Leaving the work force and going out on my own is an eventual goal. However, I don’t plan on doing that anytime soon as there are other goals on my list that actually involve staying in the work force (at least for a while or until something better comes along). Because of this, I have to put up with some of the annoyances that go on in a traditional day JOB.
First let me point out that I am a salaried professional. In my mind this means that as long as I get my job done in a timely fashion, that it should not matter the hours I hold, or the location I choose to work. However, I work for a company that would prefer I was in the office most days. Luckily that office is only a short 5 mile drive from my house. The benefit of a salaried profession to the employer is a fixed cost regardless of the amount of hours an employee puts in.
But what is the benefit to the employee???
And let me tell you this…From October through December of last year I was putting in 80-90 hours a week, working day and night, and most weekends. I am fine putting in these kinds of hours as long as there is reciprocation. And here are the few things that I expect as a salaried professional in return for my willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done:
- Flexibility to work those extra hours outside of normal business hours from my house, coffee shop, or where ever I damned well please. It should not matter to you as long as you get what you need from me. A perfect example of this was a recent trip to Vegas. There was work that needed to get done over the weekend (and during my drive to Vegas, thanks to my wife’s dad for driving). I left at noon on Friday and worked for several hours during the car ride to Vegas. I also happen to wake up about 4 hours before my wife on the weekends, which allowed me to go down to a coffee shop to get the rest of the work done without intruding on this short little vacation with my wife. Look, all I am asking for is the flexibility to fit work around my life instead of the other way around.
- Autonomy. If you didn’t think I could be responsible and get the job done you wouldn’t had hired me. Let me decide how, when, and where I will get my work done.
- Empowerment. Give me the tools and power I need to get my job done.
- Competitive Compensation. Not much to say here.
- Opportunity for Advancement.
As you can see, I am not asking for much. And I would hope that you would tend to agree that every working professional should get this in today’s day and age. Gone are the days of the traditional 9 to 5. For many jobs, technology has changed the way we work and has opened up the aperture with respect to where we need to be to get that work done. Let’s face it, if you work on a computer all day, there is really no need to be in the office every single day.
Hopefully you are still with me…going to get to the point of this post soon, like now!
So what is your point?
This post stemmed from a call I got from my boss late last week. He mentioned that a co-worker of mine was the “Office Time Keeper” and she noticed that when I left early on Friday for Vegas that I did not book that as a half day using some of my vacation time. Ok, I can respect that, her job is to make sure people are not stealing from the company. BUT…..
Before calling my boss, why not ask me about it first? She has no idea the amount of hours I work outside the office. Did she know that I would be working on my car ride to Vegas? Or that I would be getting up at 5am to work for 4 hours to get the CEO the analysis he needed?
So after my boss mentioned this to me as if he had all but forgotten how available I am on weekends and specifically the work I was doing so he wouldn’t have to do it in my absence. Before he went any further, I reminded him that I was working and on company time even though I was not in the office. I went on to say that if he didn’t agree with the fact that I didn’t take PTO that we would need to have a serious conversation.
I can understand the honest mistake of my co-worker (even though it bothers me, especially since I don’t need a baby sitter). But my boss knew I was working, he was calling and emailing me while I was on the road and I talked him through things I was sending him from the road. All he had to do was tell this co-worker that I was working and therefore on company time and didn’t need to take any vacation time for leaving half day from the office.
My boss was a little surprised by my response. But in the end I was not required to take the time off and he said that we just needed to have better communication on stuff like this in the future. I guess I have to specifically spell it out to him this way:
I will be taking a half day from the office on Friday. However, I understand there is a lot of work to be done and that it will all fall on your lap if I don’t do it. Not to worry, I will work on my car ride to Vegas and get you what needs to be done today, so that you can leave the office at a reasonable hour. Also, that URGENT request that the CEO and COO put in for analysis that needs to be completed by tomorrow morning – don’t worry about it, I got your back. Yes, I will get up at 5am and have it in their inbox by 9am.
Oh and by the way, I will not be submitting any vacation time for leaving the office early. Because, as you know, I will actually be working and still on company time.
Ok, I will get off my soap box and back to talking about personal finance and financial independence. Thanks for indulging me for this 1,100 word rant.
Note: I give credit to Mr.1500 for inspiring the idea of weekly rant post. I don’t know if this will be every week or even every Thursday. But it will be a nice change of pace every once in a while.
– Gen Y Finance Guy