Author Topic: Advice: Awkward conversation with boss about work hours  (Read 3826 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Advice: Awkward conversation with boss about work hours
« on: October 03, 2015, 11:10:23 AM »
When I was hired for my 20-hour job, I was told that I would be working two evenings (till 8) per week and every other Saturday and that in the future, we might also have Sunday hours. I agreed to this schedule. I am the only librarian who works both evenings in the week (we are open two late evenings, other days till 6), which is fine, because I have the least seniority.

Well, Sunday hours are now a reality starting in January. Here is the issue: He wants me to work Saturday AND Sunday of every other weekend. Saturday 8-5, Sunday 12-5. Will I be losing a day somewhere else? Nope. He wants to shave an hour here and there from my schedule to keep me at 20. I would be working parts of 4 days each week.

I am 90% sure that when Sunday hours were mentioned, he did NOT say that it would be both Saturday AND Sunday. Since it was a "maybe in the future," I didn't ask.

Anyway, I'm not willing to work both weekend days. I have kids. It is not fair to my family. (Boss has a wife and child who live in another state.)

Any advice for how to have this conversation? Some awkwardness-increasing factors:

1. He's one of those people that is almost never serious.
2. He does not have a private office and it's hard to catch him sitting down.

Can I e-mail him? Since e-mail is how he told me about this in the first place? Or do I need to talk to him in person? I'm already sweating just thinking about it.

Goldielocks

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Re: Advice: Awkward conversation with boss about work hours
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2015, 11:22:24 AM »
One of my employers did this and it is fully legal, but most people eventually quit when working 5 days totalling 20 hrs per week... Unless students or it is an easy mid day day shift.

So, just ask.  Explain why.  I would ask for full shifts or it is not worth your time away from family...
« Last Edit: October 04, 2015, 12:20:57 AM by goldielocks »

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Advice: Awkward conversation with boss about work hours
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2015, 12:40:04 PM »
Type up an email letting him know the schedule won't work for you, and ask him if there's a good time/place to talk to him about it in person. I would also say in the email that you're happy to be flexible with your hours, but have to have either Saturday or Sunday fully off each weekend. Be firm in the way you word it so there's no doubt in his mind about what you're saying.

lhamo

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Re: Advice: Awkward conversation with boss about work hours
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 10:49:28 AM »
Do you know the other librarians and is there any chance one or more of them would also want a different schedule/more hours?  Maybe try to work it out between yourselves and then approach boss with the alternative.  That way you are solving a problem for all of you, rather than creating another one for him to fix.

Good luck!

Villanelle

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Re: Advice: Awkward conversation with boss about work hours
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2015, 11:16:13 AM »
I would probably send a reply email letting him know I have some concerns about schedule changes, and asking if there is a time sometime in the next few days that we can get together to discuss it.

Before the meeting, I would decide what your non-negotiables are. Are you willing to work Saturday one weekend and Sunday the next?  What if it was every third weekend instead of every other  Is the 4 days/week something you'll tolerate as long as it isn't Saturday and Sunday? And finally, are these *true* non-negotiables, in that you are willing to give notice over them?

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Advice: Awkward conversation with boss about work hours
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2015, 12:03:09 PM »
Thanks for all the advice! I will e-mail him about talking in person. Not sure I want to talk to the other librarians about it--the one most likely to be affected is on maternity leave and I am not comfortable enough with the others; I might feel like I was fishing for complaints. Anyway, I know we get at least one new librarian hire who will be required to agree to the new schedule.

I'll let you know how it goes!

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Advice: Awkward conversation with boss about work hours
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2015, 05:49:58 PM »
Update: I pushed back on the two days and got nowhere (the other part-timer librarian didn't seem too concerned). However, the new proposed schedule includes serious other improvements (I have been working both Monday AND Tuesday until 8:15; I will now have Tuesdays off), so I have let the matter drop. He backed off his initial idea that we should just shave our shifts. (Well, at least for the part-timers. Gonna be awkward for the full-timers.)

I will actually have MORE time at home with my family during non-school hours. I might still apply for a job at a Sunday-free branch in the future, but I'll try this out first. Thanks again, all!