Juggling Work and Family With so many working parents, long hours, and ever-increasing demands of the 24/7 global economy blurring the line between work and home, people all over America are struggling with the conflicting demands of job and home. The tension has spilled over from the home front, forcing its way onto the national agenda. “Juggling Work and Family” a special two-hour broadcast by Hedrick Smith and his production team explores these issues. The program shows personal stories of the growing stress between work and family and reports on progressive efforts by companies, unions and individuals to alleviate the pressure for working couples and single parents.
Executive Producer/Correspondent: Hedrick Smith
Producers: Paulette Moore, Pauline Steinhorn
Coordinating Producer/Production Manager: Sandra L. Udy
Editors: Cliff Hackel, Carol Slatkin
Field Producers: Gary Guggolz, Jeanette Woods
Associate Producers/Senior Researchers: Jenny Smith, Erin Essenmacher
Executive Producer/Correspondent: Hedrick Smith
Producers: Paulette Moore, Pauline Steinhorn
Coordinating Producer/Production Manager: Sandra L. Udy
Editors: Cliff Hackel, Carol Slatkin
Field Producers: Gary Guggolz, Jeanette Woods
Associate Producers/Senior Researchers: Jenny Smith, Erin Essenmacher
Running time: 2 hours
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PO Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053
Or fax it to: 609-671-0266
LIFE IS CHANGING AND WE ALL FEEL THE PRESSURE.
IN THE OLD DAYS, MEN WERE THE BREADWINNERS. WOMEN WERE THE HOMEMAKERS.
TWO JOBS, TWO PEOPLE, THEY MANAGED.
FAST FORWARD. MILLIONS OF WOMEN JOIN THE WORK FORCE.
OVERLOAD. THE FAMILY CAN’T KEEP UP. E-MAIL, THE CELL PHONE. WE’RE OUT OF CONTROL.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
JUGGLING WORK AND FAMILY WITH HEDRICK SMITH.
V/O: FUNDING PROVIDED BY THE ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION TO IMPROVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE NEEDS OF WORKING FAMILIES AND OF THE U.S. STANDARD OF LIVING. THE FOUNDATION ALSO SUPPORTS PROGRAMS IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.
HELLO, I’M HEDRICK SMITH.
WE ALL LIKE THE BENEFITS OF THE NEW ECONOMY, BUT IT’S TAKING A TOLL. MAKING A LIVING HAS GOTTEN OUT OF SYNC WITH MAKING A FAMILY AND HAVING A LIFE. THE HARDER WE WORK, THE RICHER WE GET, BUT THE POORER WE FEEL IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES.
THE 60 MILLION WORKING PARENTS WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 FEEL ESPECIALLY SQUEEZED BY WORK. FAMILY TIME FOR THE AVERAGE WORKING COUPLE HAS SHRUNK BY 22 HOURS A WEEK SINCE 1970.
SO EVERY DAY PEOPLE HAVE TO MAKE AGONIZING CHOICES – BETWEEN GETTING AHEAD AND GETTING TO SHARE THE JOY OF RAISING THEIR CHILDREN… BETWEEN BEING ON THE TEAM AND BEING THERE TO CARE FOR THEIR AGING PARENTS.
BUT IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT? THE ANSWER IS YES.
YOU’RE ABOUT TO SEE PROGRESSIVE COMPANIES AND UNIONS TAKING INNOVATIVE STEPS…DEALING WITH PIECES OF THE PROBLEM. BUT EXPERTS SAY IT WILL TAKE FAR LARGER SOCIAL ACTION, EVEN RETHINKING HOW WE ORGANIZE WORK…TO PROPERLY PROTECT THE AMERICAN FAMILY.
BUT FIRST, HOW ARE THINGS GOING AT THE GRASS ROOTS?
Exterior – Charlotte Gattenby’s house
Title: HOME ALONE
Charlotte Gattenby on computer at work
NARR: FOR MANY PARENTS…ESPECIALLY SINGLE MOTHERS LIKE CHARLOTTE GATTENBY, A MANAGER FOR HEWLETT-PACKARD IN CALIFORNIA, THE MOST STRESSFUL TIME OF DAY IS THE LONG HOURS FROM 3 TO 6 EACH AFTERNOON.
Andrea Gattenby calls her mom, Charlotte Gattenby at work- Intercut Charlotte Gattenby’s phone call with Andrea Gattenby.
Charlotte Gattenby: “Hello?”
Andrea Gattenby: “Hi Mom.”
Charlotte Gattenby: “Hey sweetie, where you been?”
Andrea Gattenby: “The bus was late.”
NARR: LIKE ALMOST 7 MILLION KIDS UNDER 14, CHARLOTTE’S KIDS ARE LATCHKEY KIDS.
Charlotte Gattenby: “Oh, was it a little bit late?”
Hedrick Smith in the kitchen talking to Andrea Gattenby
HEDRICK SMITH: And do you have a deal when you get home you’re supposed to call?
ANDREA GATTENBY: Yeah.
HEDRICK SMITH: What do you say? What’s the deal?
ANDREA GATTENBY: I say I’m home and that I’m safe and we hang up.
Charlotte Gattenby at office, hangs up phone
Charlotte Gattenby: “Bye-bye.”
NARR: TO EASE HER WORRIES AND TO SAFEGUARD HER CHILDREN WHILE THEY’RE HOME ALONE, CHARLOTTE INSISTS ON STRICT RULES.
Andrea Gattenby playing piano
CHARLOTTE GATTENBY: When I’m not home I don’t want them outside. I do not believe in the concept of “hanging” with your friends.
Tony Gattenby playing video game in his room
CHARLOTTE GATTENBY: Their friends cannot visit them. The house is for those two only.
Children preparing dinner
NARR: THE FAMILY LIVES IN SOUTH SAN JOSE, A WORKING CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE TONY AND ANDREA NEED TO BECOME INDEPENDENT AND SELF SUFFICIENT, LIKE THEIR MOM. …THE CHILDREN ARE NORMALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR DINNER THREE NIGHTS A WEEK.
CHARLOTTE GATTENBY: I know that they can take care of themselves. They’re very efficient children. They’re very responsible. But, I still worry. And I do feel guilty about them being alone. I think it’s probably just the natural reaction, as most parents would…I feel like I should be with my kids more.
Charlotte Gattenby’s car pulls into driveway.
NARR: BEING THERE FOR HER CHILDREN IS A CHALLENGE.
Children preparing food. Charlotte Gattenby gets out of car, walks in house – Intercut with children cooking
Charlotte Gattenby: “Hey guys”
Charlotte Gattenby comes in and kids run and hug her.
Charlotte Gattenby: “Hey, I love you”
In the kitchen Hedrick Smith talks to kids
HEDRICK SMITH: How do you tell when she’s had a hard day?
TONY GATTENBY: She’s usually hunched over and her hair looks like a mess.
HEDRICK SMITH: Her hair is wild?
TONY GATTENBY: It’s messed up.
HEDRICK SMITH: How do you tell?
ANDREA GATTENBY: Whenever she comes in through the door and drops her com- everything that she has in her hands on the floor.
HEDRICK SMITH: And then what?
ANDREA GATTENBY: And then, asks for a tall glass of water and goes to her room.
HEDRICK SMITH: Lies down?
ANDREA GATTENBY: Mmm hmm.
HEDRICK SMITH: Yeah?
CHARLOTTE GATTENBY: (Chuckling) And yeah, there are times I come in, I just park the bags and flop on the couch, become a couch potato and stay comatose for an hour.
Hedrick Smith talks to Andrea in the kitchen
HEDRICK SMITH: If you had one wish for your mom, if you could give her anything, what would it be?
ANDREA GATTENBY: I’d give her enough money that she wouldn’t have to work.
HEDRICK SMITH: So she could do what?
ANDREA GATTENBY: Play with me.
Dinnertime – sound up
Charlotte Gattenby: “Great job guys.”
NARR: QUITTING WORK TO PLAY MAY BE EVERY CHILD’S FANTASY… PERHAPS EVERY PARENT’S, AS WELL. TONIGHT, CHARLOTTE WAS HOPING TO HAVE AT LEAST ONE EVENING TO PLAY…INSTEAD, AFTER A FULL DAY AT THE OFFICE AS OFTEN HAPPENS…
Charlotte Gattenby on the phone at home, daughter Andrea Gattenby lying by her side.
Charlotte Gattenby: “And I’ve got a question, just a quick one, for me…”
NARR: HER NIGHT IS INTERRUPTED BY WORK.
Charlotte Gattenby: “When Joanie said she had six calls, did she push it back to the Response Center or did she attempt to do a warm transfer?”
NARR: AND THE PHONE CALLS KEEP COMING UNTIL 4 A.M.
Charlotte Gattenby: “Okay, thanks”
ELLEN GALINSKY: In every study we do, how we work turns out to be the most important thing that affects us, our health, our mood, our energy. What we’re like when we come home at the end of the day, how we relate to our kids, how we relate to our husbands, our wives, our partners, how we relate to our own parents, or our friends. So it’s, so how we work is just at the core of the issues that we face today.
Michael Lancaster puts on his clothes at work
Title: SINGLE DAD
Michael Lancaster at work
NARR: WALK INTO ANY HOSPITAL FOR SURGERY AND YOU DEPEND ON LOTS OF PEOPLE WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES…PEOPLE LIKE 46-YEAR-OLD MICHAEL LANCASTER. MICHAEL HAS AN ESSENTIAL JOB.
Michael Lancaster: “You need an immobilizer?”
Nurse: “Can you get me a large, shoulder immobilizer?”
Michael Lancaster: “Okay, so you got this sling, now you need an immobilizer?”
NARR: HE PROVIDES VITAL SUPPLIES TO 18 OPERATING ROOMS AT ST. VINCENT’S HOSPITAL.
MICHAEL LANCASTER: Make sure tubing and everything is in the right places where they should be. And basically running around, going to the pharmacy, going to the blood bank, constantly just going, going, going.
NARR: HE’S ON THE MOVE FROM THE MOMENT HE WALKS IN THE DOOR AND OFTEN WORKS 18-HOUR SHIFTS. BUT AS HE WORKS, MICHAEL’S MIND IS ON HIS OTHER ESSENTIAL JOB – HIS FAMILY. HE’S A SINGLE DAD TRYING TO SUPPORT THREE KIDS ON $37,000 A YEAR – IN NEW YORK CITY.
HEDRICK SMITH: So what’s this here?
MICHAEL LANCASTER: Oh, this is my…my good luck wallet. It has a picture of my kids, Tamara, Jeanine and Mylaka. I carry it everywhere. It’s always in front for everybody to see. So um….
HEDRICK SMITH: That’s your charm.
MICHAEL LANCASTER: That’s my charm, right. So. That’s why it’s always there. And that’s it.
Michael Lancaster at home with Mylaka
Michael Lancaster: “C’mon
MICHAEL LANCASTER: The greatest joy in my life is having my kids, that’s my life.
Michael Lancaster: “So what are we gonna eat this morning? What are we gonna have for breakfast?”
MICHAEL LANCASTER: The greatest frustration is um, maybe not providing as much as you would like to.
Michael Lancaster and Mylaka Lancaster brushing their teeth
Michael Lancaster: (brushing teeth) “Mmmm, Mmmm”
NARR: MICHAEL SHARES CUSTODY FOR TWO COLLEGE-AGE DAUGHTERS WITH HIS EX-WIFE.
Michael Lancaster: “Let me see you brush them teeth”
NARR: HE FEELS A SPECIAL BOND WITH FOUR-YEAR-OLD MYLAKA. WHEN SHE WAS BORN AT HOME, MICHAEL DID THE DELIVERY… AND HE’S BEEN RAISING HER ON HIS OWN EVER SINCE.
Michael Lancaster gets Mylaka Lancaster breakfast
Michael Lancaster: “We’re going to have today, Cheerios?”
Mylaka Lancaster: “Huh?”
Michael Lancaster: “Want Cheerios today?
Mylaka Lancaster: “Yeah”
Michael Lancaster: “Okay”
MICHAEL LANCASTER: It was really amazing, I’m telling you. It was really something to get into bringing up a baby by yourself as a….as a man, as a father.
Mylaka Lancaster: “Here we go”
Michael Lancaster: “Yeah, here we go”
MICHAEL LANCASTER: Getting up every two hours, feeding, changing the diapers. I’ve done the whole nine yards.
Michael Lancaster: “There you go. Go ahead. Eating all your cereal?”
NARR: FOR MICHAEL, JUGGLING TIME AND MONEY IS A NEVER-ENDING STRUGGLE…
Michael Lancaster: “You’re not finishing your cereal.”
Mylaka Lancaster: (inaudible)
Michael Lancaster: “You’re gonna be big and strong aren’t you? C’mere”
MICHAEL LANCASTER: It’s rough, you know, ‘cause you know, you have rent, you have your utilities, you have your other bills that you have to pay. And it’s very rough so I basically live check to check.
NARR: DAYCARE FOR MYLAKA ALONE COSTS ALMOST 8 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR… THAT’S NEARLY ONE THIRD OF MICHAEL’S TAKE HOME PAY.
Michael Lancaster: “Sit down over here”
Mylaka Lancaster: “No”
Michael Lancaster: “Sit down over here. Stop so I can finish your hair”
Michael Lancaster: “No, c’mon. Okay, Oh Boy!” (Mylaka giggling)
NARR: TO MAKE EXTRA MONEY, HE WORKS ALL THE OVERTIME HE CAN…AND HE GETS SOME PUBLIC ASSISTANCE… WHAT HE DREADS IS BEING FORCED INTO TAKING A SECOND JOB.
MICHAEL LANCASTER: If I took a second job, it would separate me and Mylaka, okay. It would definitely because the bond that we have now it’s really good. And being I’m her….her only parent basically, you know, it’s, it’s gonna be rough so I, I see myself that if I took a second job, that’s gonna be less time for us, okay.
Mylaka Lancaster: “We got it!”
Michael Lancaster: “Okay, We’re gonna go out.”
Mylaka Lancaster: “Okay, c’mon!”
Michael Lancaster: “Hey. Turn the bathroom light off.”
ROBERT REICH: We talk about work and family and the struggle to balance or to blend work and family as if everybody was in the same boat, and everybody’s not in the same boat. If you are a high paid professional on a fast track, uh, your problem is that your job doesn’t have boundaries, it’s unpredictable, you’re gonna be, uh, demanded at many hours…but you have the money to cope with that….But if you are a blue collar or pink collar worker… you’re going to be working overtime. You’re going to be making as much as you possibly can to make ends meet. You can’t sub-contract to high quality services, you can’t get great childcare, great daycare.”
Gloria Eroglu at work in the lab
Title: SPLIT SHIFTS
NARR: GLORIA EROGLU IS A HIGH-END LAB TECHNICIAN AT COLUMBIA PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL IN NEW YORK. SHE LOVES HER JOB ANALYZING PRENATAL BLOOD TESTS.
GLORIA EROGLU: It’s challenging. It’s something that you have to keep up with it. You have to con-, you know, constantly read and be updated with all the, the new information that comes out. I mean we’re talking DNA level, we’re talking science that every day there is a new thing with it.
NARR: THE SCIENCE IS EXCITING…. BUT HER FULL TIME JOB PLUS A 90-MINUTE COMMUTE TWICE A DAY PUTS GLORIA IN A TIME BIND – SHE NEVER HAS ENOUGH HOURS WITH HER FAMILY…ESPECIALLY SINCE SHE AND HER HUSBAND DECIDED TO WORK SPLIT SHIFTS.
GLORIA EROGLU: We chose for my husband to work overnight and for me to work during the day so that we can keep track of our children, basically twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
HEDRICK SMITH: What’s more stressful for you, the trip coming to work in the morning or going home at night?
GLORIA EROGLU: I feel the tension building more so on the way home.
Gloria Eroglu walking to subway in hospital, in snow, in station
GLORIA EROGLU: What I am thinking about is, did I take the meat out? Do I have enough potatoes? Are my kids okay, is my husband okay?
NARR: GLORIA IS ALWAYS IN A RUSH BECAUSE THE FAMILY HAS JUST ONE PRECIOUS HOUR TOGETHER AFTER SHE GETS HOME…AND BEFORE HER HUSBAND LEAVES FOR HIS JOB.
Gloria Eroglu on train, on platform to change train, calling from subway payphone
GLORIA EROGLU: Everything has to be orchestrated, everything has to be programmed and it has to be worked out really well. I know that if I miss a train, I’m gonna have to be catching the next train which is gonna be ten, fifteen minutes later. If I get off at 59th Street I will be able to take the B which will take me to the express and then if I take the express I’ll get home 10 minutes earlier. Sometimes when there are delays I get a payphone, and I call him and I tell him we’re having delays. I feel exhausted. I feel like I need to take a deep breath before I start the day and before I start my second job, which is home.
Gloria Eroglu meets the family at the car.
