update: can my husband’s employer constantly record all the conversation in our house?

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Remember the letter-writer whose husband’s employer was constantly recording all the conversation in their house? Here’s the update.

I’m the wife who wrote in about my husband’s company who constantly recorded him.

My husband seemed to be in a mild state of shock reading your post and then reading the comments. To quote a great literary mind, “Mr. Fish was most astounded. Mr. Fish was most aghast.” After reading, he looked at me and stated matter-of-factly, “The Internet thinks I should quit my job.”

A few commenters picked up on details that I left out for anonymity, but yes. It was for a finance-related call center. It’s often true that the workers in the phone mines don’t get treated too well. This appeared to be no exception. And to respond to some commenters, my husband does care very much, but he didn’t write in because he’s not the one addicted to AAM.

In his (spoiler, prior) industry, calls did need to be recorded to meet regulations. Normally, in order to work from home, you would need a secluded, private place to work. These are not normal times, though, so my husband was working in the playroom. He was given equipment, but no way to preserve privacy. We had some legal problems on our hands.

Anyway, my husband chose not to bring it up with his manager again. It was a system update, but here’s the kicker.

The system update was intentional. 100% intentional.

When telling me the story the first time, my dear husband left out an important detail. He found out that the system was constantly recording because his manager started talking to him out of nowhere through his headset when a call wasn’t happening. No ring. No beep. Just his manager’s voice echoing in his head.

My husband was like WTF and texted to me not to talk to him when he’s not on a call because it might be recorded as well, but he neglected to tell me what had just happened. (He forgets to tell me details like this all. the. time. Like three years into our marriage, he remembered to tell me that he accidentally was a part of an MLM for a week. Important stuff.)

So, nobody on his team expressed they even cared about the system update. They were getting coached on calls by using this system and so they found it useful, I guess. Plus, another feature of the update was people were taking up to five times as many calls. The company also decided to slash his team’s commission structure. More work. Less money. Nobody was happy. Being listened to was the least of most people’s worries.

So, my husband dusted off the resume and decided to pursue a career he has wanted since he was a wee lad. I helped him with his cover letter using the advice from your site, and helped him show some personality. Despite not having the required degree and certification, they loved his enthusiasm and saw that he had the necessary skills. They hired him less than a week after he started his job hunt! We celebrated. And my husband wasn’t at the old place long enough to see his pay get cut. His old manager was very understanding and threw a low-key party and will serve as a good reference for him in the future.

The new job is not free from issues, though. Re: the email I almost sent you with the subject line, “How to respond when your boss texts you ‘I love you’.'” We were able to spot the potential problems before accepting the offer blindly, though, and ultimately decided the benefits outweighed the risks. Flexible schedule, decent starting wage in new industry, vs serious office drama.

As for me, housewife and raiser of small humans, I will hopefully be able to write you with my own questions someday in the not-too-distant future. I have decided that I want a career. This is a big deal for me. Like, I was taught growing up that women should not pursue a career. Education was only a back-up plan. I guess I thought when my kids left the house, I would seamlessly transition back into the workforce. Your site showed me that is not so, and also that education really is not the most important thing employers care about.

So, with my husband’s newfound flexibility, he is watching the kids at least five hours every day so I can study and get my degree, at which point I’ll decide if I want to get my PhD or get a job. I’m still relatively young, and I’m grateful I made this choice now instead of having a midlife crisis. I’m grateful for an awesome husband. I’m grateful for the privilege I have to get a good education. I’m grateful for that lawyer you reached out to. He nailed it on the head. And I’m grateful for your perceptive advice and the commentariat’s support, and your politics-free zone to help me keep my sanity this year.

I can’t believe how much I’ve learned just from reading your site, and someday when I’m not a poor student, I hope to buy your books and give them to all 20+ siblings of mine for Christmas. (I told you I was raised believing women should bear children, right?)

And thus concludes a long-winded update of the year from Hades. May next be as good as this year was bad.

