Afternoon InquisitionSkepticism

Afternoon Inquisition 02.11.09

First, let me apologize that the article I’m referencing for today’s inquisition was featured on Oprah.com (though I found it on CNN).  However, I will personally vouch for the validity of the topic, at least in the business world.

20070904_woman_holding_a_no_sign_18The article, entitled The Price of Saying No at Work, describes the lifestyle choice each person makes when drawing boundaries at work, and claims that those who get to the very top do so by always saying yes. The conclusion is that very few people can have it all.  Most of us must make sacrifices in either our personal or professional lives to achieve a balance that is comfortable to us.

The quote that resonated with me the most was, “You know why I never say no? … Because I think about the consequences of someone else saying yes.”  I think this is a problem most upwardly mobile people face, unless their skillset is specialized, rare, and in-demand.

The article also suggests that these decisions can be harder for women than men, because women are traditionally expected to compensate for men’s absence at home, but the reverse doesn’t necessarily apply.

So…do you struggle to achieve or maintain a work/life balance?  And if so, where do you draw the line?

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51 Comments

  1. Crap. I’m screwed. I ALWAYS say no.

    Then again, I’d like to think that a lot of the reason I’m kept on here at my work is that I provide a critical eye and help reign in the excesses of others.

    It IS true, though, that my attitude and unwillingness to be a Yes Man or a Company Man will limit my ability to rise in this company or any other. I’m resigned to never having the money to live as I would like, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t SUCK :-P

  2. I’m on the opposite end of the ‘screwed’ spectrum. This past Sunday I worked from 11am until 3am the next morning on a project for work which I will not be getting paid overtime for, nor any other type of compensation. For me, right now it’s all about keeping the job.

  3. i’m in a position where i work that unless i go back to school and get a degree in something else there is pretty much no where for me to go except deisgn engineering tech iv, which is one step up from where i am now. i could pretty much say no all i want. i usually only so no when i really mean it though.

    on the plus side i’m pretty sure my “superiors” know i know more about what we do and how to do it than anyone else in my position at any level, so that probably helps. and i want to clarify i’m speaking specifically about the company for which i currently work and not the world in general.

  4. I have found the reverse to be true. Strategically saying “no” can elevate your status because only important people can do this and get away with it. In my business (engineering/development) saying “yes” all the time will earn you a role as a permanent doormat. You are unlikely to be fired, but equally unlikely to gain more responsibility.

    I told my company years ago that I don’t fly or drive. If they want me to go some place it better be served by Amtrak. The only thing they said in response is that I can never be a manager. Win-win!

  5. My position requires pay for hours worked as part of my salary structure. It is common for many in the my profession to work unpaid off clock hours or to get involved in social event planning for vendors and providers on their own time. This is clearly valued by management…, I am not in management.

    I like my life and what I do professionally is not who I am so I make a lot of effort to keep work and everything else separated.

  6. What I wouldn’t give to have a job!

    My husband works in advertising. Not too long ago I’d complain to him about how much he works. He was saying yes to things when no one was even asking. He’d start work at 2pm, but he’d be on the computer handling shit by 8am and leaving work at 2am.

    These days, there’s way less work to do. I’m hoping those extra hours translate into consideration when jobs get cut.

    He used to get out early maybe once a month, now it’s 3 days a week. Last night when he called me to tell me they’d be working late, I just said, “Good.”

  7. Being a surgeon means you never say no to things when it comes to patients. This means that work comes first, second, and almost in every top ten category.

    Perhaps being a surgeon, and having that mentality is why I was a bad husband, and am a bad boyfriend. On the other hand, I always keep busy, and I enjoy what I do.

    The difficulty I have with the analysis is this: do we make sacrifices in our personal life because we say yes in our professional life? That is not always the choice. .

    I think the harder thing is this: to have a job where you look at the clock and wonder when you can go home. That would be torture.

    Even the most interesting of jobs have their mundane aspect. Or parts we do not like, but have to do.

    I recall working late, and coming home and he handyman was still at my house – where he arrived before I left in the morning. It was around 7 p.m. I fixed him some dinner, and we chatted for a bit, and then he finished up around 10 p.m. I was done with my day — this fellow was still there. When I thought I was working hard, I would always think of him. He could have left things undone, as many would – but he kept working. Whenever I think I have a busy day, I think of his days — his were busy and full of life – until his liver gave out from a rare auto-immune disease. Now he can’t work hard, and is waiting for a transplant — and his joy in life is to work. Now he has lots of time to spend with his wife and kids, but he would much rather be healthy, and working — and if you were to ask (and I have) he would rather work hard until his last breath left him.