NARR: EVEN THE SHORT RIDE HOME FROM THE SUBWAY IS A TIME FOR CRAMMING IN FAMILY TOGETHERNESS. …
Eroglu family in car
Gloria Eroglu: “Did you have a test today, Ismail?”
Ismail Eroglu: “No, tomorrow.”
Gloria Eroglu: “Tomorrow”
Ismail Eroglu: “Math Test”
Gloria Eroglu: “You have a math test?”
Serafettin Eroglu: “There’s one homework that you didn’t do yet, right Ismail?”
Seref Eroglu: “I did all my homework”
Ismail Eroglu: “I did all my homework, but it, but”
Serafettin Eroglu: “We have check it?”
Gloria Eroglu: “Yeah, we have to go over it, right?”
Family makes dinner in kitchen, Seref Eroglu sets the table
NARR: SHEREF QUIT HIS JOB AS AN OFFICE MANAGER AND NOW DRIVES LIMOUSINES OVERNIGHT. … HE SACRIFICED MONEY AND CAREER SO THE TWO BOYS WILL FEEL THE STABILITY OF ALWAYS HAVING A PARENT AROUND.
SERAFETTIN EROGLU: Ever since they were little kids, they have been taken out of their beds early in the morning, rushed to daycare, rushed to babysitters and rushed to school so.
SEREF EROGLU: One day she – he’s picking me up and then the other day she’s picking me up. So I really don’t know who is going to come pick me up next.
Serafettin Eroglu: “I don’t know how much work there’s going to be out there today.”
Gloria Eroglu: “Oh, you think it’s going to be a little slow?”
NARR: WORKING DIFFERENT SHIFTS IS HARD ON GLORIA AND SHEREF. HE DRIVES THE LIMO UNTIL 7 or 8 A.M., GETS HOME, AND THEN SHE’S OFF TO HER LAB.
Ismail Eroglu: “Can I help?”
NARR: IT’S A CONSTANT PUSH. BUT THEY FEEL THE CHILDREN BENEFIT
Ismail Eroglu: “What should I do?”
Family eats dinner
GLORIA EROGLU: We sit down, we have dinner, he goes upstairs, takes a shower and goes out to work.
Kids hug Serafettin Eroglu goodbye
Gloria Eroglu: “Ready to go?”
Serafettin Eroglu: “Yup”
Gloria Eroglu: “Okay, Seref, daddy’s leaving”
Seref Eroglu: “Daddy’s leaving!”
Ismail Eroglu: “I going, wherever you go, I go”
Serafettin Eroglu: “No, you stay home, go to sleep”
Seref Eroglu: “Mommy, is daddy leaving now?”
Gloria Eroglu: “Yeah”
GLORIA EROGLU: We kiss goodbye, good luck, be careful. The kids love him, hug him. I don’t know, sometimes it feels like it’s the last day because we’re like, so apart um, and yet so close that we feel so much going when, when he’s leaving.
Gloria Eroglu: “Alright, good luck alright.”
Serafettin Eroglu: “Thanks, bye”
Gloria Eroglu: “Alright, give us a call later”
JOAN WILLIAMS: Many different people, men as well as women in this country are really caught between two very closely held ideals. One is the ideal worker, the way we define the responsible committed worker, and the other is the way we define the responsible committed um, parent or family member. And they don’t feel that they can put these things, two things together in their own lives. And so they really feel a clash, um, between these two ideals.”
HEDRICK SMITH: How did we get into this fix? Because it’s ob-, it’s obviously not happening just to a few people, but it’s universal, or nearly universal.
JOAN WILLIAMS: That’s such an important point. This is not a matter of individual choice, individual priorities, this is a structural problem. Uh, if you think about the ideal worker defined as someone who works 50, 60 hours a week, that simply clashes with our sense of what children need, which is time with their parents. Uh, our sense of what someone needs if their mother is dying.
Old video of men from farms to factories
NARR: THE WORLD WASN’T ALWAYS SO CONFLICTED. ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A CLEAR DIVISION OF LABOR…THE STRUCTURE OF WORK IN AMERICA GOT SHAPED IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY WHEN MILLIONS OF MEN STREAMED OFF FARMS…INTO FACTORIES. …SO MEN BECAME THE BREADWINNERS, AVAILABLE TO WORK AS MANY HOURS AS THE JOB DEMANDED. …ALL BUT A TINY MINORITY OF WOMEN STAYED AT HOME, TAKING CARE OF THE CHILDREN AND THE HOUSEHOLD NEEDS. …THAT WAS THE PATTERN, WHICH BECAME OUR SYSTEM FOR ORGANIZING WORK
Postwar cars, houses, men at work, families at home
NARR: IN THE GOLDEN ERA OF POSTWAR PROSPERITY, THE SYSTEM HELD. …THE AMERICAN ECONOMY WAS BOOMING AND MEN COULD SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES BECAUSE OF RISING PRODUCTIVITY AND RISING INCOMES. BUT THERE WERE FORCES AT WORK QUIETLY RESHAPING THE ROLES OF WOMEN AND THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN FAMILY.
EILEEN APPELBAUM: One was the rising educational levels of women themselves so that their aspirations changed. The second was the experience of World War II in which many women held non-traditional jobs while the men were at work and that changed their views of what women could do.
Women marching, at work in factories, offices
NARR: BY THE 1960S, WOMEN WERE DEMANDING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO MEN. …STAYING HOME TO MAKE THINGS FOR THE FAMILY, NO LONGER MADE SENSE BECAUSE MASS PRODUCTION COULD TURN OUT CLOTHES, FOOD, AND APPLIANCES FAR MORE CHEAPLY….FINALLY, BY 1973, WORK FOR WOMEN HAD BECOME A NECESSITY. THE POST-WAR ECONOMIC BOOM CAME TO A SCREECHING HALT…AND INFLATION WAS EATING AWAY THE PURCHASING POWER OF MEN’S WAGES…SO THAT ONE PAYCHECK WAS NO LONGER ENOUGH. …AND MILLIONS OF HOUSEWIVES HAD TO GO TO WORK. …THEY TRIED TO DO IT ALL.
Enjoli commercial – “I can bring home the bacon – Enjoli – fry it up in the pan…”
EILEEN APPELBAUM: In the seventies, you had this increase in mothers working, many of them in part-time jobs. And in the eighties, what happened is that the hours that these mothers were working began to increase. And over the next two decades, the hours of work put in by married couple families with children increased by 600 hours a year.
AND THAT’S THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM…ALL THOSE HOURS AT WORK STEALING PRECIOUS TIME FROM THE FAMILY.
TODAY ROUGHLY TWO-THIRDS OF MARRIED COUPLES WITH CHILDREN UNDER EIGHTEEN BOTH WORK…AND SO DO SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF SINGLE PARENTS. SO IN MOST FAMILIES, THERE’S NO LONGER A FULLTIME WIFE TAKING CARE OF THE HOME.
THESE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS KEEP SHARPENING THE TENSIONS BETWEEN WORK AND FAMILY. TAKE THE LEGAL PROFESSION, FOR EXAMPLE. HALF OF TODAY’S LAW SCHOOL GRADUATES ARE WOMEN.
SO LET’S SEE WHAT BIG LAW FIRMS IN A CITY LIKE BOSTON DEMAND… AND HOW YOUNG ATTORNEYS RESPOND.
Claire Smith’s backyard – Claire Smith plays with kids
Claire Smith: “One, two three, ready or not, here I come! Where could Reid be? Ahhh! (laughter) I got you!”
NARR: FOR SEVERAL YEARS, CLAIRE SMITH EXCELLED AS A FAST-RISING YOUNG LAWER AT GOODWIN PROCTER, ONE OF BOSTON’S TOP LAW FIRMS. AS A LITIGATOR IN HIGH PROFILE CASES, CLAIRE WAS ON HER WAY TO “HAVING IT ALL.”
CLAIRE SMITH: I always thought during my whole pregnancy ‘well I can be great.’ I can be a great lawyer and I can be a great mom.
NARR: THAT CHANGED AFTER CLAIRE’S FIRST CHILD, MOLLIE WAS BORN.
Claire Smith plays in backyard with Mollie Smith and Reid Smith
Claire Smith: “Ready, go! Go!”
CLAIRE SMITH: I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for what it’s like until you….you have the child. And, after she was born I thought, well this is gonna be a little trickier than I thought. I don’t know if I can do five days a week. I might be more comfortable with four.
NARR: BUT A FOUR DAY WORK-WEEK STILL TURNED OUT TO BE LIKE FULL TIME.
CLAIRE SMITH: I would leave here a quarter of seven before my daughter was awake and get into the office around seven thirty and I was never out of there really before six thirty or seven. And then I….I would say nine out of ten Fridays did work from home.
Newspaper articles about Claire Smith’s cases
NARR: WHAT’S MORE, CLAIRE WAS NO LONGER A RISING STAR, GETTING PLUM ASSIGNMENTS THAT CAUSED A SPLASH IN THE MEDIA.
CLAIRE SMITH: I was given two assignments which really sort-of led to my decision to stay home full-time. One was a very time consuming assignment in terms of commute, being out of the office three days a week at a client, not a lot of face time in the firm. The other assignment was physically impossible to do in the time period it was supposed to be done.
HEDRICK SMITH: Did you feel it was a set-up? There’s no way I can do this?
CLAIRE SMITH: At the time it did, yes. I thought there’s no way I can succeed so yes, I think there was a part of me that thought, I fee— that, that felt as if I was being set up to fail. But it was the reaction that I received when I said, I’m leaving to stay home, that I think was what really surprised me, when it came time to leave.
HEDRICK SMITH: And what happened?
CLAIRE SMITH: I went in and said I’ve made a decision that has been very difficult for me but I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job as a lawyer or a good job as a mother and I’ve decided to stay home full-time with my daughter. And um, I was told that, you know, with the signals that I’d been giving, I guess, with coming back part-time and extending my maternity leave that at some point they sort of expected me to stay home full-time.
Claire Smith plays with children in sandbox
Claire Smith: “Here’s a shovel”
NARR: IN FRUSTRATION CLAIRE QUIT HER $100,000 A YEAR JOB. NOW SHE’S AT HOME FULL TIME WITH MOLLIE AND REID …AND SHE CAN AFFORD TO BE, BECAUSE HER HUSBAND IS ON THE PARTNERSHIP TRACK AT ANOTHER BIG BOSTON LAW FIRM.
Claire Smith in kitchen with kids
Claire Smith: “Time for lunch. You know what, Let me tell you something. It’s past your lunchtime and I bet you’re hungry without even knowing it.”
Mollie Smith: “I’m not hungry.”
NARR: SHE’S AN IDEAL MOM, NURTURING AND PATIENT
Mollie Smith: “I’m not hungry”
NARR: … ADEPT AT RIDING THROUGH HER CHILDREN’S MOODS.
Claire Smith: “You want peanut butter and jelly. And maybe a slice of apple?”
Mollie Smith: “Yeah” (laughs)
Claire Smith: “Okay, sounds good.”
Mollie Smith: “Yeah.”
Claire Smith: “Okay”
HEDRICK SMITH: So as you’re making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, is there a part of you that sorta aches and feels unfulfilled?
CLAIRE SMITH: Absolutely, absolutely. Especially because I had such an amazing experience in law school and I had such an amazing experience my first three years in the workforce. I was doing what I loved doing.
BBA Report, Street traffic, Goodwin Procter lobby
NARR: SUCH FEELINGS OF BEING SHUNTED ASIDE AND PASSED OVER ARE SO PERVASIVE THAT THE BOSTON BAR ASSOCIATION DID A STUDY.
Webcrawl: For more about lawyers
NARR…ITS TASK FORCE FOUND THAT ALMOST AS MANY WOMEN ENTER PRIVATE FIRMS AS MEN, BUT ALMOST HALF LEAVE WITHIN THREE YEARS AND PART TIME IS RARELY PRACTICAL. …TASK FORCE DIRECTOR NANCER BALLARD.
NANCER BALLARD: Almost every firm offers part-time work as a policy. So, theoretically, it’s available. The reason that you see such low numbers both for women and virtually nonexistent for men — other than health reasons — is because it is seen as having a stigma. Um, and it — and it, in fact, does have a stigma — that people see it as a bar to advancement, that you won’t be put on high-profile cases, or get exciting work.
NARR: IN LARGE PART, SAYS NANCER BALLARD, IT’S BECAUSE SUCCESS IN THE BIG FIRMS EQUALS HIGH “BILLABLE HOURS” – THE NUMBER OF HOURS A LAWYER DIRECTLY CHARGES CLIENTS.
NANCER BALLARD: The number of hours per week, per year on an ongoing, multiple-year basis that lawyers put in — particularly in large firms and medium-large firms is very intense. It can be 50, 60, 65 hours-plus.
HEDRICK SMITH: Are there actually charts that are passed around that show the number of billable hours that the different partners and different associates have?
NANCER BALLARD: Oh, yes.
HEDRICK SMITH: So everybody can see where you stand, what your batting average is for number of hours?
NANCER BALLARD: That’s a good analogy to it. It is like a batting average.
HEDRICK SMITH: So, it’s a very important yardstick that’s in everybody’s face every week, every month?
NANCER BALLARD: Right. And it’s one that can be reduced to something you can see in a flash, rather than intangible measures.
Law firm associates working in library
NARR: THAT DIRECTLY CLASHES WITH THE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE LAW – WOMEN AND MEN GRADUATING FROM LAW SCHOOLS IN EQUAL NUMBERS…AND STARTING FAMILIES EARLIER.
NANCER BALLARD: So you have two things which are kind of on a collision course….You have more women in the workplace…and a desire…that both parents are gonna be involved in, in child rearing and child care and, later, elder care…And at the same time you have expectations within the legal profession…that to advance in your career,…you’re gonna work more and more and more hours.
NARR: FOR A SMALL MINORITY LIKE MARGARET CROCKETT, PART TIME WORKS. CROCKETT CUT BACK TO A FOUR DAY WORK WEEK 11 YEARS AGO, AFTER HER FIRST CHILD WAS BORN.
Margaret Crockett answers phone in her office
Margaret Crockett: “Margaret Crockett”
MARGARET CROCKETT: My kids are better off with me having this career. And, as long as I’m able to be there in the morning getting everybody on the bus and be home two afternoons a week after school and weekends, I feel like it works.
Margaret Crockett: “Is he there right now?”
NARR: IT WORKS BECAUSE MARGARET’S FIELD IS BANKING REGULATION, WHICH MORE EASILY ACCOMMODATES PART TIME HOURS.
Regina Pisa walks into partner’s office
Regina Pisa: “Hey Richard”
NARR: REGINA PISA IS HEAD OF GOODWIN PROCTER. SHE SUPPORTS PART-TIME IN PRINCIPLE, BUT HER BOTTOM LINE IS SATISFYING THE CLIENT.
REGINA PISA: The issue is how to make part-time work, how to be responsive to clients, and how to do it in a way, um, that allows people flexibility, um, to come and go on a truncated schedule — on a shortened schedule.
MARGARET CROCKETT: When there is a really important client deadline, even a part-time lawyer has to be available.
Treadmills, traffic, people on street, on phone, computers, factory
NARR: THE ACCELERATED TEMPO OF BUSINESS TODAY HAS INTENSIFIED THE COMPETITIVE PRESSURE ON LAWYERS TO BE AVAILABLE AROUND THE CLOCK AND WORK MANY MORE HOURS THAN 20 YEARS AGO.
REGINA PISA: Industry today is at a whole different plateau than it’s ever been before. It’s moving very fast. Technology has sped up the rate at which we conduct business in this country. Fast turnaround, speedy response, speed to market – I think those are all things that industry faces. And so long as our clients have issues that need responses, we have to be ready to provide them with help.
NARR: IN THIS COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT, GOODWIN PROCTOR PRIZES HARD DRIVING YOUNG ATTORNEYS LIKE RAJEEV BALKRISHNA.
Rajeev Balakrishna in his office
RAJEEV BALAKRISHNA: I mean after all, we’re in a service industry. We’re, you know, if…if we don’t get the job done, then somebody’s gonna go next door and….and get it done from them.
Rajeev Balakrishna on the phone in his office
NARR: RAJEEV REGULARLY PUTS IN OVER 50 HOURS A WEEK … AND FOR THAT HE MAKES OVER $200,000 A YEAR.
RAJEEV BALAKRISHNA: You know, I think I bill out at over three hundred bucks an hour and nobody’s gonna pay that kind of money and want to hear an answer that, “I’ll get it done when I want to get it done.”
Boston skyline at night
Rajeev Balakrishna on the phone
Rajeev Balakrishna: “Hi Jay, it’s Rajeev calling”
NARR: AND SO RAJEEV BURNS THE MIDNIGHT OIL.
RAJEEV BALAKRISHNA: You could go several days with, without seeing your kid because the kid’ll be asleep before you get home and you’re leaving before he wakes up. It, and that’s hard, that’s very hard. And it’s very hard on the marriage, it’s very hard on the family, it’s hard on everybody involved.