– The Wife (sometimes) in the Playroom

{ 181 comments… read them below }

      1. Jules the 3rd*

        Yeah, seriously – I’m so glad you’re exploring what works for you and your core family. Best of luck!

      2. allathian*

        All the best to you! I hope we’ll get an update a few years from now when you have completed your degree and are looking forward to starting your career. There’s nothing wrong in being a homemaker if that’s what makes you happy, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting both a family and a career, either. Both are possible, especially with a supportive spouse. I’m willing to bet folding money that your husband also appreciates the opportunity to spend some time with your children thanks to a more flexible job.

      3. K Clark*

        Good luck! You should check out The Mom Project btw. It’s a company that focuses on helping moms get back into the workplace and matched with parent friendly employers. They also have programs to help start building up a resume slowly when you are ready to transition to work after being home.

  1. Working Hypothesis*


    Congratulations to you both, LW: to your husband on the new career he wanted (and on getting away from that horrible employer!) and to you for the decision to go for a career of your own. That’s awesome. You both rock.

  2. Still Laughing*

    OP should seriously consider a career involving writing because I have never laughed so much.

    1. Kate*

      Agreed! Hilarious (and inspiring) update even without my error in reading, which made me think that the old boss threw OP’s husband a “key party.”

    2. AppleStan*

      Echoing this OP. Please consider writing as a career, part-time job, or hobby, because you definitely have a special and unique way of communication that is highly engaging, entertaining, and engrossing!

    3. PollyQ*

      +1000000! And this might be an exception to the “don’t bother starting a blog to enhance your career” advice. If OP can show a body of work like this letter that she’s produced over time, I have to think that would be impressive to some employers.

    4. OP*

      You people! You’re all so flattering!

      To adequately thank you all for the buoy of encouragement you’ve all been, I would probably have to bring some non-alcoholic beverage to share with y’all. (Sorry for egging on the religion speculation, Alison. I can’t, well, I don’t want to help it.)

      Thanks to all!

    5. DataGirl*

      agreed, this is my favorite letter I’ve read in a long time. I’m happy for you and your family, OP.

    6. Snailing*

      I was going to comment the same thing – I laughed AND I teared up a little at the end because you can really feel how much OP means the words she’s writing.

      OP, you seem like such a wonderful wife, mother, and just general-all-around person! Go kick your study books’ asses and get that degree!

    7. EngineerMom*

      Came to say the same thing!

      Whatever career you’re pursuing, that turn-of-phrase skill is amazing!

  3. I'm A Little Teapot*

    Ha! I love this. OP, you have quite the writing style. Good luck on your degree, good luck in your career, and good luck with the small humans.

    1. booksbooksmorebooks*

      Yes! I came to comment solely on the writing style. OP, this was a masterclass in pacing and comedic timing, asides, structure… I just, I love your voice. I would read multiple books by you (on your siblings, on your quest for work, whatever – you’re an amazing writer!)

      1. OP*

        I’m flattered.

        I have seriously considered writing about my family, but I have siblings still in elementary school. I don’t want to ruin their lives…yet. :)

        1. booksbooksmorebooks*

          Totally fair. As one of the family members who has been written about, even obliquely, you’re doing them a massive kindness at this point. (Who doesn’t love being immortalized as their 16 year old brattiest self?)

          Past 16 they can take it, I promise. ;)

    1. Zephy*

      This one and the first one about the deadnaming coworker are very close contenders for best update of 2020.

    2. Everdene*

      This is such a great update. I would love an update update in a couple of years when both husband and wife are rocking their new careers and their kids have awesome role models.

  4. Momma Bear*

    “May next be as good as this year was bad.”

    I’m going to borrow this. Excellent wording, IMO.

    I’m glad for your update, not only for your household/spouse but for YOU! Way to go to see what you want and take the steps toward achieving it. Really wonderful to also hear that your husband supports this plan. Sounds like excellent times ahead.

