Do you routinely go above and beyond the expectations of your job, improve your workplace culture, and groom employees, for no additional recognition or pay? Congrats — and sorry — you’re an office mom. Identified in the Wall Street Journal today, the office mom is the employee — “almost always a woman and often slightly older than other colleagues” — who “remembers everyone’s birthday and brings in cupcakes,” has “Advil and tissues in her desk drawer,” and “knows your significant other is wrong for you.” And no, you can't put that on your résumé.
Boyfriend advice aside, the value of office moms is up for debate. I know people who are tormented annually by their office birthday party planner, and it is my personal experience that productivity is negatively impacted by cupcakes. But Lori Richmond, the creative director of TheKnot.com parent company XO Group Inc., told the Journal that “nurturing valuable employees is critical,” and she has a point. In a company that values work-life balance and morale, isn't office mothering just a feminized version of mentoring? (What is parenting if not managing human resources?) The Journal doesn't even consider whether some companies might be exploiting the extra work office moms do — especially in small or start-up companies — writing it off as an expression of their innate maternal instinct that brings them personal joy.
Cincinnati start-up Chore Monster was casting about for an “office mom” on Twitter, by which the company meant someone to manage “a recent move to a new office space, focus on staff morale and keep the organization running on schedule.” It’s what one might call a logistics project manager, if not for the Mary Poppins personality requirement (and if one wanted to attract male candidates).
Maybe Chore Monster should consider poaching Pamela Mendoza, the office mom at Udemy. According to the Journal, she helps new employees find apartments, advises co-workers in work-life balance, teaches young employees about their health care and taxes, and encourages the staff to break bread at lunchtime just like they do at Google. She’s a one-woman HR department and employee mentoring program for the cost of an executive assistant/office manager. It sounds like the kind of job only a mother could love.
Most Viewed Stories
‘Weed Dick’ Is the New Way for Men to Sexually Disappoint You
Portraits of Privilege: A Teen Demands Mac ’n’ Cheese
How to Get Out of Any Party Conversation
The Big Secret of Every Dating App: Tech Doesn’t Matter
Amber Rose, Populist Slut Hero of Our Time
7 Alternatives to Those Sold-Out L.L. Bean Boots
Staving Off Cynicism at Comme des Garçons, McQueen, and Céline
Adriana Lima on Boxing, Brazilian Beauty Secrets
Why Do I Jerk Awake Right As I’m Falling Asleep?
From Our Partners
15 Signs You're With A Good Man
The Day I Told The Ugly Truth About My Marriage
This 30-Day Squat Challenge Will Transform Your Body
J.Crew Is Shifting Away From a High Fashion Image, Focusing Instead on Its Heritage
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Love and War FeaturesInstagram Would Totally Free the Nipple If They Could
Blame Apple!Maybe Refrain from Tweeting 'Kill All White Men'
We know it's hard.The Unexpected Personal Connection Behind the DOMA Decision
In an excerpt from her new memoir, lawyer Roberta Kaplan describes how she first crossed paths with Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer.Lame U.S. Constitution Doesn’t Even Protect Sex Parties
What's the First Amendment even for, anyway?Even in Death, Grandma Will Not Stop Burning Alex Rodriguez
Never stop sassing.Chrissie Hynde Doesn’t Care If You Buy Her Book or Her Version of Rape
She's a rock star, not a spokesperson.Rihanna Will Never Settle
When it comes to men, she says, "I will wait forever if I have to ... but that’s O.K."Portraits of Privilege: A Teen Demands Mac ’n’ Cheese
It does not end well.Amber Rose, Populist Slut Hero of Our Time
She walked, she twerked — and she was pretty inspiring.This IUD Ad Is Actually About Staten Island
Even your birth control doesn’t want to take the ferry.
Think again.‘Weed Dick’ Is the New Way for Men to Sexually Disappoint You
It's like whiskey dick, but with weed.How to Get Out of Any Party Conversation
A helpful guide.Would You Date a Guy on a Hoverboard? A Survey
An important poll for our time.Americans Just Want to Eat in Peace — So They Hide It
We're a nation who hides our snacks.All the Ceilings Women Keep Hitting Their Heads On
There's a Rob-shaped hole on the new Cosmo cover.Queen Ronda Rousey Is the First Woman to Cover Aussie Men’s Fitness
She's flexin' down under.Astrology GIFs for the Week of October 5, 2015
This week's horoscopes.The Big Secret of Every Dating App: Tech Doesn’t Matter
Just like at bars, it's the crowd that counts.