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?
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:
- It was awesome.
- It is exactly the work-life balance I need.
- 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.