  5. Stabbity Tuesday*

    First, LW, have you ever considered a career in creative writing? You have a fantastic writing voice! You could practice by sharing the MLM story, cause I feel like you could do something great with “my husband accidentally joined a pyramid scheme”
    Second, congrats to you both for progress and discovery, as someone very adjacent to the “women are for housewifing”, I know that can be really hard to break out of. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

    1. Lyudie*

      At the least, I would love OP to come back tomorrow and tell us about how her husband accidentally got into an MLM!

      1. Foreign Octopus*

        Yes, please! How did he get into an MLM? How long did it take him to notice? Why did it take him three years to mention it? I have questions!

      1. Jean (just Jean)*

        Stuff can happen. I once worked somewhere for about the same amount of time (5-10 business days, I forget exactly). It was not a good fit. My decision to leave was a good one.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        I laughed out loud at that. It was well into our marriage before I found that my spouse went to grad school a thousand miles from home for two weeks and also that they lived in Atlanta for a couple of months. I don’t remember how it came up, but it definitely had that, “Wait, when you were in grad school WHERE? When was that?” feel to it.

    2. BJS*

      This! I feel like he said it so casually. I need more – was it before he met you? What happened? How’d he get out?

    3. DrSalty*

      I’m not OP but I also accidentally joined a pyramid scheme for a week. I was a teenager who needed a job and didn’t know any better. The joke is it took me a week to realize I hated sales and quit, but it took me like 3 years to realize it was a MLM-style pyramid scheme! This was in the days before everyone you knew in high school sold Lululemon on Facebook.

    4. OP*

      Thank you! Yes, I have considered writing as a career. I’ve self-published a few children’s books, think cat books in Arabic. I have a few chapter books I have sitting on my hard drive, but I find sending them off to agents/publishers quite a daunting process. I only have so much time between kids and calculus. SO, mostly I just write the books, tell my kids the stories, and leave them to collect dust.

      You’re right – it is so hard to break out of the mindset that women belong at home. I struggle being guilted by myself and others in my religion and family frequently. Some are supportive, many are not.

      Thanks for your kind words. :)

      1. EPLawyer*

        Send them out. Keep sending them out. You will find a publisher. Might I recommend Scott Pack’s Guide to Publishing? He is a former buyer for Wayerstones and currently runs a boutique publ8sher in the UK.

      2. booksbooksmorebooks*

        My great aunt (who ended up being a very successful writer) quite literally wallpapered her tiny office with rejection letters at one point. When you get pockets of time, I hope you keep going. Send them out! You’re brilliant! It’ll click – aunt eventually found a great agent she worked with for years. Scott Pack’s Guide to Publishing recommended above is excellent.

  6. Empress Matilda*

    OP, this is such a lovely update. Thank you for sharing your story, and best of luck with whatever comes next!

  7. Mert*

    OP, I’m from a similar background and nodded knowingly through so much of your letter! I’m so glad you’re being proactive about your own career. Hope all goes well!

    1. Elizabeth Bennet*

      Me too! I’m glad you’re being proactive about an education, because even well educated stay-at-home mothers end up having better educated children. You’re also better prepared for employment, should you need it (and not just want it). I hope it works out for the best!

  8. avocadotacos*

    “…but he didn’t write in because he’s not the one addicted to AAM.” I love it! And this turn of events totally makes sense to me that someone obsessed with a work advice column.

    That whole situation sounds creepy and hard, I am happy y’all are out of it!

  9. CarCarJabar*

    Love this update and this letterwriter!! You can do this!! You’ll have hard days and you might even want to give up and stay in the playroom for the next 12 years. But I’ve found being a working mom very beneficial my mental health and my kids! They form valuable relationships with other caregivers, who in turn help you out when you have a parenting conundrum. And when your kids see that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to, then they KNOW they can do the same!

    1. OP*

      Thanks for your encouragement from the other side.

