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Thursday, 7 October 2010

Are you a Corporate Dad?

Surely that’s a daft question but is it? Personally I have met many parents, both male and female for whom the question is relevant. Yes, we all have to and often choose to work late occasionally but for some this is the rule rather than the exception. Over the years I have worked with people whose sole reason for starting early or indeed staying late in the office is to impress their manager with their commitment to the company. Many have little or nothing to do in this extra time yet seem comfortable killing time on the internet or playing desktop games. Their one objective is to impress their boss with a well-timed "good morning" or "good night" but at what cost?
Here I stress that this is not a dig at those who must work late for financial or other reasons, far from it in fact. From my experience, Corporate Parents are already earning reasonably well yet will happily sacrifice hours of family time, in the hope of a minor pay increase or brighter prospects. They will often try to make up for this with gifts and even cold hard cash for their increasingly frustrated children. Indeed, I remember watching a senior manager buy his boy a brand-new pair of expensive football boots and then admit it’s unlikely he will ever witness the boots or his son in action. The same guy once returned from a family holiday, complaining he could no longer communicate with his children properly. Then in the same breath boasted about how much cash he had spent while away… now there's a surprise.
Typical exchanges might be as follows. "Is there any chance of a kick-a-bout after work Dad?" "Not tonight son, I'm working late but perhaps we could do something at the weekend". "Can we go the park after you finish work Mummy?" "Sorry love, I won't get home until past your bedtime but we could go to the biggest and best park of all for our family holiday next year, Disneyland”.
Yes, work gets on top of us all at times and on occasion we must stay a little late but this does not have to be the standard. Coincidentally Corporate Parents are likely to suffer more with stress; perhaps they should try some family time as a cure.
In attempting to climb the corporate ladder, are you forgetting who you really work for?

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