Rajeev Balakrishna at firm lunch
NARR: IT MAY BE HARD, BUT ASPIRING YOUNG LAWYERS TAKE PRIDE IN BRAGGING ABOUT THEIR PERIODIC ALL-NIGHTERS FOR THE LAW FIRM.
RAJEEV BALAKRISHNA: You know, when things happen that are out of the ordinary, that are just, you know, just something that’s just wow, this is crazy, you really want to share it with other people
David Seibel at lunch table
David Seibel: “Congratulations, is this your first or second?”
RAJEEV BALAKRISHNA: People will say stuff like uh, it was a long night but, you know, at 4 in the morning, I was able to like, convince this guy, we won it, signed up the merger agreement at five thirty; we announced it to the market just before it opened. …Yeah, you know, there is, there is definitely a bit of that war story bravado mentality.
Rajeev Balakrishna exits train
NARR: RAJEEV CAN GO FULL BORE ON HIS CAREER
Rachna Balakrishna feeds Rohan Balakrishna in backyard,
Rachna Balakrishna: “Good boy”
NARR: BECAUSE HIS WIFE RACHNA MANAGES THE HOME AND FAMILY.
Rachna Balakrishna: “Yeees”
Rachna Balakrishna and Rohan Balakrishna play on swings at playground
NARR: SHE FITS THE BOSTON BAR ASSOCIATION’S PROFILE OF THE TYPICAL FEMALE ATTORNEY. BEFORE STARTING A FAMILY, SHE CONSIDERED TRYING PART-TIME AT HER LAW FIRM, NUTTER, McCLENNEN & FISH.
RACHNA BALAKRISHNA: There were other women working there part-time after they came back from maternity leave. But what I saw was that part-time was really uh, more like a full-time job.
Rachna Balakrishna at her desk
NARR: SO RACHNA SHIFTED HER LEGAL CAREER OVER TO MANULIFE FINANCIAL, WHERE PART TIME REALLY MEANS PART TIME.
RACHNA BALAKRISHNA: At most big law firms there is a sense that if you’re not working the full hours that you’re expected to, that you’re not fully committed to your job. Here people know that I’m committed to the job that I’m doing, in the position that I’m in now.
Rachna Balakrishna going on errands with her son
NARR: RACHNA WORKS THREE DAYS A WEEK, WHICH ALLOWS HER TO BE WITH HER SON, ROHAN, … SHOP, … AND RUN ERRANDS ON HER OFF DAYS.
Rachna Balakrishna at the cleaners
Rachna Balakrishna: “Just uh, dropping off today”
NARR: SHE’S FOUND HER WORK-LIFE BALANCE.
Rajeev Balakrishna and Rachna Balakrishna in kitchen with Rohan Balakrishna
NARR: BUT HER AMBITIOUS HUSBAND, LIKE OTHER GENERATION X LAWYERS NOW IN THEIR 30S, IS CHAFING AT THE EXCESSIVE DEMANDS OF THE JOB.
RAJEEV BALAKRISHNA: Work comes first, but you know, there are some things where the family has to come first.
Rajeev Balakrishna giving his son a bath
RAJEEV BALAKRISHNA: When you have a child at home, it gives you such a big incentive to get your work done and get home and to really ask yourself whether what you’re doing is necessary to get done that night. Or, whether you can just put it off until the morning.
Rachna Balakrishna feeding son, Margaret Crockett at her desk, Claire Smith playing with her children
REGINA PISA: This isn’t an issue that’s gonna go away, because of the number of women coming out of law schools, because of the competition for talent, because of the need for people who will stay here over entire careers, because of the attrition. Um, and I think law firms need to respond to it or else we’re not gonna be able to develop and retain the talent we’re gonna need, you know, that make the world go round.
HEDRICK SMITH: You’re a lawyer. We see this story of these lawyers struggling in Boston, but is this a broader pattern?
JOAN WILLIAMS: It’s a broader pattern. Women lawyers are the canary in the mine on one particularly important part of the work family issue. And that’s the issue of hours, excessive hours. But it’s not only women lawyers who are in that situation. We as a country work the highest levels of overtime in the industrialized world, more overtime even than Japan.
ANN CRITTENDEN: Well I think the problem is really the 24/7 economy which is driving people into the ground. As someone said it’s one thing to have a capitalist economy. It’s another thing to have a capitalist society. We want the first but not the second.
HEDRICK SMITH: Meaning?
ANN CRITTENDEN: Meaning we don’t want the demands of unrestrained capitalism to determine our private lives, we need a space. We need some protection from the insatiable demands of corporate pressure.
Bumper: Juggling Work and Family with Hedrick Smith
LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS WE OFTEN TURN TO CALIFORNIA AS A SEEDBED OF SOCIAL CHANGE AND EXPERIMENTATION.
IN THE INFORMATION AGE, SILICON VALLEY, SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO, HAS LONG BEEN SYNONYMOUS WITH INNOVATION.
AND WHILE THE PACE OF WORK IN THE HIGH TECH WORLD IS TYPICALLY FRENETIC AND RELENTLESSLY COMPETITIVE, THE CALIFORNIA COMPUTER NERDS HAVE LONG PRACTICED A LOOSER LIFE-STYLE THAN IN MORE TRADITIONAL INDUSTRIES. SO IT’S HARDLY SURPRISING THAT A CALIFORNIA COMPUTER GIANT LIKE HEWLETT-PACKARD WOULD PIONEER FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENTS… TO ALLOW ITS HIGH-PRICED TALENT MORE TIME WITH THE FAMILY.
Photo of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard
NARR: FOR BILL HEWLETT AND DAVE PACKARD, IT WAS ALWAYS IMPORTANT TO TREAT EMPLOYEES WITH RESPECT AND FLEXIBILITY.
Hedrick Smith and Lew Platt walking up steps into Hewlett-Packard Labs building
NARR: BUT IT TOOK THE PERSONAL EPIPHANY OF LEW PLATT, THE NEXT CEO, TO MAKE FAMILY FRIENDLY POLICIES …A HALLMARK OF THE COMPANY.
LEW PLATT: Well I had a….I had a very big wake-up call. Uh, I guess like everybody else I thought that these were women’s issues and, by and large, they were women’s issues because of the role that they were playing in society at the time.
Black and white still photos of Lew Platt at Hewlett-Packard
NARR: IN THE 1980s, HEWLETT-PACKARD WAS WHAT PLATT CALLED A “WHITE MALE HAVEN.” MEN FOCUSED ON THEIR CAREERS AND LEFT THE CHILD-REARING AND HOUSEKEEPING TO THEIR WIVES. …BUT FOR RISING STAR LEW PLATT, THAT WORLD WAS SUDDENLY TURNED UPSIDE DOWN.
LEW PLATT: In, uh, nineteen um, eighty-one, my wife died and uh, I ended up as a single parent of an eight-year-old and a ten-year-old. And suddenly uh, I found out firsthand that these were not women’s issues; these were issues of being a parent.
EMILY DUNCAN: And I think having that experience early on in HP as a young manager, gave Lew an experience that when he became the CEO and employees began to ask questions about work life, express their needs, he could relate to it in a very special way.
LEW PLATT: The event that certainly sticks in my mind was a call that I got from the uh, Los Altos Police, they were at the local hospital with my daughter who had just had a quite bad accident on her uh, bicycle. I was right in the middle of what I would have uh, previously considered uh, the most important meeting of my life, one that I could not leave. But I got up and left. Uh, you know, it just, frankly there just wasn’t any choice.
PHILIP MIRVIS: He’s faced with the direct child-care giving responsibility uh, that most CEOs don’t even read about, let alone experience. And then generalizes that to I can make a difference in an entire company. That’s a very strong power move by a CEO and it’s a very genuine caring move by a father.
NARR: LATER, AS CEO, PLATT DROVE HEWLETT-PACKARD TO BE MORE ACCOMODATING TO THE FAMILY NEEDS OF ITS EMPLOYEES, ESPECIALLY WORKING MOTHERS.
EMILY DUNCAN: We were losing women at a rate higher than we wanted to. And as we looked into that issue we came to understand that we would do a better job at keeping women if we had more flexibility.
LEW PLATT: You know there’s a war underway for talent and uh, you just simply can’t confine yourself to half of the population. And so we just decided we needed to be a whole lot more flexible in order to provide an environment where these women could meet their family responsibilities, also meet their work responsibilities.
HEDRICK SMITH: What’s your response to the reaction of managers who say, “Look, we gotta get product out, we got timetables, we got deadlines, we have to serve the bottom line, yes it’s a nice idea to be flexible, yes work-life is a nice idea, but basically that’s soft stuff, that’s touchy feely stuff.
LEW PLATT: Well my response was pretty strong. Uh, and generally speaking I said, “Well it’s not gonna be optional here in the company.”
EMILY DUNCAN: He was very passionate. Very passionate, very committed and very supportive. And he was willing to lead on the issue.
NARR: PLATT’S STRATEGY MOVED WOMEN INTO TOP POSITIONS…CARLY FIORINA … HIS HANDPICKED SUCCESSOR AS CEO …AND OTHER WOMEN ON THE COMPANY’S EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.
SUSAN BOWICK: I think it’s tribute to the fifteen years or so of hard work that a lot of women had done as well as the environment that the senior managers in the company had created. And it doesn’t just happen overnight; it doesn’t happen by accident.
EMILY DUNCAN: People’s choices change in their career life. What one might need when you have two small children at home may be very different than what you need when your children are gone or if you have aging parents…
Webcrawl: Escape the 9 to 5 grind
EMILY DUNCAN:… or if you decide you want to take a sabbatical and go back to school. So at different phases of your career life, your needs change. And as an organization we want to have the flexibility to address those.
Dip To Black
Morning exterior, then into the house with Shelly Smith & husband Neal & kids, getting ready in the morning
Shelly Smith: “Mmmm, good morning. Are you done, are you done or do you want some milk? Oh boy”!
Neal: “We’re gonna wait just a few minutes for Mom.”
Shelly Smith: “Okay, ready to go”.
NARR: MORNING IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.
Neal: “Okay, see you later”.
Shelly Smith: “Bye-bye!”
NARR: AND WITH TWO SMALL CHILDREN…EVERY MOMENT COUNTS
SHELLY SMITH: So that’s, I guess, when th- my stress level goes up.
Shelly Smith with kids going to daycare.
NARR: SHELLY SMITH IS IN THE FAST LANE.
SHELLY SMITH: You know, there’s just not enough time to do it all. You know, I have an 8:30 phone call that I’ve got to start making from my car and its now 8:25 and I’m still in the daycare center trying to drop my child off and he doesn’t want to be dropped off.
Shelly Smith: “Have a good day!”
SHELLY SMITH: And you’re thinking I’m not going to make it.
NARR: RIGHT FROM DAYCARE … TO THE OFFICE ON WHEELS.
Shelly Smith on phone in her car: “first skipped message … URGENT.”
NARR: SHELLY IS A HIGH POWERED MARKETING MANAGER, OVERSEEING HEWLETT-PACKARD’S RELATIONSHIPS WITH ITS BUSINESS PARTNERS.
Shelly Smith: “Hi Joe and Rob, this is Shelly Smith calling…”
SHELLY SMITH: Since I’ve been a child I’ve always viewed success as being equated to what you do, and not necessarily you know, who you are but what you’re doing.
NARR: IN THIS PRESSURE COOKER MARKET, SUCCESS CAN REQUIRE A 70 OR 80-HOUR WORK WEEK. …
Shelly Smith: “I’ll leave them a quick voicemail right now…”
Shelly Smith at home with kids
NARR: BUT SHELLY DOESN’T WANT TO WORK 70 OR 80 HOURS A WEEK …
Shelly Smith with Kelby on her lap.
Shelly Smith: “No, Yeah.”
NARR: FEARING SHE’LL MISS OUT ON THE PRECIOUS EARLY YEARS OF HER CHILDREN.
Shelly Smith with Weston at night, getting ready for bed
NARR: SO SEVEN YEARS AGO, EVEN BEFORE HER SONS WERE BORN, SHELLY PROPOSED SHARING HER JOB SO SHE COULD CUT BACK HER HOURS.
Exterior – Hewlett-Packard
NARR: …HEWLETT-PACKARD AGREED
Sound up of Suzanne Thomas leading a meeting with Shelly Smith and others.
Suzanne Thomas: “And what are the functions that happen in these areas?”
NARR: FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS, SUZANNE THOMAS HAS BEEN SHELLY’S JOB SHARE PARTNER.
Suzanne Thomas: “Are we looking at the market in as creative and imaginative and a unique way as we should be in order…”
NARR: SHELLY AND SUZANNE HAVE MOVED UP THE CORPORATE LADDER TOGETHER…WHILE EACH OF THEM HAS HAD ANOTHER CHILD… .SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
Hedrick Smith talks with Shelly Smith and Suzanne Thomas
SUZANNE THOMAS: In many aspects a job share is like a marriage. It is like being in a marriage.
SHELLY SMITH: You really have to trust the other person. Um, you have to feel comfortable that on the day that you’re not in the office that uh, the other, the partner is taking care of it.
SUZANNE THOMAS: We have very dynamic jobs and it changes day to day very much.
NARR: EACH WORKS THREE VERY LONG DAYS A WEEK, TEN TO 14 HOURS A DAY. ONE TAKES THE FIRST HALF OF THE WEEK, THE OTHER TAKES THE SECOND HALF. THEY OVERLAP ON WEDNESDAYS.
HEDRICK SMITH: So Monday morning, Shelly, you start a job, set the priorities and by the end of the week, events change, Suzanne’s come in, things are different. What were you saying, how does that leave you feeling?
SHELLY SMITH: That, that makes me feel fine because when I get in on Monday and she’s explained to me, “Here’s what happened, here’s what came up,” I’m in agreement with her on, “Yes, that’s exactly how I would have handled it.” I would have made sure that that was first priority.
NARR: TRUST IN EACH OTHER AND A STEADY STREAM OF PHONE CALLS AND E-MAILS, SOMETIMES ON WEEKENDS, ARE THE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL JOB SHARE.
SHELLY SMITH: It’s not two part-time jobs at all. It is one job that you share.
SUZANNE THOMAS: You share the job completely.
SHELLY SMITH: What’s really important, we feel is, if you’re managing people, you really have to have that consistency across so they can (Suzanne Thomas: Transparency) come to whoever they want to come to, to answer those questions.
NARR: REPORTING TO TWO BOSSES COULD BE A PROBLEM FOR THEIR SUBORDINATES. MARKUS BERBER WORRIED ABOUT THAT.
Markus Berber walks down the hall with Suzanne Thomas
MARKUS BERBER: I initially thought, you know what, I’m not sure this is going to work out from a business perspective. I’m not sure I want to assoc – want to be associated with that.
NARR: IN TIME, MARKUS CHANGED HIS MIND
MARKUS BERBER: I’ve learned more than, um reporting only to one manager because you have different perspectives. You have much more sound decisions therefore and that helps everybody.
Two shot of Hedrick Smith and Gina Cassinelli from above.
NARR: GINA CASSINELLI, SHELLY AND SUZANNE’S SUPERVISOR, SEES THEIR JOB SHARE AS SEAMLESS.
GINA CASSINELLI: I don’t at all, say “Okay Suzanne, you haven’t been here at the beginning of part of the week, let me tell you where Shelly and I are on this. Um, I assume that’s being done and you know what, it is being done. And so I don’t think about that at all.
Gina Cassinelli, Shelly Smith and Suzanne Thomas in a meeting
Gina Cassinelli: “And so why don’t you just take a look at, at that line…”
GINA CASSINELLI: So, frankly I pick up where I leave off with one and I continue on.
Shelly Smith: “Here I would say, VP and Director and level.”
Suzanne Thomas: “And then Marketing Alliance Manager.”
GINA CASSINELLI: I get more out of that position having two heads there, uh, than I would having a single person there. Uh, and so it’s, it’s, it’s, a win for them, it’s a win for me. I think it’s a win for the company.
NARR: NO QUESTION THE COMPANY WINS, EVEN PAYING HANDSOME SIX FIGURE SALARIES TO EACH WOMAN. BUT FOR THEM, THERE’S A CATCH. ALTHOUGH THE JOB SHARE GIVES THEM EACH TWO DAYS OFF, THEY STILL PUT IN LOTS OF OVERTIME.
HEDRICK SMITH: How many hours a week do you figure, totally, the two of you are putting in? Eighty, ninety?
SHELLY SMITH: I would say, on average, seventy to eighty (Suzanne Thomas: Mm, huh)
HEDRICK SMITH: And you’re doing well when you keep it to seventy or eighty?
SHELLY SMITH: That’s….that’s….that’s right.
SUZANNE THOMAS: Never goes lower (laughs). It can get to ninety hours a week. But everybody in Silicon Valley does that at times; that’s not unique to us.
