Cville Amateur Improv & Karaoke!

July 22, 2009
I was realizing the other day I don’t have enough opportunities in my life to Goof Off.
I miss theater for that… I miss being part of an ensemble… I don’t have time or the will to try and crack into the local drama world… so this is what I came up with!
Do you love to act, perform, sing, do improv, play theater games – but you just aren’t ready -for-primetime material? You don’t have to be good to join us, you just have to want to have fun. Who knows? We might even form a real performance troupe…! … or not…!

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Workforce News: When it helps to be underpaid, underemployed

July 22, 2009

Apparently, men are losing their jobs more than women are during this “economic downturn.”

Not surprising, really – because most of the jobs lost have been in the construction and manufacturing sectors, which are mostly populated by men.

The USA Today article notes that

Women are more likely to work part time than men, perhaps making them less vulnerable. Approximately 25% of women work part time vs. 12% of men, Mission Residential chief economist Richard Moody says.”When employers are actively cutting hours for the workers they do keep, it could be that those already working part time have a bit more security … as they are not likely to be receiving benefits and in general, are likely to cost employers less than full-time workers,” he says.

It’s great to know there’s an upside to being the underdogs in the workforce, isn’t it?

Now, the NPR story did wonder if, as women become the primary breadwinners of US households, if employers will start offering more childcare/eldercare benefits – and if the equal pay cause will get a boost.

I doubt it. Not to be bitter, but it doesn’t look promising. If the reason women are more employed now is because they make up the majority of teachers, nurses, health aides, secretaries, housecleaners, daycare providers, etc., it’s not exactly like they’re in some power position to broker additional perks.

And those of us who are not in a two-parent household, while we may have that part-time job, well, while that’s better than not being employed at all (maybe?), not having benefits or the wages of a full-time job may push us or keep us hovering around the poverty line – and stressed out.

And, isn’t it funny?

– That women are still the primary caregivers for children and the elderly – when are men going to fully engage in this? Until they do, I don’t see employers adapting policies to help with either –

– We still have such gender-segmented workforce populations? Will that ever shift? Will the guys down in IT ever get more than one geeky girl? Will the construction crew ever feature a host of buff women? Our stereotypes are so intimately tied to the jobs we do – still…

Identity Crisis: To Be or Not To Be (a mom)

July 21, 2009

As you may know, I abandoned this blog (sorry again, oh faithful fans!) when I decided to stay at home with my kids for a little while. While I definitely didn’t stop “working,” in the true sense of the word, I certainly wasn’t in the Workforce – so I felt that blogging in this particular arena clashed with the reality of my life.

Well, I’m back working again, but now a new crisis about identity – my online, virtual identity, that is – has emerged about blogging here.

Am I completely comfortable with this label? “Cville” “Working” “Mom”? Is that the sum total of everything I want to write about?

Certainly not; if we look back at my posts analyzing the gender tensions in Mary Poppins, or review some of my personal stories – I have never restrained myself within the confines of pure ‘working mom’ topics for very long…

So, what’s different now, you ask? Well – it’s a feeling, I’ll say, of being burdened by a definition. And: There’s a ton of “mommy blogs” out there now, especially working mom blogs. I’m not sure I really feel up to being part of the fray.

So, if the title conflicts with the content, you might say, Just start a new blog.

Problem is – this one has a history, a readership. And if the name has felt overly constrictive at times – well, that same constriction has also provided shape and purpose.

What do you think? Should I get back on the Cville Working Moms wagon and drive her wherever she goes – or start fresh, with something more open-ended?

The Image of a Working Mother

July 3, 2009

This might be too self-gratifying for you, but as I face the imminent end of nursing my youngest child, I have to give props to myself and anyone else who has found themselves doing the Ultimate MultiTask:

– Working on her computer with right hand

– While in heels and skirt, eyeing her dress shirt, waiting next to the hot iron

– Taking a business call on her cell phone with her neck

– Nursing her insistent baby with her left hand

This was me the other morning, and somehow, what I’m describing was not a picture of chaos.

I’m edging myself back into the workforce after taking not quite a year off to be with my two young kids – daunting, in some respects, except that truly, nothing can be as hard as keeping your cool in instances like the above.

Too bad it’s not kosher fodder for a resume…