Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spoilage



It seems that I'm on an unusual streak of posts dealing with things said to me by co-workers. This can be a bad trend that will end it with this one. I was asked last week, "Are you an only child?" There was no preamble, no "hey, how's it going?" but straight and to the point. I told her that I wasn't and proceeded to say that I'm the oldest of 4. I don't think she even heard me as she didn't say anything after that even when I asked her why she asked. Very odd. Even though I heard her ask someone else the question moments later. So, I just chalked it up to her taking a poll.

I bumped into her later. Sarcastic person that I can be, she was within earshot when I turned to another co-worker and asked, "Are you an only child?" She didn't get my making fun of her previous question and I asked her again, why she had asked. After saying "it's nothing" a few times, she said, "... because you are spoiled." That wasn't what I was expecting. But, she said little to say why she thought that.

Anyhow, I'm one of those people that take those little moments and mull them over and over and over until I have burned the gears out. What makes me seem like a spoiled brat to her? I mentally came up with a list of 15 to 20 things that I have, may do or might not do that may imply it (yes, the iPod is on the list.) Everyone is entitled to their own evaluation of other people. But, how is it that you define spoiled? And does being an 'only child' automatically imply you are spoiled?

11 comments:

David Amulet said...

This does raise some interesting questions. I wonder what acts she pieced together to reach this conclusion. I know many only children who are not spoiled, and many non-only children that are (Paris Hilton comes to mind).

-- david

Teri said...

Obviously she doesn't know you. You work hard for your material things that you have, you don't need to justify what you have to other people.
Now if she would have asked because of certain personality traits that people exhibit based on birth order, that would have been different.

Lily said...

You should ask her if she was dropped on her head as a child.

BarBarA said...

ABSOLUTELY NOT! And I agree with Lilly. Ask her if she's one of 12 kids and see what kind of repsonse you get but don't tell her why you think that.

My son is any only child and ... well, he's not spoiled...is he? OMG! What if he is and I don't know it????

Martin, you are NOT spoiled, if owning an iPod makes one spoiled then most people are.

Davydgrey said...

Martin, you are confusing spoiled brat with spoiled. Spoiled brat is the kid who is given everything because his parents cant say no. Spoiled means that you have nice things and someone is jealous.

I spoil myself, and why not, I worked hard to get to where I am...

Vegas Princess said...

I know plently of people who have siblings and are as spoiled as they come (My BIL is one of them) and I know only children who are as gaving as they can be. It doesn't matter if you are an only child or not, it matters how you were raised. Parents can spoil a middle, first or last child just as much as an only one. But I find often an only child is more open to sharing because they crave playing with someone else. And how does owning some "toys" make you spoiled? She would have a field day at my house...we've got every toy imaginable and once something new comes out we like to get it if we want it. It is called rewarding ourselves for working our asses to the bone every day.

LoraLoo said...

First, being an only child - I am liking the comments I've read! It's a common assumption about being an only child - and it's rather irritating. Just as irritating as the assumptions about the oldest child or the baby of a family...

Anyway. As already mentioned - this coworker just doesn't know much about you, does she? Hmpf! I agree with Lloyd - spoiled and spoiled brat are two very different things. Your coworker is simply ignorant!

Miss Hobby said...

I'm just wondering how many people she asked this question of and how many of them she asked because she felt they were spoiled. Maybe she needs a hug.

And being an only child doesn't make you spoiled. My sis isn't an only child and she's totally spoiled..lol. I, of course, am not. :)

monicker said...

Spoiled or no, what a terribly rude thing to say to a coworker!

An80sNut said...

I want to thank all of you for reassuring me that one can spoil oneself and not be a spoiled brat. I'm just keeping a good 6 feet away from this co-worker for awhile.

Logophile said...

As with all generalizations there is lots of room for error, but as a woman married to an only child, and a friends to several more, I have to say, there is a reason people say that. It is not correct across the board, obviously,
but it's often accurate. Often it's not even about materialistic things, it's more of a mind-set issue.
But your co-worker seems a bit odd.
6 feet sounds good, unless she is tall, or particularly athletic, then you might want to go with a wider berth.