Neal taking care of the kids. Weston gives Neal phone
Weston: “Hi, it’s for you.”
Neal: “Who is it?
Weston: “It’s mommy.”
Neal: “Ahh, okay”
NARR: ONE NIGHT A WEEK, SHELLY’S HUSBAND NEAL, WHO’S A MANAGER OF A COMMERCIAL PLANT NURSERY, TENDS THE KIDS… AND TWO NIGHTS, A BABYSITTER COMES IN. TONIGHT, NEAL IS ON HIS OWN WITH WESTON AND KELBY.
Neal and Weston reading a book
Neal: “And where is the fairy god-cow?”
Weston: “Over there, dad!”
NEAL: It is a great opportunity to spend the time with the kids but it’s also a, a stretch sometimes as well.
Neal reading with Weston
NARR: THIS IS WHAT SHELLY STILL MISSES… EVENINGS AT HOME.
Neal: “C’mon up here”
SHELLY SMITH: I would say, 70% of the time I do not see my kids on the three days that I work in the evenings. They’re usually in bed before I get home, or just going to bed.
Neal getting Kelby dressed for bed
Neal: “Both hands up”
SHELLY SMITH: Every once in a while I get a little bit frustrated where I’ll sit there and go, you know, gosh darn it, this isn’t that important. Why am I still here at work. Why don’t I just get home, get to the kids.
NEAL: I try and leave my work at work. And, in fact, I think with the kids uh, it, it really, it forces me to just break from work and, and come home with the kids. And by the time I’m ready for bed, all the, the worries and the stress of work are no longer in my mind.
NARR: NEAL CAN WALK AWAY FROM HIS JOB AT REGULAR HOURS.
Shelly Smith on phone in car
Shelly Smith: “Um, let me know if that’s okay with you”
NARR: BUT SHELLY HAS TROUBLE LETTING GO OF UNFINISHED BUSINESS. SHE FEELS THE TUG OF CAREER AND AMBITION.
Shelly: “Thanks a lot, bye”
SHELLY SMITH: It’s really my issue, I think. Because I could’ve just, you know, said “enough’s enough” and then, and then gotten out of work. And I didn’t, you know. I just kept, you know, “I’ll do that extra e-mail and I’ll do this extra whatever.”
HEDRICK SMITH: Why not step off the fast track and work say 20 hours a week for a while and then get back on the fast track?
SHELLY SMITH: I think if I stepped off the fast track um, and, and waited you know five years or six years it would be hard for me personally to get, probably get back into it.
Shelly Smith with kids on the beach.
Shelly Smith: “Okay, This way.”
NARR: SHELLY USES HER DAYS OFF TO CATCH UP ON SHOPPING AND HOUSEHOLD CHORES. BUT EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE, SHE GETS A MOMENT ON THE BEACH.
NEAL: I think it’s worked out very well for her. Uh, you know, she’s the kind of person I think that would go crazy if she was at home, uh with the kids. On the other hand, she loves the kids dearly, and so in that sense I think, it’s, it’s worked out as a very good balance for her.
Shelly offers Weston a bagel.
Shelly: “’kay which one do you want, the top or bottom?”
Weston: “Which one’s the biggest?”
NARR: WHAT GETS LOST FOR SHELLY AND NEAL IS TIME TOGETHER… JUST TO WATCH THE SUN GO DOWN.
SHELLY SMITH: And it’s usually right toward the end of the day that you sort of look out the window and go oh, yeah there is this you know, beautiful view here and, and we would definitely like to be able to spend more time to just watch it -but we’re expecting we’ll do that when our kids are little older. That’s what I keep saying. When they’re 18, honey, we’ll get to be able to do all this other stuff.
PHILIP MIRVIS: You’re hoisted on your own petard. You’ve created a life style that demands a lot of income. Uh, you like earning a big salary and you’d like also to have more balance and more time with your kids and so on and it’s both a, a juggling act in spirit that often requires you to make trade-offs. And executives are really torn to say am I willing to step back a little bit. Am I willing to, uh, scale back my own financial aspirations to be with my kids which I say I love or am I going to consistently try to do both and uh, do both less than perfectly.
Exterior – Collins’ house
Shaun Collins and Michael Collins
Shaun Collins: “That’s a jeep, you wanna play? You wanna play?”
NARR: AT HEWLETT-PACKARD, THANKS TO LEW PLATT, YOU CAN SCALE BACK AND STILL PURSUE AN ACTIVE CAREER. PROJECT MANAGER SHAUN COLLINS FOR EXAMPLE, HAS DECIDED TO STEP OFF THE FAST TRACK.
SHAUN COLLINS: Priority number one for me now — and for always — is my family.
Shaun Collins: “Here we are, train!”
NARR: SHAUN’S JOB DESIGNING COMPUTER APPLICATIONS NORMALLY COMMANDS ABOUT $75,000 A YEAR…BUT HE IS SACRIFICING HIGHER PAY AND CAREER ADVANCEMENT TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH HIS WIFE KARYN AND SON, MIKEY.
SHAUN COLLINS: Every day is almost an exponential learning experience for Mikey. He learns new words ‘n’ gestures ‘n’ what not.
SHAUN COLLINS: And I wanna be a part of that. I wanna be a part of my son’s growing up, and that’s what’s really important to me.
Shaun Collins reads to Michael Collins: “What’s the elephant say?”
NARR: SHAUN WORKS FROM HOME MORNINGS AND EVENINGS, AND SPENDS JUST A FEW HOURS EACH AFTERNOON IN THE OFFICE.
SHAUN COLLINS: I don’t feel ambitious like I wanna become some kinda high-level manager right now. That’s not important to me right now…what’s important to me is doing my job well and, and taking care of my family. These, these are the decisions I’ve made.
NARR: SHAUN’S PROJECT TEAM IS “VIRTUAL” – WHICH MEANS THAT THEY LIVE IN DIFFERENT CITIES AND THEIR CUSTOMERS ARE SPREAD ALL OVER THE GLOBE. SO THEY MEET ON THE INTERNET.
SHAUN COLLINS: I have to get up at six in the morning because there’s a nine o’clock meeting in Atlanta. Or, maybe I need to talk to somebody in Germany, so I have to be up late. Or, maybe there’s somebody in Singapore I need to talk to. The, the hours ‘n’ stuff are becoming more and more blurred.
Shaun Collins and Michael Collins eating in kitchen
NARR: SHAUN HAS HIS WORK AND FAMILY LIFE WELL INTEGRATED. SOMETIMES, WHEN HE GETS A BREAK, HE PLAYS WITH SON MIKEY….
Sound up Shaun Collins and Michael Collins
Shaun Collins: “You happy?”
NARR: ANOTHER ADVANTAGE OF BEING ON A VIRTUAL TEAM IS THAT NO ONE CAN SEE YOU WHEN YOU ARRIVE EARLY FOR A MEETING.
Shaun Collins playing guitar next to his computer
SHAUN COLLINS: This is certainly something you can’t do at work — is — (chuckling) — pick up your guitar, ’cause people give you funny looks, and they’re trying to work and it would be a distraction. But here, you put on the “mute” button. Nobody knows you’re playing guitar — unless they wanna hear your music. Then they’ll say, “Hey, you’re playin’ guitar?” “Yeah. You wanna hear some before everybody joins on?” “Yeah. Come on,” you know. We don’t have any sing-alongs or anything like that. We haven’t gotten that sophisticated. (chuckling)
Karyn Collins taking Michael Collins out of swing
Karyn Collins: “Ok, lets push it up higher, one, two three…”
NARR: BUT SHAUN’S WIFE, KARYN, HAS A HARDER TIME JUGGLING WORK AND FAMILY. SHE’S ALSO AN HP PROJECT MANAGER.
KARYN COLLINS: I never really thought that I was gonna wanna do part-time.
Karyn Collins walking Michael Collins along wall
Karyn Collins: “Alright, up, up”
KARYN COLLINS: But as soon as I had Michael, I knew that I wanted to be able to spend time with him.
Karyn Collins walking Michael Collins along wall, away from camera
Karyn Collins: “You gonna be a circus performer when you grow up?”
Michael Collins: “No”
Karyn Collins: “No?” (laughing)
NARR: SO ONCE MICHAEL WAS BORN, SHE ASKED TO WORK HALF-TIME. BUT KARYN’S MANAGERS WANTED HER TO PUT IN MORE HOURS.
KARYN COLLINS: They basically determined that before they were gonna be able to give me a challenging project to work on — which is something that I felt I deserved – um, they, needed me to work 30 hours instead of 20.
Karyn Collins putting Michael Collins into car
Karyn Collins: “Alright, See you later.”
Shaun Collins: “Bye”
Karyn Collins and Shaun Collins kiss goodbye
NARR: KARYN AGREED RELUCTANTLY. AND ON HER THREE DAYS IN THE OFFICE, SHE FEELS THE STRESS OF SAYING GOODBYE TO MIKEY AT DAY CARE.
Webcrawl: Working parents survival guide
Karyn Collins gets Michael Collins out of car and leads him into the day care center
Karyn Collins: “Okay, out we go”
KARYN COLLINS: It comes up a little bit as I’m dropping Mikey off at day care, because I see him playing with a bunch of different kids, and he’s having a lot of fun. And then he sees me leave, and sometimes he’s really upset and crying. Uh, other times he doesn’t seem to mind if I leave, but I’d like to stay and watch.
Karyn Collins works on computer at home
NARR: KARYN IS CONFLICTED. LIKE MANY WORKING PARENTS, SHE’S RELUCTANT TO USE HER FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES AS AN EXCUSE.
KARYN COLLINS: One of the hardest parts for me is having to explain to people what my work environment is so that they understand why I don’t wanna attend a phone conference at ten o’clock in the morning on Wednesday or Thursday.
HEDRICK SMITH: Because peers don’t understand?
KARYN COLLINS: I’ve found that they actually do understand, but there’s something in me … I guess I don’t like to have to have people plan around my schedule. I’d rather be able to say, “Sure, I’ll do it whenever you want.”
NARR: FOR KARYN AND SHAUN, ONE HUGE SOURCE OF STRESS IS MONEY. HOUSING PRICES IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA ARE AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY.
KARYN COLLINS: It — it’s definitely a squeeze. There are times when I almost wish I didn’t have to work at all. But you just have to do that if you’re gonna live in the Bay Area. It’s just a fact of life.
Exteriors – Collins house, guitar in background
NARR: JUST DAYS AFTER OUR INTERVIEW WITH KARYN AND SHAUN, THEY DECIDED TO EASE THE ECONOMIC SQUEEZE. … THEY’VE PUT THEIR HOUSE UP FOR SALE AND PLAN TO MOVE TO A LESS PRICEY COMMUNITY…
Karyn Collins singing to Michael Collins; Shaun Collins playing guitar
Karyn Collins: (singing)“Twinkle, twinkle, little star how I wonder what you are….”
NARR: KARYN HOPES SHE CAN CUT BACK HER HOURS AND HAVE MORE FAMILY TIME.
KARYN COLLINS: We’re going to have choices to be able to take time off so that um, since Shaun and I want to have another child I could take a year off and spend time raising another child.
Karyn Collins: (singing)“…I wonder what you are…”
SHAUN COLLINS: You know you’re in trouble when your job gets in the way of your own life, knowing who you are and what makes you happy.
Michael Collins: “Yeah”
Karen Collins: (laughing) “Yeah”
Shaun Collins: (laughing) “Yeahhhh”
JOAN WILLIAMS: If you look at the statistics men as a group are doing more for the family than their fathers did. After all their fathers did virtually nothing. Uh, women as a group are doing somewhat less than their mothers did. After all their mothers were not, uh, in the work force. And so often, men as a group feel great. They feel like they’re doing a great job and women feel just terrible.
ANN CRITTENDEN: Mothers particularly, as distinguished from women don’t yet feel entitled. They don’t really feel they deserve a lot of support. They are not yet stepping forward and saying, because I’m a mother and because we need to make a big investment in children, I deserve some support.
HEDRICK SMITH: So what you’re really saying is the problem isn’t so much women going to work but parents, especially mothers, going to work.
ANN CRITTENDEN: Women per se have had the door opened. And I think women have made enormous strides, enormous progress. And there is very little at least in the earlier stages of one’s career, you really don’t run into the old fashioned obstacles women used to face. But when you have a child that’s when you hit it. You pay a huge economic price, in lost wages, in lack of promotion opportunities and yet having to turn down opportunities right and left. And in also not being able to have the amount of time you really need to have with your children.
Engineers working over computers.
Engineer: “And there’s this little chip, uh, down low…”
NARR: IT’S DOWN IN THE TRENCHES WHERE THAT HITS HARDEST AND WHERE IT’S OFTEN DIFFICULT TO PRACTICE FAMILY FRIENDLY POLICIES … ESPECIALLY WHEN THE JOB REQUIRES EMPLOYEES TO WORK ON SITE.
Charmaine Crumer on service call
Charmaine Crumer: “Hi, I’m here to do a service call…”
NARR: …LIKE COMPUTER SERVICE ENGINEERS… THE 9-1-1 EMERGENCY RESPONSE MEDICS FOR SICK AND CRASHING COMPUTERS.
Charmaine Crumer on a call, working on a computer
NARR: CHARMAINE CRUMER FOR EXAMPLE. FOR CHARMAINE, THE UNPREDICTABLE BREAKDOWNS OF COMPUTERS,…
Charmaine Crumer plays with Caitlyn Crumer
Caitlyn Crumer: “Three four…”
NARR: … PLAY HAVOC…
Charmaine Crumer: “You woke up daddy!”
Caitlyn Crumer: “Time to go back to bed again!”
NARR; WITH HAVING A NORMAL LIFE. …CHARMAINE AND HER HUSBAND CLARK, WHO TRAVELS A LOT, STRUGGLE TO FIND TIME TO RAISE THEIR DAUGHTERS, CAREN AND CAITLYN.
Caren Crumer and Clark Crumer playing video games
Caren Crumer “I killed you”
Clark Crumer: “Oooh, that was mean”
CHARMAINE CRUMER: For me I feel it’s conflict, it’s a struggle.
Charmaine Crumer: “You’re safe, you’re lucky!”
CHARMAINE CRUMER: Always between work and home, I feel like I have to choose.
Man #1: “Hewlett-Packard Customer Support, this is Chris, how may I help you?”
Man #2: “System down, but they need a LAN card.”
Woman: “Can’t you find me somebody?”
Exterior, Crumer house
Charmaine Crumer outside waving at daughter rides on bike, gets beeped
Charmaine Crumer: “Caitlyn, come back, mommy’s gotta go to work”
CHARMAINE CRUMER: We get calls in … They’re asking for people to help out…
Charmaine Crumer on phone
Charmaine Crumer: “Yeah, hi, I just got paged on a call …”
CHARMAINE CRUMER: And, I’m torn between whether am I going to be a team player or am I going to be a mother?
Charmaine Crumer helps Caitlyn Crumer take off bike helmet
NARR: CHARMAINE MAKES ABOUT $60,000 A YEAR. BECAUSE HER WORK HOURS ARE SO UNPREDICTABLE, SHE NEEDS A FULLTIME LIVE-IN NANNY.
Charmaine Crumer on service call
CHARMAINE CRUMER: If I get a late call, I’ll usually, um, I can be home by seven, eight o’clock. If things start to go bad, I could be home as late as 2 a.m. or 3am.
Hedrick Smith talks with Charmaine Crumer
CHARMAINE CRUMER: That’s the hardest thing — when you walk in your house and your kids are asleep. You say, “I haven’t spent” — “I haven’t spent any time with ’em. They’re growin’ up with a nanny, but, that’s not their mother.
Charmaine Crumer on service call
CHARMAINE CRUMER: See, I like what I do. I like that pressure. I like coming out, being — being the — the hero, you know – when you, when you complete a job. I, you know, you — you get that — that high. But, is it worth it for the family? Well, that’s a different question. It’s — no, it’s not.
Clark Crumer in Atlanta on business
Clark Crumer: “Jeez, yeah, I gotta totally reconnect”
NARR: CHARMAINE’S HUSBAND CLARK TRAVELS ALL OVER AMERICA, INSTALLING SOFTWARE FOR HEWLETT-PACKARD’S CORPORATE CUSTOMERS. …HE’S OUT OF TOWN MOST WEEKS, FROM MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. …HAVING PIZZA DINNERS IN HIS HOTEL ROOM
Clark Crumer on cell phone in hotel room
Clark Crumer: “Hi honey, how you doing?”
NARR: … ALONE.
Intercut, Clark Crumer in hotel room and Charmaine Crumer eating dinner with kids
CHARMAINE CRUMER: It’s constantly telling the kids that, you know, “Mom and Dad just have to do this.” “Dad has to be away.” But — but in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “Well, does he have to be away?” “Do I really have to do this?”
CLARK CRUMER: I think most families in America today are trying to spend the quality time, with their family, trying to improve their lifestyle, trying to have that — that house, that American dream.
