is of a certain tender age where the bottle-feeding process has not been reached and although leaving the said small person with Grandma is normally ideal in most respects, even all-knowing and all-powerful Nanas fall short in that particular biological area, if you know what I mean.
And why would a perfectly respectable firm such as this, think it’s an attractive lure to add that incentive about the ability to wean one’s recent newborn in between busily analysing those digital products or whatever they do?
I mean you could be banging away on the keyboard dissecting all that global digitalia, next thing you know, there’s a tiny fist tugging at your shirt buttons and a hungry mouth seeking to latch on to the appropriate appendage.
Are these firms saying” “Look, we know how hard it is to get babes into day care these days, don’t worry, just bring the little one along to the office in its nappies, make sure you’ve got on a suitably modest ready-to-rip, adjustable feeding blouse, and away you go, I’m sure your colleagues won’t mind you dashing off for a “nipple stop” every couple of hours! After all, they’re always dashing up to the rooftop to have a smoke!”
We know there are plenty of “Parents’ Rooms” around our shopping malls and other public places, but are these wet-nursing pitstops now becoming like the “Alfresco Gaming/Smoking Lounges” which adorn our pubs and clubs these days?
When you look at it, we’re not only getting a bit gender specific here are we, we’re also getting into the age specific area as well surely.
Even in this increasingly metro-sexual, gender-bending age, there still can’t be too many blokes around who would insist on having breastfeeding facilities in their prospective workplace. I mean it’s not high on our fringe-benefit requirements list is it?
Or am I missing something here?
They tell us these days job applications can’t specify age, race or gender, but here we are saying surely: “Guys, don’t even think about it!! We need women here with strong maternal instincts whose first priority is for protecting the species in a friendly working environment .”
Not an attractive option surely for even the most optimistic fair-dinkum bloke or woman of a certain age who feels the incipient encroachment of the dreaded menopause, God bless ‘em.
Is this sinister throwaway line about comfy suckling areas a secret, clandestine, subliminal ruse on the part of the employer to imply only these specific persons need apply?
Of course we’ve long had child-minding areas in the workplace and a Godsend they are to many working families, I’m not denying that.
But I’m thinking, what form do these breastfeeding facilities take? I mean if you look around anywhere these days, even in your local coffee shop or worse, on the 631 bus, you’re going to have some young mum hoisting the top and guzzling bub at the bowser. Will they be converting much-needed office kitchen space, gym facilities or toilet cubicles into these Muzac-murmuring modules for mammary delectation?
I’m not being a nasty old grump here; I confess that a VERY close female relative of mine many years ago thought nothing of giving her hungry young first-born a lactatious top-up during the dramatic last quarter of a Collingwood-Carlton clash at the “G.” (The poor kid’s a Pies’ tragic to this day!!)
“Breastfeeding facilities”….now fellas, that really cuts us all out now doesn’t it? Is there anything male-specific we can demand in return for this blatant slight to our gender?
We could I suppose insist that at our next job, the firm supplies decent jock-strap washing facilities or something like that.
But come to think of it, these sporty types these day don’t appear to wear those wonderful, genitalia-specific items of apparel do they? Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend alot of time checking out blokes’ Reg Grundies, but if you watch enough footy on the TV you’ll notice players are normally sporting some sort of branded pair of budgie-smugglers, like SPANK or RIVAL, all too frequently bared to the alarmed public gaze by a despairing grab-tackle from a lunging defender.
Maybe I’ve missed the whole point here, sorry no pun intended…but it does make you ponder doesn’t it when, years ago, all you could expect at work was a desk and a dustbin and a good pub a short stroll away.
Ah well, I suppose I could retreat to my rusted galvanised iron stubby-sipping facility under the bottlebrush tree in the backyard and reflect on the good old days.
And I won’t be analysing any digital production methods back there I can assure you!