Thursday, 14 July 2011

Is there a place for baby talk in the office?

I surprised myself yesterday. Working in an office, I overheard someone talking loudly about their baby. About his sleeping patterns or, actually, the lack thereof. 

She was going on about how her little treasure would often wake up and what cute things he would do in the middle of the night.

Perhaps the person she was directing this at was interested, but I found myself thinking through gritted teeth: "Just shut up. No one wants a baby bore. Either we've been there and got the sick stained t-shirt or we don't know what language you're talking, but in both cases WE DON'T CARE."

Then I had a word with myself. How un-supportive and non-sisterhoodly were those thoughts? Should I have made a point of sympathising.

I generally don't talk about sleepless nights, sick, cute things and stretch marks when I'm at work because I really don't think anyone not related to my children gives a flying farthing about the minutia of their little lives. 

So my question is: Am I an ill-tempered baby chat refusenik or should tot talk be banned from the office?

10 comments:

  1. But our children are the biggest and pretty much the most important things in our lives to it's inevitable that it will come up in social conversation. I think you just have to gauge it correctly. Too much children chatter and you will become a baby bore but don't talk about them at all people will wonder if your kids really exist!

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  2. I think that's right, PhotoPuddle, but how can your kids be brighter and cuter than mine!

    You do have to have a feel for your audience because a lot of people just don't want to know the detail.

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  3. Be it baby-talk, relationship-talk, what we had for dinner last night talk - whatever; you're either the type who does it, or the type who chooses conversation topics that are two-way (that's my opinion).
    I kept everything about my life outside work to myself, people thought I was aloof, but really, I just liked the separation...

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  4. Hmm, there's sharing and there's *sharing*. I think the odd baby snippet is okay but there was one girl in our office who did everything but whip out a Dulux colour chart when describing her child's output at both ends. But the whole Too Much Information In The Office thing isn't just about kids. Just as irritating are those who inist on talking (nay, shouting) about their periods, sex life, whatever, in a manner that goes way beyond any need-to-know basis. Or maybe I'm a grumpy cow too who thinks people should just get on with their job?

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  5. Luce, I don't think that's a bad way to be. I do like to find out about other people's lives though because I already know all about my own.

    Mama, no you're right. Maybe there needs to be some sort of rating system to find out if someone is going to care about what you're going to say.

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  6. I am definitely in agreement with Lucewoman - I also don't share anything of my private life at work, unless someone asks a direct question. That's why I blog, so that people who are interested can read it, and those who aren't don't have to be subjected to it. There really is nothing worse than someone who just bangs on about themselves and their life with no interest in whether the other party really cares or not

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  8. WHen I returned from maternity leave I was completely of the assumption that no one wanted to know the mundane details of my mummy life, no matter now novel and exciting they are to me. Having said that because of the dramatic nature of my birth (I went into premmie labour AT work) I think everytime anyone saw me they felt they had to enquire after my daughters health. I'd have the same conversation 5 or 6 times a day.

    So soon I was the one thinking "stop making me talk about my child all the time!!!!" Hehe :)x

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  9. Beadzoid, that is one dramatic way of making sure your work life meets your mummy life!

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  10. Its all about balance isn't it - a quick chat and polite question is one thing, lots of detail and carrying on whilst someone's eyes glaze over is another

    I try and not talk about my family too much - I could talk for hours but have to keep it to far less. That said I do have a photo on my desk and some artwork taped to the wall - and yes I worried that that was too much

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