Work it!

Internet bitterari are enjoying the revelation by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg that she leaves work at 5:30 to be with her children, and has done so for years. The slant of the reporting, on CNN for example, is how rotten for Sandberg that she felt she had to keep her slacker schedule a secret for so long. How terrible that we’ve come to this pass, where if you don’t stay long after hours every day and keep your Blackberry by your bedside all night, you’re not worth the salary you earn.

Good point. But alas, the headlines didn’t mention Sandberg’s children, so I got all excited for nothing. Here I was thinking the press was starting to cast a cold eye on the craziness of the always-on business culture, when it was really bestowing its blessing only upon career moms. The rest of us, it is to be presumed, should carry on working till our eyes pop out, remaining at our desks or at the beck and call of our smartphones at all hours of the day and night.

Well, fie upon you all. Kids or no kids, moms or no moms, everyone should get to sign off at the end of the day and enjoy the personal lives our progressive culture has earned for us – while we still can. After all, if disease doesn’t get us, terrorists will. If rising sea levels don’t get us, an asteroid will. Robert Herrick had it right when he exhorted us to gather our rosebuds while we may, for “this same flower that smiles to-day / To-morrow will be dying.”