    I don’t think they are, necessarily, two ends of a spectrum. Certainly, in cases they are, but you enjoy life working hard as a handyman, you can enjoy life working hard as a full time mom with kids, you can enjoy life working hard as a surgeon — or a skeptic, or a writer.

    But, were someone to ask me — would I rather do surgery or go watch the movie Titanic with an intelligent, good-looking date– trust me, I would be in the operating room in a second. Although I do like the scene where Decaprio finally perishes into the Atlantic.

  8. I work at a movie theater. My story is as one of the posters said above: saying yes turns you in to a door mat. Except, my company doesn’t give raises at all, and the raise given to those who become manager does not balance equally with the responsibilities one has to take up. My job kind of sucks :-/

  9. I’m single, so I almost always say yes.

    I’ll say no if I’m being asked to work at a time when I need to attend a funeral, wedding, go on vacation or visit someone in the hospital. Plus, I’d quit before I’d mess up my 28 consecutive years of deer hunting.

  10. I was quite the young leftist radical back in the day. I feel that in many ways have grown out of that, in that I shutter at most communist ideology and theory. Though, at other times I find myself still nodding and agreeing with some of their ideas, even today. This is getting off track. Anyway, the point is that this situation reminds me of a Howard Zinn quote, something to the effect of “the greatest trick the rich ever played on the working class is convincing white collar workers that they were somehow different then blue-collar workers.” So while the blue collar workers were tired of taking crap they formed unions (an acquaintance of mine worked on a auto manufacturing line starting at $25 with a GED, I finished college and my first post college job was $12 an hour) . But if you were a white collar worker, and they pile on the extra work (with no extra pay or benefits) you agree to take it because as you said, “You know why I never say no? … Because I think about the consequences of someone else saying yes.”. By pitting one worker against the other they can get the maximum amount of work as long as people are willing to put up with the crap, and when it comes to promotions or keeping a job they’ll put up with an awful lot of crap, sacrificing family, free time, sleep, and their very sanity and health. (Funny that it’s the exact same thing with trying to get a Master’s or PhD)

    Anyway I don’t know were I am going with this, Oh yeah the question,

    I hate the system but feel forced to work in it till I get enough money, and/or go crazy and run off screaming into the hills to live on my own little self-sufficient farm in the country. You are all invited too, it will be great, we can start a commune, be forewarned though, after I cast off these chains of economic servitude, I next plan on casting off these pants of servitude.

  11. There’s a culture shift. People — even (perhaps especially) people at the top of major organizations — are starting to realize that people who always say “yes” end up delivering crap. Late and over-budget crap.

    People who sometimes say “no”, on the other hand, tend to deliver better stuff, and to be done when they say they will be.Delivering on promises is starting to be more important than making them.

    Besides, “yes or no” is a false dichotomy. I rarely say “no” outright. For example, if someone asks me if I can deliver a project by a certain date that seems unreasonable because of my workload, I say “sure, if I can move X, Y, and Z out a few weeks, and give A and B to someone else.”

  12. I admit that I’m spoiled. I work for myself as a professional. I set my own hours and virtually never work 40 hours in a week. I know I could make more money working for a company, but money *does not* motivate me. I have, in the distant-ish past, worked 40 hour a week jobs. I was completely miserable. So now, when a client wants something in a timeline that I think is too short for me to do in the time I am willing to put into work, I will say no. I don’t believe I have lost work because of this. And I know I am *much much* happier because of it.

    I suppose it’s a different perspective from trying to move up in a company, where you’re always trying to impress someone so they’ll think you’re worthy of more.

    I have refused to do certain things clients have pushed for because I think they are unsound choices and the clients are being short-sighted. I am sure I have lost a bit of work because of that, but that’s not work I want anyway.

    A colleage of mine that I office with is a huge ass-kisser when it comes to clients. I pick on him for it alot. I find it ridiculous, and I think it causes more stress than necessary by making unkeepable promises. And just insulting to the person he’s interacting with. But he and I have very different clientele. Maybe he just gets the kind of people that want that sort of thing. And he can have them.

