LOS ANGELES — For my January article "Just Say No to Day Care," I had "advertised' Canyon Gossip and specifically my article on some parenting message boards. Since then, I have been defending my position to many irate moms (mostly "working" moms). To clarify what my opinion is, it's that I don't believe day care is the best situation for children, particularly if there is a choice as to whether or not they even need to be in one. However, my opinion was being construed as saying that "working" moms are bad parents. If you'll re-read the archived article, you'll notice that I state very clearly that I am talking about good parents. I was also berated for saying that most people do have a choice. I have heard enough stories of husband's losing jobs and other unexpected situations to understand that there are indeed situations where both parents have to work. I just hope that people do everything possible to make those situations short-lived. Our children, particularly the very young, deserve the stability, nurture, and love a parent at home provides. I don't see anything wrong with wanting that for children.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work various hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in faraway cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
RESPONSIBILITIES: This is for the rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs $5 to go skating. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery-operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION: You pay them, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.
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