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We Hired You, Now Babysit Our Kids

babysitterThe advertisement was for a part-time legal assistant at a busy Austin, Texas law firm. So why do half the duties include taking care of the lawyer’s kid?

Daycare seems to be getting lumped into a lot of job descriptions lately. The biggest question: is it because of the economy that the jobs are being advertised or because of the economy that people are actually taking the gig?

The egregious nanny/legal assistant job was brought up by the folks at Above the Law, who poked the University of Texas law school for featuring it as one of its top “jobs of the week” for students. They joked that the only qualifications necessary seem to be reading of the Babysitter’s Club series.

It sounds bad, but if you can get a job in your field and your being paid to do the babysitting, is it that horrible? In this economy, particularly, a job is a job. And if it’s in your field, well, it still goes on your resume.

It doesn’t hurt if the pay helps you make rent.

An editor once told me to stop complaining when stories weren’t published in a timely fashion – because I was getting paid for them regardless of whether they published or not (this was in a salaried position). Not quite the same – but how I filled my time was the boss’ decision. And living in a small town where much of the business dies off after tourist season is over, I’ve seen more than one worker recommissioned to remain employed. A contractor who can’t send workers out on jobs may have them work around his own house – so that he gets the work done, and the employee continues to be paid even during the tough months. It’s often that or lay them off for the winter.

In the same manner – a legal assistant who works as a nanny is still being paid and it’s hardly slave labor.

Sure, it wouldn’t work for everyone. But they’re advertising it up front – if you don’t like kids, you don’t apply, right?

Image: tsc traveler via flickr

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