  13. I don’t struggle. I’ve always been very good at putting leisure first.

    Of course this means I now have a pile of reports I have to grade during winter break. But hey, that’s what being a procrastinator is all about.

  14. My personal life is more important to me than my work life. This probably has to do with the fact that I still have a job, and not necessarily a career (though I could probably work this same job for 10+ years no problem). My job is not that stressful. I’m hourly, which also helps.

  15. @stacie: Money doesn’t motivate me either. I’d rather be happy. As long as I can pay my bills and have a little extra for entertainment/hanging with friends, I am more than okay.

    If I need something expensive, I save.

    I have no desire to live rich. I like my life the way it is. The only thing I’d change is to have my car paid off NOW, and to live in a better apartment not infested with roaches (we’re working on correcting this, but it’s an old building and so I’ll be fighting them ’til I move). I probably won’t move ’til the car is paid off. In 5 years.

    But that’s okay. I like the management where I live.

  16. @marilove: You’ve got the research on your side on this one. Studies have shown that once someone’s basic needs are met, more money does not make people happier.

    I find that there is so much that I enjoy doing, and the best things in life may not always be free, but they are mostly not that expensive. As they say, time is money, so when you save time for yourself, you invest in your life.

  17. Work-life balance has always been a big issue for me. My wife and I are both professional scientists with full time jobs (as of the moment!). We opted to put both of our children into full-day daycare from a very young age, rather than one of use abandoning our careers. This was a tough choice for us, as both of us had one parent at home while we were growing up and we weren’t sure we shouldn’t provide that for our own children. Fortunately, we found a good daycare that the kids thrived in, and in the end they are probably better adapted socially than they would have been if either one of us introverted parents had stayed home with them. They certainly seem happy and well-adjusted to me!

    All that being said, we are both very conscious of the need to disengage from work at the end of the day. Being able to eat dinner together as a family and having evenings and weekends to spend with the children is very important to us. We looked hard for a place where we could work 8-5, 40 hour/week jobs and were happy to find one. This isn’t to say that some people here don’t work longer hours, but it certainly isn’t the norm. Nor is there any serious expectation that we will be here on the weekend. The cost of this choice is that the paychecks are not as big as they would have been many other places, and we have clearly identified ourselves as having limited interest in moving up the career ladder. We both made a conscious decision to trade money for time, and neither of us has ever regretted that for a moment. My advice is to figure out what is important to you as early in your life as possible and then be prepared to make the sacrifices needed to attain those things as you get older. If you let your workplace make those choices for you, they will almost always end up being the wrong ones.

    Oh yeah, and the idea that women should be expected to compensate for men’s absences at home is utter BS! My wife and I are equals in all things. There is no other logical approach to take to the question.

  18. @TheCzech: yeah, I really have no problem doing what I want to do, but I’m a pretty simple gal. I’m easy going and easy to please.

    I went without a car until last August (at 27 years of age), and only then did I buy it because I NEEDED it — I got a new job and the bus ride went from 20 minutes to over an hour and a half (each way). This KILLED me. I hated it. I was also always late. So I bought a car, something I thought I’d never need. Now I’m a little broker, but happier because I shaved 3+ hours a day riding the bus.

    I’d rather bea little broke and sitting at home with my cats watching NetFlix, than have more money and spend all my time on the bus.

  19. I never, ever struggle with work life balance anymore. I don’t work unpaid overtime.

    On the other hand, I’ve been fired twice in two years.

    The wife gets paid by the hour, so it isn’t so much of a struggle. They want her, they pay her.

  20. @marilove: Extreme commuting is a sport where I live (DC Metro area). People are proud of their insane commutes. I’ve known people who do two hours each way. While some of these people may just enjoy the peace of being alone in their cars, it seems to just be a part of the culture. No thanks!

  21. I think it’s a mistake to rely on such absolutes like “always say yes.” In any job, there is an environment that requires tactical savvy regarding task management. Saying “yes” to everything can lead an employee to become overburdened with tasks that are better suited for someone lower on the hierarchy, limiting that employee’s advancement potential, and possibly ensuring that the employee will be the constant target of tedious work that no one else wants to do. Obviously, saying “no” too often also has its drawbacks.

