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Trade and trade-offs

When you have children, you play a round of Russian Roulette every morning. BAM! Someone is sick and you have to take the day off work. Clearly, the more children you have, the worse your chances of working a full week at any given time.

This week the gun went off on Tuesday morning – projectile vomiting on the part of the toddler. With stomach bugs you get a bonus as the nursery rules mandate two days off following any vomiting, projectile or otherwise…

Whenever this happens I fantasise about a new nursery concept: all the parents sign up to an illness policy whereby you’re allowed to take your children in with weird rashes, mild fevers or a bit of diarrhoea if they’re otherwise happy. You’d be trading increased risk of catching something for less risk of having to take days off work.

I think this could be a hit. Also, in terms of actual outcomes, I feel it wouldn’t be a big difference to the status quo – firstly, a lot of bugs are infectious before any symptoms appear anyway, and secondly, parents probably bend the rules a bit as it is, if they’ve already had to take half of the month off to deal with minor illnesses. ‘Is that conjunctivitis or did he just rub his eye a lot? I reckon he’s all right…’

In the City

I was allowed out of the vomitorium yesterday and if an evening networking event wasn’t special enough in my current life stage, it was extra nice for having had to mop unspeakable things off the floor the day before.

The event was organised by The Imperial Women’s Network, and the committee member MC’ing said they had wanted to solve the issue where you talk to nice but random people all night (my words), and don’t tend to come away with anything much. They had put a structure in place to address this, and I thought it worked very well:

  1. 30 minutes of getting drinks and informal chatting
  2. 45 minutes in industry / interest groups – I was in Finance and it was indeed much more relevant to my interests than is common at these things.
  3. 30 minutes’ break with encouragement to peruse the attendee list and approach people who work at companies or fields of interest.
  4. 45 minutes in thematic groups discussing pre-submitted ‘burning questions’. I went for Work / Life Balance – all sorted now…

Despite the busyness at work I’m enjoying the current projects. There is one in particular with a client whose business is helping companies and investors find each other – that gets pretty close to why I wanted to work in finance in the first place. Companies raising money so they can make more money, so they can employ more people, so more people can improve their quality of life.

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