Tuesday, July 01, 2008

'Their Brains Turn To Mush'

Today's G2 quotes Theo Paphitis (some kind of businessman, apparently) holding forth about the uselessness of pregnant women:

[Women] "get themselves bloody pregnant and ... they always argue that they'll be working until the day before, have the baby, go down to the river, wash it off, give it to the nanny and be back at work the following day, but sure enough, their brains turn to mush, and then after the birth the maternal instincts kick in, they take three months off, get it out of their system and are back to normal".

(My emphasis.)

Is that so, Mr Paphitis, whoever you might be? Perhaps you'd like to know that even in my advanced state of uselessness, I have managed to do the following in the past couple of weeks:

1. Write a 2,000-word paper on how best to manage old corporate WANs and modern IP networks.

2. Write a list of recommendations for how to keep Eastern Europe economically competitive, which will (apparently) be presented next week to the president of Romania.

3. Write a number of letters to senior government officials persuading them that buying my client's software will help them to meet their revised 'efficiency targets' under the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

4. Write an executive summary of the European software industry's recommendations to the EU for policy revisions designed to encourage technology-based innovation.

Of course it could always be the case that I just *think* I did those things, and that what I actually did was scrawl a number of rudimentary pictures of bunnies in crayon on the back of a cereal packet.

And there is the fact that yesterday I forgot to take my towel and my underwear with me when I went for a swim, meaning that I later had to trail round Asda WITH NO PANTS ON, the horror.

But still.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

"[Women] "get themselves bloody pregnant "

Amazed I have missed this ground-breaking advancement in science that will shake the human civilization to its very core. RIP sperm.

EW

patroclus said...

Yes. In fact according to Paphitis's biography, his own wife got herself pregnant no fewer than five times. A biological miracle!

Boz said...

Yes but. If people (and please note my non-gender specific phrasing) were not interested in babies there would be no anything for very much longer, no?

And not everyone wants to work 23 hours a day.

And I think 'normal' emcompasses all sides of human nature - including reproduction, not the ability to touch type.

And is he happy?

And does he really believe everyone with a child is incapable of rational thought???

ARGH. I'm angry now.

But ironically the word verification includes 'JNR', so I'm much happier now.

Boz said...

No, actually still cross.

Tim Footman said...

Hur hur, you said pants.

patroclus said...

Boz: Yes, the wider argument for the prolongation of the human race seems to escape many of these 'business leaders'.

Tim: See how I effortlessly combine registers EVEN WHILE PREGNANT.

Kelly said...

He seems to be suggesting that taking only three months off is unacceptably long. Grr.

leonie said...

"2. Write a list of recommendations for how to keep Eastern Europe economically competitive, which will (apparently) be presented next week to the president of Romania."

Dude!

Annie said...

I'm too angry about something else at the moment to be properly angry about this, and will return with an irate comment at a later date, if I may.

You can also do coloured text in your blog posts whilst pregnant *is impressed and admiring*

Dave said...

You can draw pictures of bunnies in crayon despite being handicapped by pregnancy? I'm impressed.

Annie Rhiannon said...

"Amazed I have missed this ground-breaking advancement in science that will shake the human civilization to its very core. RIP sperm."

Hee.

patroclus said...

Kelly: Him and Alan Sugar are as bad as each other - neither of them would employ women at all if they could get away with it. On the other hand, I spent a few years working for an American software company whose attitude towards maternity leave, flexible working, onsite childcare, women in senior roles etc. was enlightened to say the least. It does somewhat better for itself than bloody *Rymans* and whatever company Suralan is in charge of these days.

Leonie: Not sure. I've never been to Romania, for a start. But hey, if they want my advice, they're going to get it.

Annie: Fear not - the collective power of the blogosphere will solve your problems!

Dave: Embarrassingly enough I find writing reports about MPLS networks much easier than drawing pictures of bunnies (or indeed, anything), even at the best of times. It was my brother who got all the artistic talent. Such as this, for example.

Annie R: I read a detective book once which had as its premise the idea that sperm is actually unnecessary, and all that you need to fertilise an egg is to fire *something* at it at high velocity. I believe in the book they used another egg. I never got any further than O-level Biology, so have no idea if this is true or not. I'm guessing not.

rivergirlie said...

some people go round asda (and other places) with no pants ON PURPOSE! if i were you, i'd claim to be one of these types - that'll keep them guessing about the brain/mush situation - and so much more!

patroclus said...

RG: Fortunately I was wearing the only pair of maternity jeans in my possession that don't fall down every two minutes, otherwise there wouldn't have been much guessing to be done.

Dave said...

It's wearing jeans that fall down every two minutes that gets women in your condition you know.

Spinsterella said...

My workplace is so outrageously sexist that a variation on the following conversation occurs on almost a daily basis.

Man 1 - Do you know about this thing?

Man 2 - No, but here's an ill-informed opinion anyhow.

Me - I know all about it, listen to me.

Man 1 - What about you, Man 3?

Man 3 - Absolutely nothing but I will give misleading information that will possibly get the wrong people into trouble for no reason.

Me - Hello?

Mind you, I have forgotten to take knickers/towel/shampoo etc to the gym on many occasions and I'm not even pregnant; perhaps they're right to ignore me.

LC said...

Never mind all that. Put your knickers on and make me a cup of tea.

patroclus said...

Dave: I know, and in Asda car park too. What's the country coming to?

Spin: That's truly appalling. Although, as Tim pointed out on the other blog, women apparently aren't allowed to have an informed opinion about music, so perhaps your colleagues were just following 6Music's example.

LC: Don't you have Summer Glau making your tea now?

Boz said...

Hah! This will confuse him...

Marsha said...

"In fact according to Paphitis's biography, his own wife got herself pregnant no fewer than five times."

If the alternative was sex with Theo Paphitis, I would also have got myself pregnant (although not five times!)

Malc said...

Wasn't he chairman of Millwall at one time? Explains a lot, I think.