    Keen observation and interoffice social skills combined with a healthy level of self-respect and determination will go a lot further than having a bottomless “in” box.

    With regard to balancing work and life, it’s a good idea to have a combination of an overall strategy and an effective tactical plan. The overall strategy is like a map to a long-term goal. Need to climb that corporate ladder? Start early, start smart, and continue to be enthusiastic and competitive. Figure out where you want to be in n years and what it will take to reach that goal, and always have another goal at the ready after reaching each waypoint.

    The tactical plan is necessary for mental and physical stability while following the overall strategy. Consider your overall goals, and what a healthy level of work life versus extracurricular life is while still being within the scope of the requirements of your strategy. This not only requires that you manage your time outside the office accordingly (for instance, you might benefit more from a jog in the park and a picnic with a friend than spending the same time at happy hour), but also that you manage your workload by directly or indirectly letting your supervisors know that you have the ability to accomplish tasks thoroughly and effectively, but that you will not allow yourself to be suffocated with an unreasonable workload.

    Self-respect is something that good employers recognize and appreciate, as long as it’s accompanied by quality work. Trying to be a “yes”-person when it doesn’t coincide with your strategy and tactics is a recipe for burnout and disappointment. Some people have the drive and capacity to take on every task thrown their way, and their strategy takes that into account, and they tend to shoot to the top quickly. These are what I’d consider “naturals” who don’t make the choice to say “yes” to everything, but, instead, don’t even ask these sorts of questions about whether or not to.

    A few masochists will be exceptions and struggle to the top by enduring unwieldy workloads and no free time, and I’ve heard enough horror stories from a few about what they would have done differently (like, live a bit) that I know that’s not the unlife for me. Part of my strategy, recently amended, is to take some time to appreciate living this life. If I don’t do it now…

  22. @TheCzech:

    People are proud of their insane commutes.

    I know! IMO, this is one of the most insane aspects of our workculture. People brag about how much they’ve sacrificed for their jobs, to demonstrate dedication. And bosses encourage and celebrate this! At the last “employee of the quarter” luncheon I attended, one of the managers gave a speech about an employee who had been employed for 5 years and had NEVER taken a sick or vacation day. I was thinking – that is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard! Instead of traveling to see family or the world, or even taking a staycation to destress, this person worked for five years straight. This should be discouraged, not encouraged, otherwise the manager isn’t supporting the whole person, only the part that is the work-machine.

  23. Timely question. I serve on our local home owner’s association. (Yeah, I know, but better to be part of the problem then subservient to it.) I’ve been doing tons of work for them over the last several months only to be continually undermined by the president. I was noodling over the whole balance question and decided to send an email telling him to shove it. I do not need this much aggravation in my spare time.

    Thanks, @Stacey!

  24. @James Fox: Some of us have natural talent. Sadly mine is not golf – although I do attempt it every Sunday morning- rain or shine. Far better to stress over a little white ball than something else. And perhaps there is the counter point– how many have sacrificed their handicap for work — now that, is the real question. Personal life– baah. Handicap – now we are being serious

  25. I generally say yes. And it has generally been good for me (raises/bonuses, more seniority, etc.) Having a can-do attitude gets you noticed – especially if you come through with the goods.

    However, I said no to moving to a big city. And I said no to getting a security clearance (I work in a tech field that’s the government is interested in). For the former, I like the smallish town I live in and am lucky to have the opportunity to hold the job I have here. Maybe I’d change my tune if that dried up. But I’d have to be pretty desperate to move into a big city.

    For the latter, things like security clearances leak into your private life in a serious way. For example, the government discourages you from maintaining long-term relationships with foreigners. And any time you take an international trip (for vacation, say) you have to go through security briefings. Yuck. Sorry, but I’ll stick with whatever limitations not having that forces on me.

  26. @TerrySimpson: Snow or frozen greens are the only things that will stop me from obtaining the necessary weekly treatment for my link’s disease. My grandfather introduced me to the little white pill 40 years ago. My work is often quite stressful and golf often provides a great counterbalance.

  27. I don’t struggle, mainly because work and life are not necessarily two separate things. My work (software development) is my primary creative outlet, and it’s usually quite fulfilling.

    And work starts when I enter the building and ends when I leave, unless I’ve got the support pager for that week, which is only once every couple months, and it hardly ever goes off.