Kids outside on scooters, bikes
Charmaine Crumer: “Careful”
CLARK CRUMER: And that, that is the struggle. That is what we’re all trying to a- — achieve — that golden ring.
NARR: WHAT KEEPS CLOUDING OVER THAT DREAM, FOR THE CRUMERS AND OTHERS IN CUSTOMER SERVICE IS A JOB ROTATION THAT HP CALLS DUTY WEEK …THE ONE WEEK A MONTH WHEN CHARMAINE IS ON CALL 24 HOURS A DAY…
Still of “DUTY WEEK CONTACT LIST”
Charmaine Crumer on service call
NARR: …AND EVERYONE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.
Hedrick Smith talks to Charmaine Crumer, Larry Rogers and Bill Meyer at HP
LARRY ROGERS: The pressure from customers is incredible, their, all their business, is online, it’s real time, when they have problems, they want a response right now, so my customers expect me to be on site within 2 hours and they expect restoration of their system within 4 to 6 hours.
HEDRICK SMITH: What’s this corporate pressure, this competitive pressure, do to your family life?
LARRY ROGERS: (chuckling) Well, it’s terrible. You know, when a, when a pager goes off, I’ve gotta drop what I’m doing, immediately respond to the pager…
BILL MEYER: It’s, it’s a real tug-a-war, am I gonna be able to pick up my son on time from day care? Because if I do not pick him up on time from day care, it costs us a financial penalty, for not picking him up on time.
Hedrick Smith talks with Barbara Miller
BARBARA MILLER: We no longer have the Ozzie-‘n’-Harriet type family, where there’s somebody staying at home on a snow day to take care of kids. But senior management that’s saying, “We just need to pump out productivity,” is really being short-sighted, because the realities that people are dealing with on a day-to-day basis have got to be taken into consideration.
Barbara Miller talking to workshop
NARR: BARBARA MILLER IS A WORK-LIFE TROUBLE SHOOTER.
BARBARA MILLER: So I don’t want you to be burdened by old expectations, by old assumptions, …
NARR: MORALE IS LOW, ATTRITION IS HIGH, AND HEWLETT-PACKARD IS WORRIED.
Charmaine Crumer: “My husband and I both work for Hewlett-Packard”
NARR: SO THE COMPANY SENT CHARMAINE, OTHER CUSTOMER SERVICE ENGINEERS AND THEIR SUPERVISORS …
Webcrawl: Avoiding job burnout
NARR: …TO A WORKSHOP RUN BY BARBARA MILLER.
Barbara Miller: “What I want you to do is to begin to think out of the box.”
Hedrick Smith talks with Barbara Miller
BARBARA MILLER: So the whole intent here is to give them permission to challenge the routine ways that they have developed working.
Charlotte Gattenby: “I think my biggest work-life challenge is…”
NARR: CHARLOTTE GATTENBY, THE MANAGER AND SINGLE MOM WHOM WE MET EARLIER ADMITS HER PROBLEMS.
Charlotte Gattenby in workshop
Charlotte Gattenby: “My calendar takes, it manages me and not me managing my calendar.”
NARR: MANAGEMENT WANTS BOTTOM-UP SOLUTIONS…AND THE ENGINEERS, BURNED OUT FROM OPERATING LIKE LONE RANGERS, MUST LEARN TO RELY MORE ON EACH OTHER.
CHARLOTTE GATTENBY: I’ve had some engineers didn’t ask for help in a timely manner. They knew the resources were there, but it’s always like, well, just one more chance I know I can get it.
NARR: CHARMAINE CRUMER’S GROUP DECIDES THAT BETTER TEAMWORK WOULD HELP THEM HANDLE EMERGENCY CALLS.
CHARMAINE CRUMER: …Can you take Monday through Friday, I’ll take Saturday and Sunday? And then when your Duty comes along, I’ll take the Monday through Friday.
LARRY ROGERS: And at least at least at this level, the team level, you know, we can, we can grab our manager and say let’s, let’s do something different like that.
BILL MEYER: I can form a partnership with you and say look, I, I’m going to be on a, you know, a date with my wife on such and such a day, will you please back me up?
NARR: BUT THE ENGINEERS SEE THEY CANNOT SOLVE ALL THE PROBLEMS. THEY TURN TO MANAGEMENT FOR HELP.
CHARMAINE CRUMER: I, I talked to my manager…and the only response I got was, duty is an unfortunate thing with this job. …I mean, it’s unfortunate, but there is something we can about it. You know, there’s gotta be something we can do about it.
NARR: THEY PROPOSE HIRING MORE ENGINEERS, BUT WITH THE SHARP DOWNTURN IN HIGH TECH, THE TOP BRASS TELLS THE GROUP TO WORK OUT SOLUTIONS THEMSELVES – COST-FREE.
JOAN WILLIAMS: And it shouldn’t be up to individual workers to figure out that staffing solution. This is a business issue. If they continue to staff duty week requiring that much out of people indiv–, people’s individual lives, what’s the result going to be? Very high attrition, very high rates of stress related diseases. This isn’t a good business practice.
PHILIP MIRVIS: I don’t know any company that’s gone bankrupt, uh, because they’ve been responsive to uh, their employees as workers and as parents. I haven’t seen not one that’s gone bankrupt because they treated their employees too well.
Bumper: Juggling Work and Family with Hedrick Smith
Coping on the Front Line
AS WE’VE SEEN, THE BATTLE TO HANG ONTO TALENTED MANAGERS AND PROFESSIONALS PUSHES A COMPANY LIKE HEWLETT-PACKARD TO LET ITS STARS WORK WHEN AND WHERE THEY WANT…JUST SO LONG AS THE JOB GETS DONE.
BUT WHAT ABOUT FRONT-LINE WORKERS WHOSE JOBS ARE LESS PORTABLE AND LESS HIGH PROFILE? HOW MANY COMPANIES TRY TO ACCOMMODATE THE PERSONAL NEEDS OF PRODUCTION WORKERS? AND JUST HOW FLEXIBLE CAN YOU BE WITH BLUE COLLAR EMPLOYEES WHOSE JOBS TIE THEM TO MACHINES AND ASSEMBLY LINES?
Dave Tresham walking down to the beach with his children. They’re going fishing.
Dave Tresham: “Let’s go. We’ll make it.”
NARR: IT’S MONDAY MORNING AND DAVE TRESHAM IS GOING FISHING … WITH HIS KIDS. …IN FACT, YOU CAN FIND THEM HERE MOST MORNINGS.
Dave Tresham pushing son in stroller with daughter piggyback.
Dave Tresham: “You guys wanna make the birds fly?” (children yell out to birds)
NARR: DAVE ISN’T PLAYING HOOKEY. HE WORKS FULL-TIME, JUST NOT DAYTIME.
Fischer Tresham throws rocks into water and Alycia Tresham splashing in water
DAVE TRESHAM: And they just love to be outside. Fischer will, he’ll, he’ll throw a thousand rocks in the river, so, he’s, it’s the time of his life right there.
Dave Tresham and Fischer Tresham getting worms for bait
Dave Tresham: “pull that one out”
Fischer Tresham: “This one?”
Dave Tresham: “Yeah he’s a big one. Got to pull him out. Whoa” (laughter)
HEDRICK SMITH: Was your dad as much involved in bringing you up – not just spending time with you – but in bringing you up, as you are with your kids?
DAVE TRESHAM: My father was there, um, after work. Um, he went to the sports with us, and he spent a lotta time with us.
Dave Tresham: “Waaay out there.”
DAVE TRESHAM: But spending time with the kids all day? No, not too often. It’s uh, quite a bit different than when I grew up.
Nancy Tresham goes into her office building
NARR: NANCY TRESHAM WORKS THE DAY SHIFT AS A CORPORATE TRAVEL AGENT. WHEN SHE GETS HOME… DAVE LEAVES FOR HIS JOB AT HEWLETT-PACKARD’S COMPUTER ASSEMBLY PLANT IN ROSEVILLE, CALIFORNIA, NEAR SACRAMENTO.
Sign for Hewlett-Packard. Car entering parking lot.
NANCY TRESHAM: So he’s single mom during the day and I’m single mom during at night.
Dave Tresham at work – assembling computer.
NANCY TRESHAM: Dave’s had numerous work schedules. We’ve tried both of us working 8 to 5. Kids were in day care all day. Financially, that gets to be quite costly.
Nancy Tresham playing with kids
NARR: COSTLY BECAUSE QUALITY DAYCARE FOR TWO AVERAGES $1100 A MONTH, ALMOST ONE QUARTER OF THEIR TAKE HOME PAY. …SO FOR FINANCIAL REASONS, THE TRESHAMS WORK OPPOSITE SHIFTS.
NANCY TRESHAM: In the end, I really feel positive and very happy that one of us gets to stay home with the kids, and that they’re not raised in a day care.
Dave Tresham gets kids ready to leave the house
Dave Tresham: “You guys ready to see, go see mom, go to Chuck E. Cheese?”
NARR: IT’S A DRASTIC SOLUTION…
Dave Tresham drives kids in car, walking into restaurant
NARR: ….IT MEANS THEY HAVE VERY LITTLE FAMILY TIME. SO AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK, THEY HAVE A FAMILY MEAL DURING NANCY’S LUNCH BREAK.
Family walks into Chuck E. Cheese. Eating with kids.
Nancy Tresham: “It’s not big enough”
Dave Tresham: “Your belly’s not big enough. You didn’t get enough to eat there.”
NANCY TRESHAM: I think what we do – uh, having the kids stay at home with one parent full-time, basically — is kind of unusual.
Dave Tresham pushes kids on swings at playground
NARR: DAVE IS ONE OF A SMALL MINORITY OF FATHERS WHO REARRANGE THEIR WORK TO STAY HOME WITH THEIR PRESCHOOL KIDS DURING THE DAY.
Hewlett-Packard Assembly Plant.
NARR: …HE CAN DO THAT BECAUSE HIS PLANT WILL ADJUST WORKERS’ SHIFTS OR START-AND-STOP TIMES TO THEIR PERSONAL NEEDS. …THE PLANT CAN BE SO FLEXIBLE WITH ITS 800 WORKERS BECAUSE IT HAS REPLACED THE OLD ASSEMBLY LINE WITH WORKSTATIONS… WHERE EACH TECHNICIAN CAN BUILD A COMPUTER FROM START TO FINISH INDIVIDUALLY.
Mike Nickey: “Dave”
Dave Tresham: “Hi Mike”
Mike Nickey: “How you doin’ today?”
NARR: …MIKE NICKEY IS THE PLANT’S OPERATIONS MANAGER.
Dave Tresham at work on assembly plant floor.
MIKE NICKEY: They’re responsible for building that product totally and they’re responsible for the quality and the — and the speed with which they build it.
HEDRICK SMITH: In terms of the production process and people’s personal needs, what does that mean, what’s the impact?
MIKE NICKEY: Well, it means that someone who has an urgent, uh, childcare or medical emergency or needs to go out in the middle of the day to go to school for a couple hours, uh, we can accommodate that. Because they — they just leave and they’re not interrupting a sequential production flow, um, like they might be in some other designs of a production process.
Shots of plant
NARR: THAT MEANS WORKERS HAVE TO FILL IN FOR EACH OTHER WHEN SOMEONE HAS AN EMERGENCY OR A FAMILY NEED… SO THE PLANT CAN KEEP OPERATING EFFICIENTLY.
EILEEN APPELBAUM: It’s really rare to find any kind of assembly process whether it’s assembly line or not where uh, managers will make it possible for people to have the kind of flexibility that we’ve just seen at Hewlett-Packard
Mike Nickey: “Hi Bev”
Bev: “Hi Mike, how…”
HEDRICK SMITH: Are there any downsides? Are there any problems? You make it all sound like a dream world?
MIKE NICKEY: Well, I think, one of the downsides uh, I think is, we’re in a very, very fiercely competitive industry.
MIKE NICKEY: We have to prove every day our right to stay in the business on the basis of cost, quality and speed. And our people know that very well and most people want to stay employed, they want to have a good job, they want some job security … And we earn it every day.
Plant shots, Dave Tresham at work
NARR: IF IT’S SO COMPETITIVE, HOW CAN THE COMPANY AFFORD TO BE SO FLEXIBLE?
MIKE NICKEY: All of this uh, good stuff doesn’t come totally free and I think one of the things that we expect is when we have reason to work on a weekend, we, and we frequently do, we ask people to come in and work some overtime.
DAVE TRESHAM: As work requires it, I can stay as late as possible. So now if it takes it, I would be there ‘til 1 or 2 in the morning, working with the third shift. Yeah, and I do quite often go in on Saturdays.
Nancy Tresham walking down sidewalk alone.
NARR: FOR NANCY AND DAVE TRESHAM, HEWLETT-PACKARD’S WILLINGNESS TO LET DAVE WORK THE NIGHT SHIFT MAY HELP THEM FINANCIALLY, BUT NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS AWAY TAKE A TOLL ON THEIR MARRIAGE.
NANCY TRESHAM: I just kinda miss having Dave around. That’s, that’s the hard part but uh, I think in the end we look at it, and it’s worth it for the kids.
Dave Tresham on beach fishing.
DAVE TRESHAM: Our relationship has struggled. And, uh, we’ve had some tough times. We both know that it’s paying off, though.
ROBERT REICH: We’re talking about a large and growing percentage of people with small children, maybe twenty, thirty percent of all of the people who have young kids are doing some sort, some sort of split shifting because again they can’t get the childcare.
JOAN WILLIAMS: This tag-team solution is very common and what it shows is that because there are so few attractive alternatives Americans are very committed to taking care of their own children, even if it means they lack sleep, they may never see each other, but children come first.
ROBERT REICH: We are paying a big price as a society. The American family is shrinking. People are putting off marriage, putting off having kids, a lot of people are having no kids at all. It’s the demands of the new economy.
Dip to Black
Action Visuals inside plant – white-uniformed workers pouring chemicals, working on assembly line
NARR: HALFWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY, JUST OUTSIDE CHICAGO, BAXTER INTERNATIONAL IS ONE OF AMERICA’S LEADING MAKERS OF HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS. THE COMPANY PIONEERED PLASTIC I-V BAGS, WHICH IT NOW SUPPLIES TO HOSPITALS ALL OVER THE WORLD. …IT ALSO USES BLOOD PLASMA TO DEVELOP CUTTING-EDGE MEDICATIONS.
JoAnne Pederson entering the security door
NARR: ON THE NIGHT SHIFT, JOANNE PEDERSON HAS THE METICULOUS JOB OF TRACKING THOUSANDS OF BLOOD SAMPLES EACH WEEK FOR QUALITY CONTROL.
JoAnne Pederson opening security door on lab
JOANNE PEDERSON: I’m the one they come to looking for results. If FDA comes into us and say, “I want bundle such, uh, bundle five from January,” I better be able to find bundle five from January when they come in to do their audits.
JoAnne Pederson at work
NARR: WITH PEOPLE’S LIVES AT STAKE… JOANNE MUST KEEP PERFECT RECORDS OF EVERY BATCH OF BLOOD. …NORMALLY THAT’S A FULL TIME JOB…BUT FOR THE PAST THREE MONTHS, JOANNE HAS BEEN WORKING HALF TIME…SO SHE COULD TAKE CARE OF HER MOM, WHO IS DYING OF CANCER… SHE IS THE FIRST PERSON HER DAD WILL CALL IF HER MOM TAKES A TURN FOR THE WORSE.
JOANNE PEDERSON: I really do worry about the phone ringing cause I know if that phone rings I’m outta here. And uh, when I go on breaks I forward it to somebody who’s gonna be at their desk or in their area so that I know cause I never know when he’s gonna call and let me know.
JoAnne Pederson in bedroom with mom: “Can you smile for me today? There you go.”
NARR: WHEN SHE’S NOT AT WORK… JOANNE IS AT HER MOTHER’S SIDE ALL DAY LONG, EVERY DAY.
JOANNE PEDERSON: You know, I know she’s going. I know there is nothing we can do there, but, at least let’s make her comfortable while she’s here. And her, and in her last days I want her to be as comfortable as possible. So….
JoAnne Pederson gives her mother a sponge-bath
JoAnne Pederson: “We doing okay? Hmm?”
JOANNE PEDERSON: It is very hard, it’s very stressful. It is not just physically tiring, it’s mentally tiring. Um, twenty four hours a day your mind is going as far as “what do I need to do for mom? What do I need to do?” You have to be strong for the rest of your family is what you…you have to hold up and, can’t let your guard down. Have to be there for you, huh, dad?
CHESTER SOCHA: Yeah, well you’re there. You always, always was. She’s really doing a wonderful job. I don’t know what I would do without her. She’s been taking care of everything else over here pretty well.