      I’m still working out day care/nanny guilt. That was taught as one of the worst things a parent can do to a child, so while I don’t need it now, I foresee needing it in the future, and I’m scared! I’m glad to know that you feel it is a positive. Thanks.

      1. CarCarJabar*

        Mom-guilt is real, but try not to dwell on it. When my oldest child was a baby, I found her daycare teachers to be an invaluable resource. They seriously were so helpful with advice, and it made me a better mom. They had so much more experience than I did!

        1. Hazel*

          And from the other side (sort of): a good friend of mine is a daycare teacher, and she loves the kids and the work so much!

      2. Atalanta sans apples*

        Ohhh my gosh, my (emphasis on my! Not trying to badmouth anyone else’s parenting decisions here) kid is so much better off for getting to go to daycare! He has lots of friends he gets to see regularly, he gets structure that I’m not very good at providing, he learns different ways of being a grown up in the world from the care providers, and he’s learning a language we don’t speak at home. Plus, it’s another adult who loves my kid and is proud of his accomplishments and knows things he needs help with. We can compare notes! And talk to each other about how great he is :) It’s like having yet another parent to help raise him. He loves his daycare friends and is always so excited to go see them and the providers. Plus, I’m a better parent for having the space from him–I am much more patient and pay lots of good quality attention to him when we are together, because I get time to be with my thoughts.

        In sum, WE LOVE DAYCARE. I hope you end up feeling the same way, when you do need it!

      3. Retired Prof*

        OP – my kids loved their nursery school and thrived there. One teacher adopted my kid with a language disability and kept him safe and happy. During the school years our kids did not do well in the after school care facility so we had in-home after school babysitters from the local college population and they were fabulous – usually way better than me at getting homework done without battles. There are many flavors of childcare, and you can find the one that best suits your kids. They end up with a bigger network of caring adults and that’s a good thing.

    2. Absurda*

      “And when your kids see that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to, then they KNOW they can do the same!”

      This +1000!

      My mom went to work for an accounting office and then went back to school for accounting when I was younger (my dad stayed with us since his shift ended in the afternoon). It took years and she finally passed the last portion of the CPA exam while I was in HS. She worked so hard for it and I’ve never been more proud of anyone than I am of her. I consider her to be a major role model in my life.

  10. Littorally*

    Oh, man, I’m so glad your husband got out of that whackadoodle job.

    I work in finance, mostly on the phone, and most of us have been sent home thanks to the pandemic. We still don’t have our entire environment recorded, even despite the mountains of red tape and regulatory straitlacing we deal with. Our recording system works just the same as it ever has, where it’s integrated into the phone system and is only recording when there’s a connection. It was 100% unnecessary and completely, pants-on-head bizarre that your husband’s company tried to use regulations to support this nonsense.

    1. OP*

      That’s good to know! I wondered what other companies in a similar industry were doing.

      Whackadoodle. I’m going to share that one with my three-year-old.

  11. Kimmy Schmidt*

    You and your husband sound like a great (and hilarious) pair, and wonderful role models for your small humans. I loved reading this update, and I’m so glad the trash buildup of this year has led you both to some great things.

  12. mf*

    I love this update so much. LW, you’re going kick ass at whatever career you pursue! And you’re going to ensure that your kids grow up with a female role model that is both a strong career woman and a strong wife/mother.

    1. Dasein9*

      Yep. I was 9 when Mom started college. As a result, I just took it for granted that adults study and never stopped.

    2. The Rural Juror*

      My mom went back to finish her degree when I was 7 and my brother was 9. It took her 2ish years of night school to finish the credits she needed (she had dropped out her junior year), all while also working full time and dealing with us little heathens. I remember being SO proud of her when she graduated!