  28. The big reason I left the tech industry was the 12-14 hour days, and occasional 6 or 7 day weeks.

    Granted, I do miss the money a bit, but with my current job, my boss appreciates my tech-y abilities, but also insists that I not work overtime. Sometimes it’s a little vexing, because I have some projects I’d rather do once everyone’s gone, because I think better while blaring industrial music, but it’s a trade off I can live with.

    The only arena in which I have problems with “yes” is in the work spouse relationship I seem to have unwittingly fallen into with one of the doctors I support.

  29. @TheCzech: And yet I keep being told that I have to build relationships at work. Why? I don’t have anything common with those people. We don’t have to be friends, we just have to work together. If we do end up being friends, great. But I’m not at work to socialize. Although that may have more to do with my antisocial tendencies than a strong work ethic. :)

  30. Do I struggle with work-life balance?

    Right now I’m struggling to get enough work, but that’s the way it goes, being a musician in this f*ing economy. Sometimes it’s the other way around and you end up buying more underwear because you don’t have time to do your laundry. I always say yes to pretty much everything – assuming it’s something I *can* do – because you never know how long it’s going to last, and you have to save up for the dry spells.

    No security, no vacation pay, no insurance (though here in Canada that’s not so bad). I’d still rather do this than spend 8-10 hrs/day in a cube farm, though.

  31. My family is fortunate enough to be able to scrape by without my salary so that I can stay home with our young children (entirely my preference). However, living with three generations under one roof tends to generate a mountain of work that I struggle to stay on top of on a daily basis. It sounds pathetic but it really can come down to mop the floor or read storybooks with the baby. Needless to say the floor mopping sometimes occurs at midnight.

    I guess it’s no different to working in a more traditional setting where said floor-mopping occurs after your 1-hour commute and a 10 hour day at the office.

  32. I work in QA at a software company and am stategic about when I say yes to extra time. In general I say no on the principal that I am a salaried worker and my salary is based on 40hrs a week 49 weeks a year. That said I think I will try to get some project out with a bit of extra time if it will make us look good to the clients we have. I will think about whether it can be done at high quality and say no if I think it won’t, but I feel I have to try to be flexible.
    We have a voluntary on call systen that could increase my salary 10% if I participate but I don’t. Not that the extra money would not be great but that is just too intrusive on my home life.
    I am a stickler for planning my time off. I play disc-golf competetively so from March – October I am not available most weekends. I put in for the time well in advance and expect that the time is granted. Granted? Has anyone ever had a boss say no to vacation time? I could not imagine that, and would probably quit. (At least I say that now.)

    I think I keep the balance towards home and family, it is more important to me. Work comes and goes and so does money but hopefully you always have family.

    –Eddie

  33. @SteveT:

    Thank you Steve!! As I said this weekend in my Skeptical Parenting presentation at Atlanta Skepticamp, I will not get into the “working mom vs. stay-at-home mom” debate until the working dad vs. stay-at-home dad debate is solved.

    My vagina does not make me better at child care! Hell, it didn’t even come in handy during the birth of the children.

  34. @TheCzech: Ugh, I could not handle that! That’s FOUR HOURS of your day, gone, poof! I didn’t mind riding the bus for anything under an hour. That’s reasonable and left time to nap or read or listen to podcasts. Anything more than an hour just cut into my personal time way, way too much and left me very unhappy.

  35. My life is a series of “yeses”. I work with people who have needs. When I say “no” its really because we can’t go any further. In fact, my whole job is to try and say “yes” when others say “no”. I like it that way. No it has not advanced me. Saying “yes” is not easy for everyone so I end up being the “yes” specialist. Then I take my medication.

  36. I have often said “no” to more responsibility in my professional life, and I won’t lie; it has certainly held me back from advancement. But like a few others have said, my job is not who I am. It’s just what I do to pay the bills so I can enjoy the rest of my life. Luckily, my chosen profession is (currently) in high demand, pays well, and I do usually enjoy it. So most of my choices have not been difficult ones.

    When looking for a job, I generally seek out employers who claim that life balance is important to them. Things to look for when interviewing: managers with lots of family pictures in their office. They ask what kind of things you like to do in your free time, and will converse about what they like to do themselves. Basically, they should be interested in what kind of person you are, not just how good you are at your job.