JoAnne Pederson and Hedrick Smith walking shots…
NARR: JOANNE HAS TAKEN OVER HER MOTHER’S ROLE AS THE ROCK IN HER FAMILY. SHE KEEPS IN TOUCH WITH HER MOM’S DOCTORS… AND WATCHES OUT FOR HER DAD…
JOANNE PEDERSON: I wouldn’t feel comfortable if it was a stranger doing the things with my mom, taking care of her. I feel better that it’s a family member.
HEDRICK SMITH: And how’s your dad doing?
JOANNE PEDERSON: My dad needs me. Even if Mom was in a nursing home, Dad would still need me because he’s lived with this, he’s been married to this lady for 51 years. You know, it’s a big loss to know that someone is dying.
Karen Kirby at work
NARR: KAREN KIRBY IS JOANNE’S BOSS… AND A VETERAN BAXTER EMPLOYEE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE GRUELING DEMANDS OF TAKING CARE OF A SICK FAMILY MEMBER. WHEN KAREN’S HUSBAND BATTLED NON-HODGKINS LYMPHOMA A FEW YEARS BACK, SHE LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ABLE TO TAKE MEDICAL TIME-OFF.
KAREN KIRBY: I know from experience that you cannot be 100 percent focused on your work if you are concerned about a situation that’s going on at home and you don’t feel like you’ve had an opportunity to really address those issues.
Karen Kirby at work, then to JoAnne Pederson working.
NARR: UNDER BAXTER’S FAMILY FRIENDLY POLICIES, KAREN ARRANGED FOR JOANNE TO WORK HALF-DAYS… USUALLY FROM 10 AT NIGHT TIL 2 A.M. …AND COUNT THE OTHER HALF DAY AS EMERGENCY MEDICAL LEAVE OR VACATION TIME.
Webcrawl: Find eldercare resources
NARR: FOR JOANNE, WORKING A FEW HOURS EACH DAY IS CRITICAL FOR KEEPING HER BILLS PAID AND GETTING HER MIND OFF HER MOTHER’S ILLNESS…
KAREN KIRBY: I think that we’re starting to realize and understand that you can’t get the best from your people if, if you don’t also recognize that they are more than what they are when they are at work.
JoAnne Pederson with her mother: “Ready for your medicine? Huh?”
HEDRICK SMITH: JoAnne, what’s the hardest time of day for you?
JOANNE PEDERSON: Actually, I think when I leave her at night. Simply because normally, up until last night she didn’t, but up until that point when I’d say, “I’m going to work, Mom.” She’d say, “You gotta go to work?” And that, it’s just, you know it hits you in the heart, it (sighs) um, and I always afraid when she says that that, that’s gonna be it. You know, that I’m not going to see her the next day.
JoAnne Pederson with her mother: “Mom? I’m gonna go to work, I’ll see you in the morning? ‘kay mom? Mom? See you in the morning. I love you. Okay? Love you. ‘Night dad. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
JoAnne Pederson exits house.
NARR: JOANNE’S MOTHER DIED TWO DAYS AFTER OUR VISIT TO HER
HOUSE. JOANNE WAS ABLE TO BE AT HER SIDE.
KAREN KIRBY: You know during the last few months I think that it was, it was very difficult for her. But she’s very strong and she, she did, she, she handles that the same way that she handles everything else, and that’s with, with grace and with strength.
HEDRICK SMITH: And, I heard she got a promotion while she was taking care of her mother.
KAREN KIRBY: The work that she did while she was going through this was, was flawless. She’s still, was the, the conscientious worker that she’s always been. And, when she was promoted it was because she deserved the promotion.
Harry Kraemer speaks to Baxter employees: “Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to have a chance to spend time again with everybody…”
NARR: BAXTER INTERNATIONAL’S FOCUS ON WORK-LIFE POLICIES COMES FROM THE TOP…FROM CEO HARRY KRAEMER. KRAEMER HAS MADE WORK-LIFE BALANCE THE CORPORATE MANTRA. MORE THAN 2,000 BAXTER EMPLOYEES WORK FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES OR AT HOME. AND MANAGERS’ PROMOTIONS ARE LINKED TO HOW WELL THEY SUPPORT WORK-FAMILY BALANCE. IT’S JUST SMART BUSINESS, KRAEMER INSISTS, TO UNDERSTAND THAT A WORKER IS MUCH MORE THAN HIS WORK.
HARRY KRAEMER: Obviously, if people really feel that they can do a better job of balancing their work-family responsibilities, the overall ability to attract people to the company increases and the level of turnover decreases. It’s a win-win for everybody.
HEDRICK SMITH: If it’s a win-win to have flexible work-family arrangements why aren’t more companies doing it?
HARRY KRAEMER: I think people that have tried it are people that have tried it but have then tried it fairly superficially. I don’t think many companies really understand the value that it can have. I think many of them are really concerned that if in fact they do do this maybe people will be less productive. Maybe they’ll be less focused on their job and I don’t think they’re looking at the full picture.
Steve Meyer at his desk, checking voice mail
NARR: ONE TOP EXECUTIVE WHO HAS TAKEN ON BAXTER’S MINDSET WITH A VENGEANCE IS CORPORATE TREASURER STEVE MEYER.
Steve Meyer showing Hedrick Smith around the office
Steve Meyer: “Regular schedule, comes in a little bit late, some telecommuting…”
NARR: MORE THAN HALF OF HIS STAFF WORKS FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES.
STEVE MEYER: I think I always considered myself flexible. But honestly, when we had our first child, my wife and I, um, I think it changed a lot. Because it became more concrete and more real for me. I had some people working for me who noticed and told me, “Gee, you’re going home earlier. (laughter) And, at first, at first I was a little bit defensive. I said, “Well no, I’m still getting my work done.” And the learning for me was watching people watch me. And they were actually taking cues from me in what are the appropriate work hours.
HARRY KRAEMER: Steve is, in my mind is a great example of flexibility. He is one of the guys that figured out a long time ago that by creating that type of flexibility for his team, he would have everybody in the company wanting to work for him.
Marguerite Fernandez with Steve Meyer in office: “You know, another thing I wanted to cover with you is…”
NARR: MEYER WILL GO TO ALMOST ANY LENGTHS TO HANG ONTO TALENT… GLOBAL FINANCE SPECIALIST MARGUERITE FERNANDEZ TRIED TO RESIGN AFTER HER THIRD CHILD WAS BORN, TO SPEND MORE TIME AT HOME.
Marguerite Fernandez with children at home, on the playground
NARR: MEYER TALKED FERNANDEZ INTO WORKING FROM HOME JUST 22 HOURS A WEEK, DOING MAJOR FINANCIAL DEALS.
HEDRICK SMITH: So what’s this chart? You’re monitoring the markets, here on the laptop?
MARGUERITE FERNANDEZ: Yeah this is, this is my, my favorite chart to, to keep current during the day.
HEDRICK SMITH: So you’re buying and selling, making decisions?
MARGUERITE FERNANDEZ: Right, right from here. Um, usually wearing jeans or uh, (laughs) sweatpants. That one commercial where you have someone who just loves working at home and they’ve got their, their bunny slippers on. That’s how it works. It’s actually kind of fun and you really feel like you are really getting something accomplished. I mean, across from here, the room over there is my daughter’s bedroom. And she’s sleeping there right now.
Steve Meyer at his desk
STEVE MEYER: When Marguerite was working from home and we traded most of our messages through voice mail… it didn’t make any difference to me whether she was at home or at work, and it didn’t make any difference what the hours of the day were.
HEDRICK SMITH: What happened to old-fashioned face time? ‘Gotta be in the office so the boss sees you and you can be there to get together?
STEVE MEYER: If you want to get the best results, you have to have the best people. And once you’ve resigned yourself to wanting to have the best people, you have to be flexible. The best people are being sought after by all kinds of companies. Pay is not the only thing, stock options and benefits are not the only determinant. Being able to control their life style and their work schedule is a big determinant in terms of where people wanna work.
MARGUERITE FERNANDEZ: I think to the extent that they are letting me do this, I am going to work extra hard. Because I, I see the privilege of being able to be here when my daughter wakes up from nap or when my son comes home from school. So, they have me as a very interested employee, motivated employee, um definitely thankful they’re letting me do this.
Marguerite Fernandez plays with her kids at home, daughter hands her a ball
Marguerite Fernandez: “Thank you!”
NARRATOR: MARGUERITE’S TRANSACTIONS FROM HOME WERE SO COST-EFFECTIVE THAT BAXTER GAVE HER A PROMOTION.
ROBERT REICH: Employers are gradually getting the idea that they have to treat their professional workers as assets to be developed rather than as costs to be cut. But they haven’t yet understood that they need to apply the same principle to their routine workers, their blue collar and pink collar workers.
Baxter Drug Delivery Plant
NARR: EVEN AT BAXTER, THERE ARE DIFFERENT SCENARIOS FOR TOP PROFESSIONALS AND FRONT-LINE WORKERS. IT MAY BE JUST 20 MILES FROM CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS TO BAXTER’S DRUG DELIVERY PLANT AT ROUND LAKE. BUT THEY ARE WORLDS APART IN HOW THEY APPLY WORK-LIFE BALANCE.
Jim McMillan in the plant
NARR: FACING DAILY DEADLINES, PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR JIM MCMILLAN HAS MUCH LESS OPPORTUNITY TO BE FLEXIBLE WITH HIS WORKERS THAN STEVE MEYER.
JIM McMILLAN: We have product that we start in the morning. We start to fill those bags at 7:30 and we’ve got a program set up that we know that we need to finish fillin’ by 12, 12:30.
NARR: ONE MIX TANK ALONE CAN REPRESENT UP TO TWO MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF DRUGS. THIS CHEMICAL SOLUTION MUST BE PASSED THROUGH BAXTER’S SUPER-CLEAN SYSTEM AND INTO I-V BAGS IN A FEW SHORT HOURS.
JIM McMILLAN: We have to have X amount of people in order to do that. If we don’t have X amount of people, we’ll not be able to complete that. We don’t complete that, we won’t stay in business.
HEDRICK SMITH: So where do you feel the pressure?
JIM McMILLAN: It is not good enough to be 99.9 percent. It’s gotta to be 100 percent every time and that’s why we rely on our people.
HARRY KRAEMER: Every situation is unique and in a manufacturing environment, given the fact that you’ve got production runs, given the fact that there are specific times things have to get done, you don’t have the same type of an environment you obviously do in an office space.
HEDRICK SMITH: What do you basically need?
JIM McMILLAN: I need an individual that can come in at 7:30 and work to 4 o’clock for me every day. Healthy, whole, ready to go to work and do whatever they can to make, make a quality product. That’s what I have to have.
NARR: HEALTHY, WHOLE, READY TO WORK… NOT SO EASY WHEN YOU FACTOR IN THE HUMAN ELEMENT. PEOPLE GET SICK, THEY BREAK DOWN.
WAYNE GAVINSKI: It turns that out my gall bladder had to be fixed. While they were doing that, they discovered I had a hernia. So instead of just being off for the two months with my heart, I wound up being off for four months. So I was off of work for quite awhile.
Jim McMillan in plant: “How ya’ ‘doin?”
NARR: PAM RATLIFF HAS SYMPTOMS OF WHAT MAY BE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND CAN’T ALWAYS MAKE IT TO WORK.
PAM RATLIFF: Sometimes I get up I have a really bad headache. Or, my arm can hurt. I mean, my leg can hurt really bad.
Plant shots, workers in plant, cleaning mixing room
NARR: BAXTER’S POLICIES FOR PRODUCTION WORKERS ARE STRICT. MANAGERS KEEP CLOSE TRACK OF ABSENCES AND LATENESS… WITH REPEATED ATTENDANCE PROBLEMS, WORKERS ARE WARNED… AND RISK BEING FIRED. SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PRODUCTION WORKER OR A FAMILY MEMBER HAS A LONG TERM ILLNESS OR NEED? THE PROGRAM THAT HAS MADE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE HERE ON THE FRONT LINES IS NOT BAXTER-INSPIRED BUT GOVERNMENT-MANDATED.
Bill Clinton signing the Family Medical Leave Act
NARR: THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT, SIGNED INTO LAW IN 1993, FORCED SOME FLEXIBILITY ONTO BAXTER AND OTHER U.S. EMPLOYERS.
Bill Clinton speaks to crowd in Rose Garden
Bill Clinton: “Now, millions of our people will no longer have to choose between their jobs and their families. The law guarantees the right of up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year when it’s urgently needed at home.”
NARR: THE FMLA PROTECTS THE JOBS OF PEOPLE LIKE BETTY OLSEN, WHOSE SON HAS SPINA BIFIDA.
HEDRICK SMITH: Why, why did you have to take the family leave? What happened this particular time?
BETTY OLSEN: Um, my son, um, where he lives in independent living, he had gotten a pressure sore, ulcer on the outside of his leg. And he’s paralyzed, so you know he don’t feel it. And it just got outta hand. He needs someone to do dressings, to help change ‘im, cause he’s, you know, he’s in diapers. He has to be catheterized. They don’t want him moving whatsoever…
Betty Olsen cries
NARR: THE PRESSURES OF DAILY LIFE HAVE PILED ON BETTY. HER WORK IS TIRESOME AND DEMANDING. SHE’S RAISED THREE KIDS ON $23,000 A YEAR … MOSTLY AS A SINGLE MOM.
Betty Olsen and Jodie Olsen help Jim Clark into car
Betty Olsen: “Okay, I’ll let you open the trunk Jim, and uh, ..”
Hedrick Smith talks with Betty Olsen at her home
HEDRICK SMITH: What did you do in the old days before there was a Family Medical Leave Act to protect your job?
BETTY OLSEN: It was very hard. Um, there’s been times, where, like say, Jimmy had to have surgery, emergency surgery and, at that time Baxter didn’t have the family medical leave. And I had to miss work and it was held against me. And, and it was hard because, you know, you worried about losing your job and, you know, but yet you have to be with your child.
JIM CLARK: It was kind of hard because you know with all the problems I’ve been having with my back breaking down or some other stuff.
Hedrick Smith talks with Betty Olsen in plant
BETTY OLSEN: It, it’s great that they have the Family Medical Leave, it’s just great because, you might be missing pay, but hey, you’re with your family, taking care of ‘em and you still got a job to go to.
Betty Olsen, Jodie Olsen and Jim Clark getting out of car at Wal-Mart, help Jim Clark into wheelchair
NARR: FORTUNATELY, BETTY DID NOT LOSE HER JOB. BUT OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS, ALL BETTY’S SICK LEAVE AND VACATION TIME WERE CONSUMED BY HER SON’S ILLNESS… THE OLSEN FAMILY HAS NEVER HAD ANY TIME OFF TOGETHER, JUST TO RELAX.
HEDRICK SMITH: What do we do for somebody like Betty Olsen? What do we as a society do? Can she carry this burden? Can Baxter International, her employer carry this burden? What, what do we do?
ROBERT REICH: Ultimately we’re going to have to have paid family leave. If somebody has a sick child or a medical emergency or a very sick parent they have to attend to, they should not be penalized by having to use up their own limited, very limited, vacation time or get docked their pay. Most advanced industrial countries, in fact virtually every advanced industrial country except the United States, has paid family leave for emergencies.
ANN CRITTENDEN: It could be taxpayer financed. It could be a combination of employer-employee contributions. You could do it by using the state unemployment fund or you can do it using temporary disability… there are a lot of ways to finance it …The point is we need to do it.
EILEEN APPELBAUM: When men entered the workforce we introduced uh, disability, we int- introduced survivor’s benefits. We need to have a set of benefits that uh, parents, men, women children who have to take care of their kids, have to take care of their own elderly parents, have to take care of other family members, can draw on in these times of extreme need.
Bumper: Juggling Work and Family with Hedrick Smith
Reaching Out to Service Workers
SERVICE INDUSTRIES – WHETHER HOTELS OR HOSPITALS, RETAIL OR RESTAURANTS – POSE A SPECIAL CHALLENGE. THEY NEED THEIR EMPLOYEES TO WORK ON SITE.
SO THE TELECOMMUTING, JOB-SHARING, PART-TIME ARRANGEMENTS USED BY HIGH-END PROFESSIONALS AT HEWLETT-PACKARD… AREN’T POSSIBLE FOR HOUSEKEEPERS, WAITERS, AND BELLMEN AT MARRIOTT HOTELS.
ALSO, FRONT-LINE SERVICE WORKERS CAN’T AFFORD HIGH QUALITY DAY CARE ON 15,000 OR 25,000 DOLLARS-A-YEAR. NOR CAN THEY AFFORD TO CUT BACK TO PART-TIME.
AND THERE’S ANOTHER PROBLEM. OFTEN SERVICE INDUSTRIES HIRE NEW IMMIGRANTS FROM ASIA, AFRICA OR CENTRAL AMERICA …PEOPLE UNFAMILIAR WITH OUR LAWS, OUR LANGUAGE, OUR WAY OF LIFE. SO WHAT CAN AN EMPLOYER LIKE MARRIOTT DO TO HELP?