      Agreed that the LW is someone to be proud of as well! Advocating for her husband and now herself :)

      1. MsMeercat*

        Girl, you rock and I laughed and smiled reading your update (gazillioning the praises on your voice in the update). My mom completed a technical vocational degree when I was 4 and my brother 7. I don’t remember much about that period, except that I got to stay with my favourite great aunt (who passed away this year sadly) and learned all the folklore songs because she loved singing. And that I didn’t find it odd at all that a woman would sport work overalls and boots.
        If I can share one thing with you as an adult child of a working mom, who spent a lot of time at the house of my mom’s best friend, my great aunt’s or my grandmother’s, and who also loved and adored the French au pair we had for a while – I am glad I got a chance to form relationships with other adults, many of them great women, who would be my cheerleading squad for much of my formative years and beyond. The sons of my mom’s best friend are my extended family, I am a godmother to one of her grandchildren. We sometimes put all the burden on the parents, especially the mom, that they have to provide everything for the children. But if we are full humans, and take the help from professionals and the community around us, we also give a chance to our children to find more role models and bonds in their lives.

  13. Cafe au Lait*

    Blub. Bluuub. Bluuuuuuuub.

    Love love love the Pout-Pout Fish reference. It’s a favorite book in my household as well.

  14. Foreign Octopus*

    Anyone else suddenly desperate to go for a drink with OP and find out more about the MLM story?

    1. CupcakeCounter*

      **waves hand**
      Me! I want to know! I also want to go out!!!!! I’m in week 3 of quarantine for family members having symptoms and positive COVID tests. I want OUT (but I won’t because I am not a terrible person…I will stay in my quarantine bubble so I can tell Santa I’ve been good this year)

    2. OP*

      *raises hand*

      Come to my anonymous state, and I *might* be able to find something…caffeinated.

      I will be all your friends and tell you my husband’s deepest, darkest secret.

  15. Jean Pargetter Hardcastle*

    What a truly delightful, and delightfully-written update! I am also married to someone who forgets details like this. Like, “Okay, my interview’s at 1, so I’ll see you a little after that.” “You have an interview?” “Oh, when I told you about the recruiter reaching out to me, did I leave out the part where we scheduled an interview?” “You did.” I hope you, like me, get to enjoy that the flip side of that coin is such a hilarious, supportive, spontaneous spouse. Best of luck to you and yours, and hopefully a lot less spying for you in the future!

    1. Code Monkey the SQL*

      Bless, my husband is like this too. “Trevor should be here in an hour.” “Who?” “The kid we hired to do the front flowerbeds? Who I have in class every day?” “Yeah, not ringing any bells since I, myself, do not teach that class and did not make any hiring decisions.”

      OP, I hope the new job is a strong step away from the Alice in Wonderland world your husband has left and that you have a great experience broadening your knowledge in preparation for the “working and raising small humans” years. Best of luck!

      1. Jean Pargetter Hardcastle*

        I…feel this deep in my soul. Often a follow-up is, “Who was I talking to about this then? I told someone!”

    2. Paris Geller*

      . . . I just realized I might be the forgetting person in my relationship. I think it’s because most of the time, as soon as I have news I share it with my partner. . . in my head. And then I forget that conversation didn’t actually happen.

      1. Jean Pargetter Hardcastle*

        Mrs. Hardcastle says, “Yes. YES! We have full-blown conversations…in my head.”

      2. londonedit*

        My mum does this and it drives my dad (and the rest of us) absolutely mad! She’ll think through absolutely every angle of a situation, in her head, and decide the best course of action, but…she’ll forget to actually tell anyone. Until someone mentions it and she says ‘But I told Jane we’d meet her at Teapots Coffee at 11am, because that’s when the fresh muffins come out of the oven, and then we can go for a walk and avoid the rain showers that are meant to start at 1, and we can bring the Christmas presents for the children…’. And we’re all like…nope, you never said anything about that to any of us! My dad gets particularly annoyed because he feels like he’s totally left out of all decision-making – it’s nothing personal on my mum’s part, it’s just the way her brain operates at 500 miles an hour once she’s on a particular track, but poor Dad ends up feeling steamrollered into doing things he had no idea about!