    My current employer is the best I’ve ever had. They do not put a hard limit on our vacation or sick leave. As long as a vacation request won’t heavily impact a project schedule, it will be granted. In addition, we get most of the major holidays off, and the office closes completely from Christmas eve through New Year’s. We also get out of the office for all-company activities a couple times a year. Our CEO is a huge geek, and loves sci-fi and action movies, so he takes us all out to see the big blockbusters when they release. He’s already planning for Star Trek in May.

  37. In the words of the chinese saying “no one who started work before dawn 365 days a year ever failed to become rich”.

    Scrolling through posts, most people are lucky enough to be in jobs they really enjoy (myself included) rather than mind-numbing factory work, so work-life balance shouldn’t be a problem should it? Especially if you’re doing something you love. Do you think Shakespere, or Bill Gates or Picasso or [anyone who ever achieved anything of merit] ever thought “perhaps I should be spending more time watching TV, scratching my balls and drinking beer?”. That’s all the “life” bit is, the downtime to recharge before starting work again. Unless you subscribe to the view that buying sh*t and/or looking at moving images and/or having to listen to/deal with/solve other people’s problems is the interesting part of exsistance and that problem solving/thinking/making things/investigating phenomena is just a means to pay for the sh*t buying etc

    I can’t understand people who make long commutes, why not move closer to work? Why waste part of your day on travel when you could be Sciencing or Programming or doing whatever it is you do. I know people claim schooling their children is a factor deciding where they live, but all the evidence shows home environment is far more important then what school they go to.

    Once you get above a certain pay level money’s just a way of keeping score, so if you don’t like your job once your basic needs are met (in the UK I’d estimate £20k is more than enough for a non-smoking, non-shopaholic to live on. I allow myself £100 a week and always have money left over AND I buy a danish, coffee & newspaper every day on the way to work), go do the things you want to do in your spare time. Libraries, radio, the internet and television (virtually) are all free.

    All that said, I do think though that when it’s 3am and you’ve fallen asleep at your desk for the third time that night, it’s time to consider getting a fold out camping bed for your office. Without sufficient fuel and repairs you aren’t going to be doing your best work and may even be having a negative effect. In which case not working is the best course of action. Unless your certain you’ve almost cracked whatever it is your working on

  38. An interesting question since it was the key to my moving to NC. Working 3 jobs to survive and still only getting to take a real vacation every few years was getting old. Now that I’m down here my personal decision is that I will work whatever hours my employer wants during the week. I always say no to work on weekends and holidays.

    It was hard for me to leave my hometown. I lived there for 30 years and I still miss it. However, I can now enjoy my time and get to see my family and friends more. I don’t think I could go back to always saying yes to overtime again.

  39. @russellsugden: That certainly sound like an accurate description of a personal life…if you have no interpersonal connections or activities that you value that is. (Work and TV are not in fact the only things to do with your time…)

    If my personal life was as you describe, I certainly would spend all my time at the office. In fact, now that you mention it, that was my personal life once upon a time, and that is pretty much what I did. Thanks the FSM that isn’t true anymore.

    As for the long commutes, some people like them. I guess if you have no peace at work and no peace at home then sitting in traffic must seem like a vacation.

  40. Right now I am a SAHM and my husband is a Physical Therapist. He has 3 jobs right now– it’s not like I don’t see him ever. He leaves 7:30am and he’ll be back by 5:30pm. So he leaves one job and goes to another for really good money. Then he works on Sunday… we joke that it’s best for him to work 6 days a week so we don’t get on each other’s nerves!
    I do the bills, organizing, lists, shopping, planning, ect and he works and helps out on the weekends. We are pretty content and VERY fortunate he has such a stable job. Ten years ago he had a very difficult time finding a job.
    If I wanted to go back to school I would be a Cota (Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant), PTA (Physical Therapist Assistant). They are making at least $60,000 for a 2 year degree– very lucrative positions! So the PT’s are making around $85,000 + and extra jobs you can make $50 an hour!!!

  41. That article was sickening, I think I’ll save my sympathy for folks who are really doing it tough than those status obsessed, shallow harpies. If you don’t have the guts to stand up to your bullying employer, more fool you, believe me they will chuck you on the scrapheap if it suits them without a second thought. Oh and by the way, sorry to burst the bubble but all people have to make these decisions, not just women.

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