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The Single Dad and The Fake Kid

Why it's a bad idea to lie to your company

· work life balance,Lying,NYC Tech

Dear People Ops:

I work in tech in NYC so things are generally pretty relaxed in regards to hours and PTO. However I think I could have it even better. I see people showing up late or working from home all the time using their kids as an excuse. The same people like once every other week or so. If I lied and said I had a kid, could I get away with the same thing? Are there protections for employees regarding the company actually being able to probe into my life and find out whether or not I actually have a kid? I feel like I could get away with a lot if people thought I was a single dad.

I almost did a spit take when this came across my desk. I'd like to title my reply 5 Reasons This Is An INCREDIBLY Stupid Idea and dedicate it to my mom, who taught me right from wrong at a young age.

1. Lying to your company is (almost) always a bad idea. Especially around something as easy to get caught in as having kids.

2. New York City is an at-will state. Your company can fire you for any reason they like - don't like your shirt? Fine, fired. Just as long as they are consistent so discrimination can't be alleged. So everyone who wore that shirt gets fired, not just the asian woman. It is not unreasonable, and very probable, that when your company finds out you lied (and they will find out) they will fire you for lying. And they will have no problem justifying your firing because I bet $1,000 they'd fire anyone who tries to bold face deceive them.

3. Is this really worth your credibility? The New York Tech community isn't as big as you think it is (trust me, I use to work in it). Do you really want to be the guy who got caught lying about having kids to leave work early? Like.....really, dude?

What Is A Home Without Children?


- Henny Youngman

4. It may not feel fair to you, but try to empathize with the parents in your workplace. Especially with the breakneck pace tech runs at, having a family is hard. Your coworker leaving early to take their kids to the doctor isn't "living it up". You get to go home at the end of the day and unwind, sleep in on the weekends, not have to worry about feeding the mouths of several dependents every night. Maybe cut the parents some slack?


5. It sounds like, if you really feel strongly, you could talk to HR about the workplace culture that you perceives "rewards" parents with more flex time. But your tone in your post - that you're "owed" this benefit probably won't go over well. I'd frame it differently, or just drop it entirely.

Final thought: The fact that you're trying to connive ways to get out of work makes me feel you're probably in the wrong job. Maybe use your time and energy looking for a job you'll enjoy, rather than devising ways to lie to your company?

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