      3. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        My husband regularly loses arguments to me in his own head. It’s actually really convenient, because he just … talks himself into doing what I would want him to do, and then does it.

        1. Bridget*

          This is amazing. I think I have my husband partially trained to do this…just need to get him the rest of the way there.

          We are also just in each other’s heads so much that we find it very inconvenient when we aren’t actually able to just mentally beam information from one to the other.

  16. More on that later*

    Such a wonderful update all around! Thank you for sharing! You have a very witty and engaging storytelling voice, I love your style! I would love it if you would share the MLM story with us when you have time! Hopefully your husband does not mind! I too used to be a worker bee in a very large Financial Services call center. It was the worst job I ever had in my life. I only stayed because I was making $20+ an hour which is good in this area for an entry-level call center job that doesn’t require a certification. I quit a few years ago and never looked back. I’m no longer in a call center environment and I left the financial industry as well. I’m very happy for your husband and his new job! My quality of life completely changed once I quit that stressful call center job! I know all about the strict regulations, but recording everything going on in the household even when he was not on an active call, is a real over-reach. Thank you again for updating us!

          1. Meg Murry*

            Start writing it down now while it’s fresh – you can go back and change names or anonymize it later if you do wind up putting in in a book or online.

            If nothing else, it will make for very entertaining reading someday for you and your husband!

  17. WanderingAnon*

    Wow! That was a really great update. Good luck to both you and your husband on your future endeavors!

    1. juliebulie*

      Yeah, that caught my eye. Who knows – perhaps we will read a very well-written letter about it in a few months.

  18. Yay!*

    OP, I hope whatever you’re considering includes writing as a component. You have a clear, casual style with understated humor that’s a pleasure to read.

  19. Elizabeth Chapel*

    I’d like to liberate “May next year be as good as this year was bad.” for my Christmas Cards…

  20. Teekanne aus Schokolade*

    OP, I want you as a best friend and also to let us know if you ever start your own blog because I need someone as equally wonderful to read in between AAM daily updates! I’ve coached writers for a decade and you’ve got THE STUFF. Your voice is the most animated thing of 2020!

  21. Lizy*

    omg I just clicked on the link to the great literary mind and I am DYING.


    1. KimmyBear*

      Not only did I immediately recognize the book, but I can give you the next two lines… “he is stonefaced like a statue then he blinks and speaks at last…”

  22. Jean (just Jean)*

    Did anyone else start crying tears of joy at this update? OP ,three cheers (or more) to you for deciding to pursue education & employment. Tending to the home and children is highly worthwhile but so is having a way to earn a living whether your motivation is a passion for the work, a practical need for money, or something in between. Good luck navigating the busy, happy, and hectic times to come!

      1. ArchivesLlama*

        Not all large families are Mormon. My grandmother was one of 11 and my great grandma was one of 14 (living). Not Mormon.

        1. Cats and Bats Rule*

          I would have also guessed Mormon because of the comment that she was raised to think that women shouldn’t have a career. I was glad to read that she plans to transcend this. Go OP!!!

          1. Mockingbird*

            *raises hand* Mormon woman lawyer here. Have been for over 30 years. BYU law school has been running 50-50 men/women ratio for the last several years.

            I am the oldest of 7 children, though. ;) I have 4 kids myself.

      2. Ally McBeal*

        Could be evangelical too – a lot of quiverfull folks are. In high school I knew a family with 9 kids, but they always told everyone there were 15 siblings because they counted the miscarriages.

    1. Happy Pineapple*

      I had a roommate in graduate school who was the oldest of 23 siblings, and it wasn’t a religious family! Granted, both parents where married more than once and had children in each relationship, so there were quite a few half siblings.

      1. many bells down*

        Yeah my grandparents weren’t religious and still had 7 kids. They started really young, so they could have had more!
        The youngest of my aunts is only 6 years older than I am.

        1. Blackcat*

          My grandparents had 7.
          My grandmother said people asked her if she was “Catholic, crazy, or careless.”

