Ten Days

May 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm 17 comments

So, OOPS, I did not mean to neglect this blog for nearly a week, but I had a busy Friday, and then a busy weekend, and then a busy start to the week which involved the submission of two massive proposals, one of which included the words “penis” and “vagina,” and hey, why isn’t anyone else on this conference call giggling except for me?

“You GUYS! He just totally said VAGINA!”

If I may be so bold, I would like to share that I made both proposals my bitch, and totally impressed one of my bosses with my ability to quickly and masterfully build a Gantt chart in Visio, even though I don’t really know what either of those words means. In short: I totally win at work this week. Woo!

Work, however, has not been winning with me lately. And I am well aware that it is a huge Internet sin to write about work on your blog, but as I’m not divulging confidential information (or even telling you the best bathroom in the office to poop in) (6th floor!), I think I’m in the clear.

Basically, it comes down to this: I want to work four days per week instead of five, at least until Sadie goes to preschool. All of the people I work for are totally OK with this and actually encourage it, as most of them are parents and take advantage of the flex time option that their positions afford them. My supervisors, however, are not OK with this. They tell me that there is no precedent for this kind of arrangement (NEVERMIND that they are the very people who could — very easily — CREATE THE PRECEDENT), and they are also convinced that if they grant my request, they will have hundreds of other assistants clamoring for the same thing. And yes, I understand that concern, but here’s the thing: I don’t expect to get paid for the day I’d be home with Sadie. As I’m an hourly employee, this couldn’t be easier to arrange; I just wouldn’t report any hours for one day a week. SO FUCKING EASY. And if there was something going on one week that required me to work the full five days? No big deal, I’m there. Sounds reasonable, right? But I’m getting nowhere.

I’ve been trying for the better part of a year to reduce my schedule by one day a week. Internet, I’ve been with this company for 5.5 years. I get stellar reviews from my bosses every year, and have garnered promotions and special awards. I just want this ONE THING (on a temporary basis, even!), and they won’t fucking budge.

Oh, and did I mention that when I started working here, another assistant was pulling the 4 days/week gig? Yeah. I’ve brought that up. I’ve gotten no clear explanation, other than her bosses loved her (AS DO MINE) and pulled their weight to help her out. I’ve been told, however, that I might get my way if I ask my bosses to argue on my behalf. It’s a last-ditch attempt (especially since other assistants have tried — and failed — going this route), but I’ll try it.

I’ve told the powers that be that I’m actively looking for another job, and I am. I’ve gone on an interview and it was fine, but OMG I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to start another job. I like it here. I’ve worked hard here, and I’ve always been told I’m a valuable employee. But the fact that no one will work with me on this sure does speak to the contrary.

As a sort of half-compromise, I’ve been given 10 days of leave without pay. My company allows an employee to take these 10 days with the permission of a supervisor, so I got the OK (mostly as a consolation prize, a sort of “Here, just use these days because upper management HATES YOU AND YOUR BABY”). What this means is I get to spend Fridays at home with Sadie for 10 weeks. I had my first Friday off last week, and:

  1. It was awesome.
  2. It is exactly the work-life balance I need.
  3. The world did not come crashing down around our ears, and I still managed to get all my work done (and then some) to the great delight of all the people I support.

I’ve been alternatively bummed and filled with rage over the fact that this company (or, more specifically, about two people in upper management) would rather lose me altogether rather than give me one UNPAID day off. I would be saving them money, dammit! Not to mention that if I quit, they’ll have to pony up all the costs associated with interviewing, hiring, and training my replacement. I even offered to surrender my benefits in exchange for this one day off! THINK OF THE SAVINGS! But still: no luck. It’s got me kind of disillusioned, and if I end up leaving, YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE I’m going to write a strongly worded letter (hello, I am Old) to express my displeasure over the stubborn backward-thinking that all but pushed me out the door.

I’m going to keep trying to work it out, though. And I’m prepared to leave if that’s what it takes. I don’t want to, but I will.

For more Fridays like this? I’ll do just about anything.

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Entry filed under: Gobble-gobble, Taste my Backhand.

Therapists I Have Known (With Bonus Baby Bitch Slapping!) Snozz

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarahviz  |  May 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Holy BS! There is absolutely NO reason why you should not be allowed to work a 4-day work week, esp in this day and age. That totally infuriates me on your behalf.

