I simply don't get the thinking and attitude of some people nor their conviction that they are entitled to express an opinion on something that has nothing to do with them.
I have recently procured the services of a young 20 something year old personal assistant. She is a single mother of a five year old and wanted some part time work to not only bring income into her household but also to stimulate her mind. (image source: creativecommons.org)
I liked her attitude immediately I had met her. She told me about her adamant stance on not living off the state on benefits, wanting to be a good role model for her son and aspiring to brighter and better things for both of them.
Couple this with her appreciation that to achieve all this meant some small self sacrifices in the short term, hard work in any occupation, reliability and trustworthiness you can imagine the strong and favourable impression she made with me. I offered her a part-time position with me.
Realising that her son is still very young I made the offer on a basis that I think suits us both. My needs do not require a full time assistant yet but some help does lift stress from my shoulders and gives me greater capacity. Conversely I know there will be times when I have to be extra flexible if he needs her. He will always come first - but that is only as it should be. Provided the work still gets done somewhere along the line I have no problem with this being the de facto.
What I have been more shocked and disappointed with is the reaction she has received from some of her circles.
Rather than applauding her tenacity and determination or offering encouragement and support some have done their best to undermine her.
"Why work when you are entitled to benefits"
"You should stay at home to be there for your son"
"Why put yourself through all the bother"
I find these types of attitude perplexing and a little alarming. Even without my personal reactions to the comments what gives anyone the right to scorn another human beings endeavours?
My grandmother always told me "if you can't find something good to say about somebody then keep your mouth shut and your opinions to yourself". Quite.
I am pleased to say (and not just for my own reasons) she has ignored the comments levelled at her and has taken up my offer. It is working out well and as she learns more and gains experience she will certainly have my support. The one thing I can promise her is that the job will never be boring!