    2. Dust Bunny*

      I know a guy whose parents each had six kids, divorced their first spouses, got married, and had six more, so he was the youngest of 18. He never even met some of his oldest siblings.

      1. ThatGirl*

        Maybe not that family but part of the fundie/quiverfull movement. But I’ve known a fair number of conservative religious families that had lots of kids, across denominations.

        1. Joielle*

          A friend of mine’s sister has 9 kids and is nowhere near stopping. They’re Quiverfull, which is something I had never heard of before the sister married into a Quiverfull family and started procreating. It’s truly wild.

  23. Amy*

    OP please start a blog! Dying to hear about your 20+ siblings, the MLM, the boss texting “I love you,” and your future career plans!

  24. Bookworm*

    Thank you, OP, for a really interesting and overall positive update. A wacky story but happy for you that it turned out well. Good luck to all of you.

  25. Librarian1*

    Yay! I’m so happy for you! It’s not easy to overcome that kind of conditioning. I’m also so, so happy to hear that your husband is being supportive. Good luck with everything!

  26. Aurora Leigh*

    Congrats! Please keep us updated on your education/career journey! I want to continue to cheer for you from afar!

  27. Salyan*

    “The Internet thinks I should quit my job.”
    Best. Line. Ever.
    Thank you for the best laugh I’ve had all week.

  28. M*

    OP, I am so happy for you! This is one of my favorite updates I’ve read on this site! Congratulations, and hoping that your husband’s job and your studies go well! Good luck with everything!

  29. Ingrid*

    Loved this update! OP, I was also raised in a very men-are-the-breadwinners home. One day (after a couple of years of really trying to make full-time caretaking work) I realized that, yes, I actually could still have a career and kids, like I wanted. I went back to school and just accepted an internship for this next summer. I’m still pretty young, lucky to have a super supportive spouse, and ready to goooooo. I feel like a genuine trailblazer :) Good luck on your own journey.

  30. Alexander Graham Yell*

    OP, this is just such a win all-round. Well done you, well done to your husband, and congratulations for making choices now that will benefit you in the future. I’m excited for you and your family!

  31. OP*


    I so want to give everyone a hug. You have all been so nice, and I’m feeling weepy just reading all this. I’ve had some hard stuff happen lately, not too far separated from shunning, partially due to my changing ideas and beliefs. The kindness, and compliments to my writing, have spoken to my heart. (I was about to quote the ending of the Pout Pout Fish, but then I realized I might be taking it a bit too far.)

    AND I want to comment back to everyone individually, but I have calculus to study.

    SO, a big thank you to everyone! I will keep you updated, and maybe someday tell you more about my husband’s bizarre work life.

  32. Essess*

    Based on the update, it appears that the company that was recording calls was not even following 1-party consent laws since the OP’s spouse was not even aware of the open mike until the boss started talking in his ear. That means that OP’s spouse did not give any consent to being recorded before it happened. Now that OP’s spouse is out of there, I strongly encourage reporting this invasion to the Department of Labor. I’m not sure if that would be the correct area, but it would be a good start.

  33. The Starsong Princess*

    I’m working on a project for call center software for financial services and this is messed up. Yes, we record every call but we don’t record unless there are two parties on the soft phone – you have to actually be on a call. Also, we remind people to not use the soft phone for personal calls because they get recorded. We also don’t allow managers to drop into calls but they can go back and listen to recordings to coach their folks. Those recordings are chosen randomly unless there is a complaint.

  34. Ana Gram*

    Um, can you be a writer when you decide to reenter the workforce? Because you’re wonderful at it!

  35. cosmicgorilla*

    OP, I hope you see this. I want you to know that I was raised by a career woman. I had a regular “nanny” for years. I spent summers at her house while my parents worked. I never felt neglected. I never felt unloved. If anything, I had more love – I saw this woman as a second mom. I had playmates at her house. I didn’t want to leave at the end of the day!! Years later, I remember her with love. She and my mom had nothing but respect for each other. But I never felt abandoned or unloved by my mom.

