This comic is about presenteeism, I think it is a typically french behavior which consist in staying late at work to be noticed, have wage raises and be promoted.

Thanks a lot Eva Zicler for the translation 😉


13 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. Thank you so much for the English translation of this piece. As always, you are spot on. In the US we call “presenteeism” face time. I have been struggling with this since my son was born. My husband’s responsibilities at home would end at 8am when he would take our son to daycare, while I would get to work at 7am and my day would not end until I put our son to bed (after which my husband would come home from work). There is so much talk in my country of women earning less than men. Until men are expected to do half the work at home, and are supported by society in doing so, women will never achieve equal wages.


  2. Hi Emma, I have to tell you how much I loved your blog, and I don’t mean this is as a formality. I truly loved it. They are so relatable, well explained and wonderfully illustrated. The effort that you put in, is clearly viisible. Must say you’re very talented. Great job!


  3. Loved it. Especially the need to change our perspective — ‘You have a baby at home, and you are still here?’ and ‘What are you still doing here this late? Don’t you have a life’?
    Looking forward to your next post with your solution.


  4. So familiar. It’s definitely not just a French thing – I’ve seen this in South Africa, London and Switzerland. And it’s not just a problem for parents either (although YES the mothers are the ones it hits the hardest, from both sides). In every office I’ve worked in, it’s been obvious that the people who worked the longest hours were the least productive. The ones with the discipline to get things done before home time were the real stars. Study after study has shown that people are far more productive when they work FEWER hours. But the culture just doesn’t change.


  5. Thank you Emma, wonderful stuff! Really like your simplicity in addressing such complex issues, so straightforward and so full of empathy. Hope more guys listen!


  6. Hi Emma, I completely agree that a mindset shift across society is required in order for both genders of parents AND the children to benefit.
    On international women’s day, I have been ruminating on the fact that I have a sone and 2 daughters, who are given clearly signposted amazing women stores and role models in collections of books, the IWD movement, and across the press at the moment with the prevalent hashtag movements. Howver my son is floundering and try No to work out why the only narrative is female. He is about equality. Girls can do everything in his mind, of course. But what do his role models and hero’s look like? Currently the school playground chat for boys is apparently about gamers, (infantilising men), hackers and sportsmen. I am struggling to find a well curated book for boys, or indeed even many articles. I may write one. Until our boys know what to aspire to, how will our girls and boys make a progressive society reality. We all know that in order for women to achieve they either need to have no children, lots of money to pay for support, or the support of an amazing man at home (like amazing men need the support of an amazing woman). Someone needs to give care and attention to the children for them to grow up to be forward thinking, kind hearted empathetic souls too, otherwise our society is doomed. Having to Donate all our energy and face time to being at work in order to be repspected sits at the heart of the issue for both sexes.


  7. Wouldn’t it be great if company bosses had the courage to set a stance saying ‘What I value in my employees is efficiency. I pay you to work XXX hours a week. If you are having to stay here longer than that to finish the tasks I/we set for the week then I see that as a worrying sign, that perhaps you are struggling with the workload’.

    I work in a lab and finished late last night because something came up which put me behind. It was 7pm when I returned to the office to collect my bags. I expected it to be empty but no, it was half full, with no one seeming to be about to leave. I felt guilty as I put on my coat but then looked around me – there were plenty of Facebook browsers open and people looking at their phones instead of the computer. And the thought occurred to me : ‘Why should I feel guilty if you can’t work efficiently enough to finish on time and don’t appear to want a life outside this office?’


  8. I’m an Australian woman in my 30s. For the last 5 years I worked in childcare, caring for young babies and toddlers.

    If a child was sick and needed to be picked up early we would always call the mother first, even though we had both parents phone numbers on hand. When I couldn’t get in touch with the mother, I would call the father and feel guilty and apologetic for asking him to leave work to pick up his sick child. And incredibly impressed and grateful when he did.

    Conversely, I would get annoyed at mothers who would arrive late to pick up their children. I reflect on my unconscious bias a lot. I am especially sad that this was (and still is) completely normal practice.


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