The baby shower as office perk, eh?

Ted Bauer
3 min readJun 28, 2022

Saw this screenshot in an article about the erosion of workplace loyalty, a topic I’ve written about a gazillion times but never in an influential-ish place like Wharton’s website. The bottom of the screenshot I agree with — when trust is gone, people leave; that applies to marriages and relationships as well as work — but the top part is downright hysterical. This person wants to contextualize office unity around baby showers, which tend to drip and seethe with resentment and stale baked goods? Absolutely not. That’s actually a good reason to keep trying Zoom Happy Hours. You don’t want weird, awkward-silence-laden, contentious events as the “bedrock of unity” in an office.

This all speaks to a bigger point that has been made 1,582,381 times now by relatively smart and logical people: the office is a good or at least OK environment for managers, and it’s usually a pointless, pathetic environment for worker bees. Before we get deeper into this discourse, just remember I’m only talking about 47% max of the workforce. Some people have to be at jobs. It’s hard to do construction or work at Wendy’s on Skype.

In white-collar, though, the entire currency is:

  • Relevance
  • Being seen as busy
  • Meetings
  • Tasks



Ted Bauer

Mostly write about work, leadership, friendship, masculinity, male infertility, and some other stuff along the way. It's a pleasure to be here.