    (Am hoping to do the same once I get more established with my current job – have only been w/ company less than a year…)

    Reply
  • 2. Amy  |  May 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Add this to the hundreds of reasons why I don’t miss corporate America and the sea of beige cubes. If pure incompetence from your superiors doesn’t bite you, bureaucracy will.

    Problem is, we don’t value family is this country. European countries afford their employees an insane amount of maternity (and paternity!) leave, vacation time, and yes, flex time. They get it.

    Husband used to work under a ROWE (results only work environment), which basically meant it was about the results, not the time, and therefore you could work from where ever you wanted (coffee shop, bathroom, home office…didn’t matter.) This was a company wide policy, but none of the supervisors ever supported it, even though he was more efficient at his job than all his co-workers put together. So even the progressive-thinking companies, aren’t really.

    I stopped working all together so I could be home with my kids. And while it has it’s drawbacks for sure, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, it has been worth it’s weight in gold.

    Shit, that was long…sorry.

    Good luck in your fight, JT. I’m routing for you.

    Reply
  • 3. Amy  |  May 26, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    And see what staying home with your kids all day long does to you – makes you miss spell words like rooting. Doh.

    Reply
  • 4. Simon  |  May 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    You selfish little fuck.

    Reply
    • 5. Amy  |  May 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      LOL. I like this response better than mine. Redo…redo.

      Reply
  • 6. Maggie  |  May 26, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Ugh, this issue is SO close to home for me. I work for the federal government – you know the one where they just had some big summit about work/life family balance – and although there is literally no reason I have to be in the office to do my work 85% of the time, I am not allowed to work from home at all (unless it’s a Saturday or Sunday – uh great??) because my boss and her boss both think working from home is BS. It’s ridiculous because my output is totally measurable and if I failed to keep up with the requirements it would be immediately obvious. And yet, I’ve had no traction at all with the work from home one day a week idea. I’ve worked here 12 years and it doesn’t mean squat when it comes to trying to get somewhere with this issue. Infuriating.

    Reply
    • 7. Amy  |  May 27, 2010 at 7:48 am

      Ditto – I too am a Federale – my boss is stuck in the 50’s – the guys even have to wear ties!

      Reply
  • 8. Kelly  |  May 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    We’ve totally got the wrong idea on ‘family-friendly’ in this country. Flex-time is where it’s at. And it would make for happier, more productive employees. I’d bet my ass on it.

    Reply
  • 9. Marcy  |  May 26, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve been in the same spot. It was a battle to go from 40 hrs a week to 37! I have no idea what I’m gonna do when it is time for my daughter to go to preschool two 1/2 days a week.

    Good luck to ya!

    Reply
  • 10. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  May 26, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Good luck, Turkey! Maybe after the 10 Fridays have passed and the world hasn’t fallen down around their ears, they’ll be in more of a receptive mood.

    Reply
  • 11. Amy  |  May 27, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I am a Feredale & supposedly we have AWS (Alternate work schedule) – but that is only afforded to 2 people in my office. I can not tell you how much that pisses me off – but you know that already…

    I get to spend Monday with my baby – that big ole 18 month old guy.

    Reply
  • 12. littleelle  |  May 27, 2010 at 9:44 am

    that’s total crap! i hope you find a way to get your fridays off with that tiny, gorgeous little human up there.

    Reply
  • 13. Cedar  |  May 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Dumb disappearing post. As I was saying, work is an asshole.

    Reply
  • 14. hillary  |  May 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Your supervisors are stupid.

    Oh! I met with a client today. His last name was Brewster. It made me giggle, because I am 12.

    Reply
  • 15. Chicago Friend of Said Turkey  |  May 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Maybe there is no precedent in your company for this, but there certainly are precedents in other companies. Hello, did anyone else see 9 to 5, because I’m pretty sure it’s on TBS every other weekend?!?! Wow that burns my hide. Do you have an HR person you can have mediate this conversation? If not, can I come whoop some ass?

    Reply
  • 16. SF Reader  |  May 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Huh. I find this really odd. I’d reiterate CFoST’s advice.

    You’re too big a company not to have, if not an HR department, some kind of liaison or representative. If you can argue that you could complete the same amount of work in less time (less expense) I think you could make the case that it’s discrimination not to let you have one day a week at home. I’d contact your HR person now, so that during the 10 week trial period you can document productivity. Then, after the trial, you can re-make your case with support for your argument.

    Reply
  • 17. Maggie  |  May 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Amy are you working in my office? My male co-workers have to wear suits and ties. I nearly caused a riot when I wore a skirt without hose one summer day. Bah.

    Reply

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