Etinesh Meaza roasting coffee in her kitchen
NARR: ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA. ETINESH MEAZA IS ROASTING GREEN COFFEE BEANS FOR A TRADITIONAL ETHIOPIAN COFFEE CEREMONY. SHE AND HER HUSBAND ABRAHA ARE POLITICAL REFUGEES FROM EAST AFRICA.
Smoke alarm going off.
NARR: SETTING OFF THE SMOKE ALARM IS AS MUCH A RITUAL IN THE MEAZA HOUSEHOLD AS THE REST OF THE CEREMONY.
Hedrick Smith, Etinesh Meaza, and Abraha Meaza sitting in living room, drinking coffee
Hedrick Smith: “Oh, thank you.”
Etinesh Meaza: “You’re welcome”
Hedrick Smith: “Looks lovely”
NARR: ETHIOPIANS BELIEVE THIS STRONG, SWEET COFFEE HAS THE POWER TO BOND PEOPLE TOGETHER AND TRANSCEND THE STRAIN OF THEIR DAILY LIVES.
Hedrick Smith: “Mmm, excellent! Could he make the coffee, can men make the coffee?”
Etinesh Meaza: “He can’t, he can’t do.”
Hedrick Smith: “No?”
Etinesh Meaza: “No”
Hedrick Smith: “You think men can’t do it?”
Etinesh Meaza: “He can’t, it’s for lady. Culture. Lady-culture”
Hedrick Smith: “It’s for culture. Do you think men couldn’t do it so well?”
Etinesh Meaza: “Not taste too good’ (laughing)
Hedrick Smith: “It wouldn’t taste good? If the men did it, it wouldn’t taste good?”
Etinesh Meaza: “Not taste good!”
Hedrick Smith: “Maybe they would mess it up?” (laughter)
NARR: THIS IS A SPECIAL QUIET MOMENT FOR THE MEAZAS AND THEIR 3-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER EYERUSALEM. THEIR EIGHT YEARS IN AMERICA HAVE MEANT WORKING VERY HARD TO MAKE ENDS MEET. THEY BOTH WORK FOR MARRIOTT HOTELS, EACH MAKING A BIT OVER 20 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR.
ABRAHA MEAZA: Our incomes is very low, you cannot afford for food, for babies, for rent, for everything, everything, and for daycare, you cannot afford.
Abraha Meaza outside hotel in uniform
Abraha Meaza blowing his whistle to summon taxi
NARR: ABRAHA WORKS AFTERNOONS AND EVENINGS AS A DOORMAN IN A DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON MARRIOTT. ETINESH WORKS DAY SHIFT AS A HOUSEKEEPER AT THE RENAISSANCE ON CAPITOL HILL.
Etinesh Meaza cleaning hotel room
ETINESH MEAZA: Check out time, you clean everything. A lot of trash, newspaper. I do everything. Sometimes for forty-five minutes, one hour, in the room.
Etinesh Meaza cleaning hotel room, Abraha Meaza on the job as a doorman
NARR: THE MEAZAS ARE TWO OF 116 THOUSAND HOURLY WORKERS WHO ARE MARRIOTT’S FACE TO THE PUBLIC… INTERACTING WITH CUSTOMERS EVERYDAY. SO MARRIOTT MUST TAKE SPECIAL INTEREST IN GOOD MORALE AMONG RANK AND FILE EMPLOYEES. IT’S A PROBLEM WITH WHICH MARRIOTT’S WORK/LIFE DIRECTOR DONNA KLEIN HAS BEEN FORCED TO STRUGGLE FOR THE PAST DECADE.
DONNA KLEIN: We were experiencing a lot of problems in the properties, at the hotels, actually in terms of recruiting employees. Um, as an example, we had housekeepers who would walk off the job during the summer months because they had no childcare. The issue was surfacing as a major business issue for the first time, rather than a personal life issue.
Donna Klein at work
NARR: DONNA KLEIN IS KNOWN AS MUCH FOR HER FAILURES IN WORK-LIFE PROGRAMS AS SHE IS FOR HER SUCCESS. MISTAKES WERE INEVITABLE, SHE SAYS, BECAUSE MARRIOTT HADN’T MADE ENOUGH EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND ITS HOURLY WORKERS AND WHAT THEY WANTED.
Atlanta’s Inn for Children exterior and signs
NARR: THAT WAS THE PROBLEM WHEN MARRIOTT BUILT A 5.6 MILLION DOLLAR CHILDCARE CENTER IN ATLANTA. HOURLY WORKERS FOUND ITS LOCATION INCONVENIENT. FEW OF THEM USED IT.
DONNA KLEIN: It was startling to find out that the services we were providing were not, for some reason, appealing to the wage population we employed. I mean how could I have been so naïve, really. But at the time, we just didn’t know.
Donna Klein and Hedrick Smith at DC child care center
Donna Klein: “Hi guys!”
NARR: BUT DONNA KLEIN DIDN’T GIVE UP ON DAY CARE FOR FRONT-LINE WORKERS. MARRIOTT BUILT ANOTHER CENTER – THIS TIME NEAR SEVERAL OF ITS HOTELS IN THE HEART OF WASHINGTON. DONNA KLIEN GOT SIX GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO SHARE THE STEEP START-UP COSTS.
Children at child care center working with teachers
Children: “…seven, eight nine ten!!”
Teacher: “Alright let’s see (unintelligible) Let’s try again”
Abraha Meaza and Etinesh Meaza picking up Eyerusalem Meaza and leaving the center.
NARR: ETINESH AND ABRAHA MEAZA LOVE THE CENTER. IT’S CLOSE TO THEIR JOBS, CLOSE TO THE BUS THEY TAKE HOME TO VIRGINIA AND THANKS TO A MARRIOTT SUBSIDY, QUALITY DAYCARE FOR EYERUSALEM COSTS THEM JUST 52 DOLLARS A WEEK.
ABRAHA MEAZA: We can pay for and the schedule is good and we have confident also.
Children in art class at the DC center
Teacher: “On the paper Victoria”
NARR: BUT THE NEW CENTER IS NOT MARRIOTT’S FINAL ANSWER FOR THE HOURLY WORKER. ITS EMPLOYEES USE JUST 10 OF MORE THAN 100 SLOTS AT THE CENTER. THE BULK GO TO THEIR FINANCIAL PARTNERS AND THE COMMUNITY.
DONNA KLEIN: It’s an experiment…
Parents pick up children from child care center
Father: “See you tomorrow”
DONNA KLEIN: It’s an experiment because as a country, we still don’t know what the long-term solutions are for our working families. What we know is, we know we’re dependent on working families. We know that 70 percent of the female population is employed in some capacity. So, as a country, we know that we have to deal with working families and the issues of working families.
Marriott employees clocking in, front desk workers, bellman, cooks, housekeepers
NARR: DONNA KLEIN’S MOST SIGNIFICANT BREAKTHROUGH CAME WHEN SHE REALIZED THAT PROGRAMS THAT WORK WELL FOR MANAGERS DON’T WORK FOR FRONT LINE WORKERS… MANY OF THEM RECENT IMMIGRANTS EARNING 8 TO 10 DOLLARS AN HOUR.
DONNA KLEIN: The big thing we didn’t get was that they really could not afford services, and their lives are very, very complex. They had issues with housing, they had issues with transportation, they had issues with the English language, they had issues with immigration.
Social workers taking calls at the Ceridian call center
Woman #1: “Okay, why don’t you tell me a little bit about the situation with your mother.”
Woman #2: “I’m calling from Life Works. I was calling to see how your appointment with, went with your … attorney.”
Woman #3: “Hi, this message is for…”
NARRATOR: MARRIOTT SET-UP AN EMPLOYEE HOTLINE TO HANDLE THE PROBLEMS OF HOURLY WORKERS. CERIDIAN LIFEWORKS RUNS THE HOTLINE 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK IN MORE THAN A DOZEN LANGUAGES.
Woman #4: “…so you talked with her about counseling. And is she willing to go?”
NARR: MASTERS LEVEL SOCIAL WORKERS ANSWER THE PHONES.
Woman #5: “So you’re looking for childcare, how many children are you looking to have the childcare provided for?”
NARR: HEIDI GUY, WHO RUNS THE HOTLINE, SAYS THE PROBLEMS ARE CHALLENGING.
HEIDI GUY: They may be more emergencies than we’ve typically find with another kind of population. It may be that they’ve just um, they’ve just been thrown out of their apartment, they need immediate housing um, or it could be a domestic violence case where they are looking for a shelter, they’ve got kids.
Heidi Guy shows Hedrick Smith various information pamphlets
NARR: ONE BIG REASON CERIDIAN IS SUCCESSFUL IS THAT IT CAN SUPPLY MARRIOTT EMPLOYEES WITH A NETWORK OF LOCAL CONTACT NAMES AND NUMBERS. WITH FRONTLINE WORKERS IN MIND, CERIDIAN ALSO DEVELOPED A ROOMFUL OF GUIDES… … THAT IT SENDS OUT TO PEOPLE WHO CALL IN.
HEIDI GUY: …different states, we have budgeting for parents, we have materials on, we have childcare handbooks, we have eldercare handbooks, we have tips …
Webcrawl: Find child care resources
HEIDI GUY:…here on questions working parents ask about infants, preschoolers, teenagers. Here’s a brand new material, that we have 10 everyday math activities.
HEDRICK SMITH: Parents catching up on their kids’ math.
HEIDI GUY: Right (laughs) Working through times of change. That’s been very popular.
Call-takers at Ceridian
Woman #6: “Hi, this is Victoria from Life Works…”
NARRATOR: SO INSTEAD OF SPENDING MILLIONS ON DAYCARE SLOTS… MARRIOTT IS USING THE HOTLINE TO ANSWER THE NEEDS OF TEN PERCENT OF ITS EMPLOYEES.
Woman #7 “…how much can you pay a month, I guess for your mortgage?…”
Carmen Pizarro working at Marriott front desk
NARR: CARMEN PIZARRO, FOR EXAMPLE. SHE WORKS THE FRONT DESK AT THE RENAISSANCE HOTEL AT TIMES SQUARE IN NEW YORK.
CARMEN PIZARRO: Working in the hospitality business, you have to become a good actress. When you come to work, before you come to work. You have to learn to take everything in and then come back here and let everything out. Like “I can’t believe this happened to me…”
Carmen Pizarro at work, at home with son
NARR: CARMEN WAS HAVING A HARD TIME FOCUSING ON HER WORK LAST YEAR WHEN SHE COULDN’T FIND DAYCARE FOR HER SON. HER HUSBAND, WHO IS A BELLMAN, TOOK CARE OF THE BABY FULLTIME FOR A YEAR… THEN HE HAD TO GO BACK TO WORK.
CARMEN PIZARRO: So I was like okay, we need to find daycare quickly for the baby. So we were looking, we were looking, we looking, getting nowhere. Everybody oh, he has to be on a waiting list. Oh, he has to be potty trained. So it was like, oh my God, what are we going to do?
NARR: THE COUPLE CHASED DAYCARE LEADS FOR MONTHS AND CARMEN WAS DESPERATE. FINALLY – A COWORKER TOLD HER ABOUT THE HOTLINE…
CARMEN PIZARRO: They give you options to um, interview people to pick for your daycare provider. Um, they kept calling back to make sure that everything was taken care of and if I was happy with all the information that they sent me.
Carmen Pizarro picks son up at daycare
NARR: WITHIN A WEEK CARMEN FOUND DAYCARE JUST TWO BLOCKS FROM HER APARTMENT.
Daycare Provider: “He had a good day, ate all of his lunch.”
NARR: CARMEN FELT SO GOOD ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE… SHE CALLED THE HOTLINE WHEN SHE AND HER HUSBAND DECIDED TO LOOK FOR A NEW HOME.
Carmen Pizarro and Victor Pizarro look for house
Real Estate Agent: “It has a lot of property all in front of the house.”
Carmen Pizarro: “I like that up there.”
Real Estate Agent: “It’s a loft. This is a three-room one-bedroom, with a loft. Stove, adequate cabinet space.”
VICTOR PIZARRO: The greatest selling points about both houses that we saw was the lawn. Because we have a little, small child, he’s two years old. And I picture him running around on the yard and playing “daddy, daddy” with the ball.
NARR: THE KIND OF HELP THE PIZZAROS AND OTHERS GET FROM MARRIOTT’S EMPLOYEE HOTLINE…
Real Estate Agent: “This is the living room.”
NARR: … DRAWS HIGH PRAISE FROM BUSINESS CONSULTANTS LIKE PHIL MIRVIS.
PHILIP MIRVIS: What Marriott has done, and it’s not just Marriott, it’s a set of people in Marriott who said, look we can’t live a lie. The bulk of our workforce has a very tough life. We are asking these people to give better quality, to be more productive. We’ve got to not only meet them half way, we’ve got to take care of them so they can take care of our customers.
ELLEN GALINSKY: Marriott engaged in a problem solving process where they tried some things. Some have worked, some haven’t. And I think that’s the important lesson from Marriott. That addressing these issues is gonna take a real ability to think in a different way and to go on an adventure of problem solving. And if something doesn’t’ work it’s not the end of the world.
Bumper: Juggling Work and Family with Hedrick Smith
Unions Bargaining for Child Care
THE FAMILY FRIENDLY POLICIES WE’VE SEEN SO FAR HAVE COME TOP DOWN, INITIATED BY CORPORATE MANAGEMENT.
BUT SOMETIMES, THE PUSH FOR CHANGE COMES FROM BOTTOM-UP. SEVERAL LABOR UNIONS – HEEDING THEIR RANK-AND-FILE – HAVE GONE AFTER PRO-FAMILY BENEFITS.
IN THE 1990S, THE UNITED AUTO WORKERS UNION PERSUADED FORD, CHRYSLER AND GENERAL MOTORS TO PROVIDE CHILD CARE CENTERS. IN SAN FRANCISCO, THE HOTEL AND RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES’ UNION GOT 37 HOTELS TO SET UP A CHILD AND ELDER CARE FUND.
ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS, CREATED BY LOCAL 1199 OF THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, WAS FOR HOSPITAL WORKERS IN NEW YORK CITY.
Videos of Michael Lancaster at work in St. Vincent’s Hospital
NARR: FEW WORKING PARENTS HAVE FELT THE SQUEEZE OF TIME AND MONEY MORE SHARPLY THAN MICHAEL LANCASTER, THE OPERATING ROOM ASSISTANT WE MET EARLIER.
Michael Lancaster with Mylaka Lancaster on street, in supermarket
NARR: LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY… ON 37-THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR, MICHAEL IS STRETCHED THIN…. AS A SINGLE DAD, HE’S STRAPPED WITH SUPPORTING TWO OLDER DAUGHTERS… ONE IN COLLEGE, AND THE FULL EXPENSE OF RAISING FOUR-YEAR-OLD MYLAKA.
MICHAEL LANCASTER: You get paid, you do what you can, you make sure your bills are paid, and then you just go on from there. And when the next check comes, then we do it all over again. So I do the best I can.
Michael Lancaster and Mylaka Lancaster in grocery store, getting milk
Michael Lancaster: “Check the date, today’s the 19th, ‘kay, let daddy pick up some eggs”
MICHAEL LANCASTER: Babysitting is costing me about anywhere from two eighty to three hundred dollars every couple weeks. And it’s, you know, it’s, it’s a lot of money but the union’s been very helpful.
1199 Demonstration, marching chanting…
NARR: MICHAEL’S UNION OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS… 215 THOUSAND STRONG… IS A POWERFUL FORCE FOR CHANGE. IT IS LOCAL 1199 OF THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL…. THE UNION, CLOSELY TUNED IN ON ITS MEMBER’S PROBLEMS FOUND THAT CHILDCARE IS A HIGH PRIORITY FOR WORKING FAMILIES.
Hospital employees at work
CAROL JOYNER: If you are working poor, if you are middle-class in this country, the child-care expenses that you pay represent about 20 percent, maybe 15 or 20 percent of your take-home pay. And their, more and more, it’s looking a lot closer to their mortgage payment or the rent payment. It’s a huge chunk out of someone’s pocket.”
Dennis Rivera at 1199 Meeting in 1989: “If we are willing to fight, we can get it, it’s out there…”
NARR: SO WHAT DID THE UNION DO? BACK IN 1989 UNION PRESIDENT DENNIS RIVERA MADE AN UNPRECEDENTED BARGAINING DEMAND TO NEW YORK CITY HOSPITALS. IN ADDITION TO PAY RAISES… THE UNION WANTED A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR CHILD CARE FUND… PAID FOR BY THE HOSPITALS… TO HELP WORKERS TAKE CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN.
DENNIS RIVERA: When we put the demand on the table, people were looking at it like we were from Mars, in the sense that uh, the whole issue about why we were not negotiating about wages and we’re trying to get a child care fund.
