At my old job, I brought in baked treats all the time, organized fun staff actvities like Vegan Food Week and Afternoon Sketching Breaks, led our Bike Month team. My contribution to office culture wasn’t reflected in pay or respect from management.

I stopped doing so much when I switched jobs - I’ll sign up for birthday duty and host happy hour once a year, occasionally bring a dish to a potluck. I tried to help organize Bike Month for a couple years but the dudebros in charge treated me like I didn’t know what I was talking about even though I’d been bike commuting for more than five years 🤷‍♀️

I think there’s something lost in connection with colleagues, at least on my end - as if I’ve held back my caring some because I tend to do these things for people I care about - but I don’t want to be the office mom. I want my emotional labor to be valued, and I don’t see it valued in the coworkers who do all these things. And I wouldn’t want to be valued by my coworkers just for what nice things I do for others anyway 🤷‍♀️

Tracy Durnell @tracydurnell