my boss lectured me about arriving on time – when I’m working a ton of hours — Ask a Manager


my boss lectured me about arriving on time – when I’m working a ton of hours

reader writes:

I need help to decide if what has happened at work is going to be my hill to die on (or resign on).

I started on at a new company about eight months ago. I originally was excited, as it was a bump in title and responsibilities and would put me more on the path to future career goals. My position has turned out to be different than what I was told it would be, which I’m not happy about, but I’ve talked to my boss and he’s agreed that this is short-term and will change.

Recently we’ve had a ton of projects hit at the same time, and it turns out the short-term expertise I’ve gained is crucial to all of them, so I’ve been working 50-60 hour weeks for over two months now with no end in sight. Again, I’m not very happy but my start time was flexible enough that I was able to come in later (around 9:30) and leave later (7-9 pm).

Today we got an email today from my boss, which infuriated me to the point that I left work early in order to avoid going to his office and shouting at him. It stated that although our group was typically casual about work schedules, it was important to remember our corporate hours are from 8 am to 5 pm. He said that we are professionals who don’t need to clock in and out, but also that we are a team that “practices and performs together” and “when one of us is absent, it affects the team.” The email then asked us to arrive on time and to “be considerate to the rest of our team in planning your daily commute.” I’m at a loss for what to say or how to react.

On one hand, I can see arriving earlier, as those are supposed to be our hours. On the other hand, if I’m working until 9 at night, then going home to eat and sleep before coming in all over again – what difference does an hour make in the morning? All this email has made me consider is leaving at 5 pm as it’s corporate policy and who am I to argue with that? (I realize this is childish.)

You can read my answer to this letter at New York Magazine today. Head over there to read it.



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