Union members marching, chanting
NARR: MANAGEMENT SAID NO, AND DUG IN ITS HEELS. UNION WORKERS STAGED A SERIES OF SHORT STRIKES …THEN, A BREAKTHROUGH FROM CATHOLIC HOSPITALS…. THE ARCHBISHOP, JOHN CARDINAL O’CONNOR, ORDERED CATHOLIC HOSPITALS TO ACCEPT THE CHILD CARE FUND AND GRANT HEFTY PAY INCREASES.
John Cardinal O’Connor: “Every 1199 member does a job that is critical to healthcare. And so, you should be paid accordingly, and (applause)….”
Webcrawl: Union initiatives
NARR: WITH STEADY UNION PRESSURE, THE CHILD CARE FUND HAS GROWN. TODAY, MORE THAN 200 HOSPITALS SUPPORT IT.
Day care center, Carol Joyner and Hedrick Smith with children
NARR: CAROL JOYNER NOW RUNS THE FUND WITH TEN MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS. JOYNER MANAGES THE FLOW OF SUBSIDIES TO HOSPITAL WORKERS FOR DAYCARE… AFTER-SCHOOL AND SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS…AND MENTORING FOR TEENAGERS.
CAROL JOYNER: Parents are looking for support to stretch the household dollar so they can provide their kids with high-quality child care or education services. And a child care fund, pooling all the money together under the Fund and — and givin’ it back to members in the form of programs and benefits just seemed more logical. And has actually proven to work over time.
DENNIS RIVERA: We have uh, families that get two, three thousand dollars in terms of stipends or….or vouchers to take care of their childcare needs. Uh, that, if you go and try to add that up in terms of a percentage in the negotiations would be like for a thirty thousand dollar uh, worker would be uh, almost like a ten percent increase.
NARR: EVEN HOSPITALS NOW PRAISE THE CHILD CARE FUND. KEN RASKE, IS PRESIDENT OF THE GREATER THE NEW YORK HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION.
KENNETH RASKE: The child care fund has been very, very helpful as a strategy to make our work force better, retain our talent and to hopefully even recruit people and, uh the benefits, not only for the hospitals but for the people that receive the care are enormous.
Michael Lancaster walks with Mylaka Lancaster: “C’mon, go up the stairs so daddy can go, c’mon.”
NARR: FOR MICHAEL LANCASTER, LOCAL 1199’S CHILD CARE FUND HAS BEEN A GODSEND. IT HELPS KEEP HIM AFLOAT FINANCIALLY…GIVING HIM 16 HUNDRED DOLLARS A YEAR TOWARD MYLAKA’S DAYCARE.
Michael Lancaster to Mylaka Lancaster: “Want to open the door for daddy? Let’s go, c’mon. Say good morning Chris (Chris Scanio:‘Good morning’). Say good morning.”
MICHAEL LANCASTER: When I found Chris that is um, presently babysitting her now, she’s been the best thing that has ever happened. I’ve been able to relax.
Michael Lancaster to Chris Scanio: “Okay, and I left you some juice, okay?” (Chris Scanio: “Okay”) .
MICHAEL LANCASTER: So it’s been able to alleviate the….that burden of paying babysitting myself because, you know, being that I’m the only, you know, person that’s taking care of her, that’s the only way I’m able to pay a babysitter and if it wasn’t for the union’s child care fund, it would be very difficult without it.
Michael Lancaster to Mylaka Lancaster: “Gonna give me another kiss? C’mere, give me another kiss, give me another kiss. C’mere Mylaka, give me a kiss, give me a kiss (kisses Mylaka). Daddy’ll see you later.”
NARR: THE DOWNSIDE IS THAT THE CHILD CARE FUND CAN COVER ONLY ABOUT EIGHT THOUSAND OF THE 55 THOUSAND ELIGIBLE KIDS. SO THE MONEY HAS TO BE RATIONED… AND PARENTS CANNOT COUNT ON A CHILD CARE SUBSIDY EVERY YEAR. THAT WORRIES MICHAEL LANCASTER.
Michael Lancaster and Hedrick Smith on NY subway
HEDRICK SMITH: Let me ask you this. Union negotiations are coming up. If you had a choice between askin’ the union to get you more money and wages or more money for the Child Care Fund, which would you pick?”
MICHAEL LANCASTER: I would say more money for the child care fund. If we got more, we’ll be able to continue on instead of one year you have it, one year you don’t have it, one year you have it. At least I know every year I’m gonna get money, it would be a big help.
Dennis Rivera greeting Union members at training center
NARR: WITH PARENTS LIKE MICHAEL IN MIND, DENNIS RIVERA IS PUSHING THIS YEAR TO MORE THAN DOUBLE THE SIZE OF THE CHILD CARE FUND.…
DENNIS RIVERA: So we want to uh, in this collective bargaining negotiations to try to get about twenty-four million dollars a year so we can meet the needs of every member of our union who wants to get access to this benefit can have it.
Dwane Jones playing basketball
NARR: PROBABLY THE MOST UNUSUAL AND VISIONARY COMPONENT OF 1199’S CHILDCARE PROGRAMS IS THE ONE TO HELP TEENAGE KIDS OF UNION MEMBERS PREPARE FOR THEIR FUTURE….
CAROL JOYNER: The teenage dilemma in this country is that services and programs for teenagers have been rolling back and, and, and being reduced for the last 30 years. And parents are equally concerned about their teenagers. They’re concerned, one, that their academic standing remains high. But they’re equally concerned that they’re engaged significantly during after-school and during the summers.
Dwane Jones walking in Greenwich Village to New York University
DWANE JONES: My name is Dwane Jones. I’m 17-years-old. I’m a senior. I play basketball. My mom’s a registered nurse.
NARR: EVERY SATURDAY MORNING DWANE JONES AND 175 OTHER HIGH SCHOOL TEENS MAKE THEIR WAY TO GREENWICH VILLAGE FOR A DAY OF STUDY AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY.
Video of hallways, classrooms
NARR: THEY ARE HERE FOR A UNIQUE PROGRAM CALLED UPWARD BOUND. THERE IS EVERYTHING FROM REMEDIAL HELP IN ENGLISH AND MATH… TO SEMINARS ON HOW TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESES…
Dwane Jones in college applications class
Dwane Jones in class: “I got accepted to Five Towns, Five Towns College…”
NARR: THIS CLASS WALKS DWANE THROUGH COLLEGE APPLICATIONS…
Dwane Jones in class: “And I’m waiting for Norfolk State. So, those are my three that I’m basically narrowed down to right now”
DWANE JONES: They helped me write my college essay which was totally on the wrong topic when I first wrote it. I went up two hundred and ten points on my SATs so that really helped me.
Pat Ryan in hallway, talking to students
Pat Ryan: “So you’re okay with that, you sure, you’re not going to be too nervous? Okay, thank you.”
NARR: PAT RYAN OF THE NYU FACULTY RUNS THE UPWARD BOUND PROGRAM FOR THE UNION…
PAT RYAN: Adolescents tend to be forgotten…adolescence is thought of as that transition period where you’re moving into adulthood, and in our society today I think we’ve shortchanged a lot of our kids. Um, we’ve added tremendous amount of pressures and responsibilities, and the burden of what they have to do keeps getting bigger and bigger but they’re, nobody is giving them the things that they need to make that transition successful.
NARR: PARENTS LIKE DWANE’S MOM… MARGARET FRENCH… ALSO NEED HELP WITH THAT DIFFICULT ADOLESCENT TRANSITION… SHE IS A REGISTERED NURSE WITH TWO JOBS AND COLLEGE STUDIES OF HER OWN.
MARGARET FRENCH: Especially being a single mother, it is challenging. And being a mother, a woman raising a son, you know, I’m not a man so I cannot think as a man, I cannot raise him as a man. But I can point to examples and I can tell him that, you know, what I’ve seen and encourage him.
HEDRICK SMITH: Are there times when … your mom doesn’t quite get it about a teenager?
DWANE JONES: Definitely. She’s a single mom, and I — I always say, “You’re, you’re a woman. You’re not gonna understand me, I’m about to be a man. I’m a young man. There’re, there’re certain things that you’re definitely not gon’ be able to stand — understand about me.” So…
HEDRICK SMITH: What was Dwane’s reaction when you first said you’re going to school on Saturday?
MARGARET FRENCH: He said, “No way.” He told me that he wasn’t gonna go.
DWANE JONES: Oh I was angry, I was angry, I didn’t want to come…
MARGARET FRENCH: Especially all his friends were working for the summer so, you know, he wanted to get a summer job, that’s what he wanted to do.
DWANE JONES: It was a long commute for me. You know, I didn’t want to have to come back in the city all the way again just to go to school.
Dwane Jones in math class
Teacher: “We have sine, we have cosine…”
NARR: THANKS TO THE CHILD CARE FUND, DWANE’S MOM SAW A CHANCE TO PUT SOME PURPOSE INTO HIS WEEKENDS.
MARGARET FRENCH: There are a lot of things that could be happening with teenagers if they do not have some structure in their life. You know, friends are influential and instead of just hanging around in the mall or, you know, just browsing around, that gives him something definitely structured to do.
Upward Bound Students talk with Hedrick Smith
JERMAINE BAYLEY: On my English Regents, I got one of the highest grades in the, in my class, so…
NARR: BEFORE LONG, DWANE AND THE OTHER TEENS CAME TO LIKE THE PROGRAM, ESPECIALLY THE ATTENTION THEY GOT FROM TEACHERS.
DWANE JONES: They’re always after me. It’s like they’re, they’re mothers like I have like ten mothers here, you know. They’re like, “Dwane, are you going to class?” “Yeah, I’m on my way.” You know, so it’s just a good feeling.
HEDRICK SMITH: You don’t mind it?
DWANE JONES: No, not at all.
HEDRICK SMITH: Doesn’t bug you?
DWANE JONES: Nope.
HEDRICK SMITH: Just the opposite.
DWANE JONES: Yeah, I like it.
PAT RYAN: I remember the math teacher actually putting him up against the wall and saying, “You didn’t do your homework!” And he said, “Yes, Miss. I’m sorry.” I would never have expected Dwane to say, “I’m sorry.” It would just be, “Ah, I didn’t do it” — matter-of-fact. You know, “Who cares?” All of a sudden, he started to care that he was doing his homework.
DWANE JONES: Yeah, and that means a lot that when you… when you think that somebody cares, it does a whole world of difference.
JERMAINE BAYLEY: Well, here, if you ask a question, the teacher’ll come to you, take you aside from the rest of the class and explain it to you. So that way, you know, there’s a bond there, that bond, you know, helps you to understand the work easier.
NICOLE ADAMS: I wouldn’t have gone up a hundred and twenty points in my SATs as I did without this program because without it….because before I took the SAT prep program in the, in, in here I didn’t know what to do on my SATs. I was lost.
PAT RYAN: That, I think, is the difference, just getting them to ask questions that they’ve never been able to articulate before, and to find options, rather than have missed opportunities.
DWANE JONES: I, I just really got turned on by, by the whole, big, college thing. This is one of the biggest schools, one of the best schools in the whole area. So, it was a real privilege to be there.
Dwane Jones walking in Greenwich Village near New York University
DWANE JONES: I was like, finally, I’ve arrived, I see where I want to be.
JOAN WILLIAMS: The 1199 example shows the kinds of things that should be done, should be done by unions, should be done by local governments, should be done by state and federal governments as well.
1199 Protests, Hewlett- Packard Factory, Baxter Plant, Marriott Hotel
NARR: THE POINT IS TO MOVE BEYOND THE EFFORTS OF UNIONS LIKE LOCAL 1199 …AND INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES LIKE HEWLETT-PACKARD… BAXTER INTERNATIONAL…AND MARRIOTT.
HEDRICK SMITH: Whose responsibility are these problems?
PHILIP MIRVIS: These are everybody’s problems. It’s unquestionably you’re going to have to have private/public partnerships if you want to solve a problem in a community and that will involve employers, it may involve local state, even federal government with legislative support and so on.
EILEEN APPELBAUM: Well if you view women as entering the workforce in order to help the country maintain its standard of living, maintain its industrial prowess, then you have to ask the question, “what do we need to do to facilitate these women entering the workforce?” ….then the answer is we have to make sure they have the ability and the supports that they needed to make it possible for them to work and also to do a good job raising their children.
Donna Klein walking in Marriott hallway with co-worker
NARR: CORPORATE LEADERS LIKE DONNA KLEIN OF MARRIOTT AGREE AND ARE ORGANIZING TO PUSH FOR NEW PUBLIC POLICIES.
Webcrawl: Public policy ideas
NARR: THEY FEEL A DIRECT STAKE BECAUSE OUR ECONOMY FACES A LONG-TERM LABOR SHORTAGE.
DONNA KLEIN: Corporations cannot do it alone. A decade ago, we thought maybe we could. As we have learned and gained experience we recognized that we have to have a lot of other kinds of, of support services available in the country in order to continue to rely on, uh, working families.
ANN CRITTENDEN: This program is mostly about how business needs to adjust by offering more viable part time jobs or offering shorter work-weeks or offering more paid leave for this, these family obligation. I also happen to think social policy needs to adjust by providing, for instance, early education for young children.
DONNA KLEIN: As a country, we are far behind every other industrialized (chuckling) country in the world. There is no industrialized country in the world that doesn’t have a systematic system of child care. And that is not saying we need to have a national solution. But that does say that we need to have increased recognition of the issue from the federal government, state government and employers throughout the country.
JOAN WILLIAMS: Well I think of France where they have a very well established system of um, of child care schools that almost 100% of the children attend by age three. Parents fight to get their children into these day care centers, whether the mothers are at home or not.
PHILIP MIRVIS: It’s tricky though. … many have, have sort of said why don’t we Europeanize America with these kinds of policies and everything will work out well. The two pieces I hear from executives as well as politicians is we’re certainly by no means ready to adopt under the social structures and governmental, uh, influence that you find in many of the European countries. So there’s no appetite for it politically.
HEDRICK SMITH: There’s no appetite for copying Europe or learning from Europe.
ANN CRITTENDEN: Well there’s no appetite among executives. There’s plenty of appetite among mothers.
PHILIP MIRVIS: What we haven’t had is the politicians getting in front of the parade and saying yes it’s a social issue.
HEDRICK SMITH: Are political leaders speaking out?
ANN CRITTENDEN: I think a lot of political leaders are starting to move on this front, particularly state governors such as in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, we’re seeing the beginning of public education going down to the age of 4. I could see it going down to the age of three because we know we need better educated kids.
NARR: ANOTHER ISSUE… LIKELY TO REQUIRE GOVERNMENT ACTION …IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE WORK-WEEK. THE 40-HOUR WEEK AND EIGHT-HOUR DAY ARE ENSHRINED IN LAW… FAMILY POLICY EXPERTS SAY THAT’S TOO RIGID FOR TODAY’S WORKFORCE.
ANN CRITTENDEN: We haven’t changed the work-week since the 1930s. That’s when the 40- hour week was set up. Now, 70 years later we’re working more than 40 hours a week. The typical manager works closer to 50 hours a week than 40. Many working mothers are working 80 hours a week. And I think we need to limit working hours.
JOAN WILLIAMS: It’s a structural problem. It needs a structural solution. Part of it has to do with businesses rethinking the way that, that they structure jobs.
HEDRICK SMITH: So what you’re really talking about is a change of mind set, a change of cultural attitudes and norms.
JOAN WILLIAMS: It’s a change of cultural attitudes and norms but it’s also a change of work structures. We still organize work as if we had a nation of housewives and housewives who were happy to be home, who had no career aspirations. We have a work system that doesn’t fit with our family system. We need to change something.
THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT NOW PROMISES TO FORCE ITS WAY ONTO OUR NATIONAL AGENDA…
CHANGE WON’T COME EASY BECAUSE WHAT’S AT STAKE IS THE CLASH BETWEEN HOW WE MAKE A LIVING AND HOW WE WANT TO LIVE. BUT CHANGE CAME HARD AT THE COMPANIES AND UNIONS IN THIS PRORGRAM…AND THEY ALL REPORT THAT A NEW APPROACH PAYS OFF.
WIDER REFORMS LIKE A SHORTER WORK WEEK…PAID FAMILY LEAVE …EARLY LEARNING CENTERS… PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS… THESE ARE ALL PIECES OF A LARGER SOLUTION. IT WILL TAKE CREATIVE LEADERSHIP TO FORGE THEM INTO A COHERENT STRATEGY.
BUT AS A COUNTRY, WE CAN NO LONGER SAFELY NEGLECT THE PRICE BEING EXACTED ON THE FAMILY BY OUR ECONOMY. AND WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH WITHOUT ADJUSTING OUR POLICIES TO A WORKFORCE THAT IS HALF WORKING PARENTS.
FINDING A BETTER BALANCE BETWEEN WORK AND FAMILY IS A PROBLEM NOW RIPE FOR NATIONAL DEBATE AND ACTION.
I’M HEDRICK SMITH, THANKS FOR BEING WITH US.