    While I was small, my mother went back to school to finish her undergrad and get her master’s degree. It taught me the importance of education. It taught me the power of perseverance. I want you to know what an incredible gift you are giving to your kids and to any girls/women around you by going back to school.

    Oh, and my “nanny”? She eventually got a non-nannying job as well, because she was inspired by my mom.

    1. Melfina the Blue*

      I’m just going to second cosmicgorilla. My mom was a driven career woman (and I was a huge shock to the point she thought I was the stomach flu for a couple of months). I have so many great memories of having fun in school and summer camp aftercare, and I was actually quite sad when Mom retired as it meant no more aftercare for me (I was 11 or so).

      As a small child, yeah, I wasn’t thrilled with her going on business trips and the like, but she’d tell me about what she did and I’d get presents and it was just how things were. I knew I was loved, I knew I was taken care of (by a regular babysitter when I was very small, by my grandparents for Mom’s business trips), and I thought it was pretty awesome when I got a bit older.

      So go be awesome, OP!

  36. Adultiest Adult*

    Just wanted to add my voice of support for the OP. You are definitely going places! Not only that, but a firm ability to spot the ridiculous and push back against it will only serve you well in the future. I agree with everyone else who says that you have quite a “voice” and definitely a story to be told. I kind of hope your new career involves writing. But whatever kind of career you pursue, do it with the conviction that women are intelligent and powerful, and definitely deserve the opportunity to make a difference in the workforce! “She needed a hero, so that’s who she became.” Good luck, and come back here whenever you need the reminder that you can do it and we’re rooting for you!

  37. anancy*

    OP, I’m so glad you wrote in instead of husband, because that was a delight to read! I would very much enjoy following your journeys going back to school and finding a career. (I will be on the same path in the near future, fingers crossed.)
    All the best

  38. Ann O'nymous*

    This is such a fantastic update! Best of luck to you and your family OP, and please come back with future updates! :)

  39. grogu*

    i love this LW. y’all sound awesome. i hope this exciting new chapter goes well, and congrats on your husband’s new/better job!

  40. So Anon for this*

    I’m late, but I want you to know I loved this update and I hope your next year is full of light and love and happiness. This was amazing to read. You had me laughing and crying.

    When I was 6 months post partum with my first, and we were packing up to move, my husband found a ring going through his things trying to get rid of junk. It was a promise ring – it came out in our conversation that he wasn’t sure which of two women the ring had been for…we’d been married for 4.5 years at this point. I knew he had given a promise ring in university to an old girlfriend – I just didn’t know he had done that twice! There were tears involved (hormones…) so the MLM made me laugh. (We are still married and I love him – but you don’t spring that stuff on someone….)

    1. Quill*

      Hey, he’s smart and assertive enough to walk right the heck out of the MLM (hopefully before spending any money) I’ve had to read several people the riot act when they don’t realize their “side hustle” is an MLM.

  41. lilsheba*

    That’s awesome. I too made a jump from a really crappy bank call center job *cough wf cough* and got a job in my actual field of telecommunications. More money, more freedom, no more recorded calls, no more “coaching” …we are not a sports team! No more metrics, no more qa, or surveys or any of that garbage. And I get to work in the comfort of my own home, and if i need to take a day off it doesn’t take an act of congress to get it and I don’t get punished for it.

    So yay for everyone who can get out of that and into something good.

  42. Former Employee*

    I am very late to this party.

    Congratulations to the OP and her husband. This so reminds me of some of the humorists from the past like Erma Bombeck, who made a very good living writing about “home life”.

    Given the response from this group, which is pretty diverse, I would say that the OP has a real shot at success in the field of that type of humor.

  43. homework*

    I just wanted to write in to say that I loved this re-telling of your story and think you have an amusing writing style. I laughed out loud through most of it and I think you have a gift in writing. Something to consider when planning out your career paths. Best of luck!

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