Thursday Rant #3 – Dear Boss, You Suck!




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It’s been two months to the day since the office time-keeper threw me under the bus. I guess it should be no surprise that she strikes again. The first time bothered me, but this one absolutely pissed me off. They say, “It is better to be pissed off, than pissed on.” But I am not so sure I agree (since I feel like it was me getting pissed on that pissed me off).

[Mr. CEO here] – Seriously, that was a disgusting image you just painted in my head.  Hold on to your computers, tablets, and phones, THIS one is going to be a fun read. GYFG texted, messaged and called me about this one from work. I had to talk him off the ledge that day.

It’s true, I was absolutely fuming.

Before we get into the latest rant, let me first describe to you the kind of employee I am (or at least was until this recent “talk”):

  1. I do whatever it takes to get the job done on time and as promised – and usually I over deliver. (Mr. CEO – I can attest to this. I was a witness to MANY over-deliveries in our time working together. GYFG doesn’t slack off and is often reaching out to others to help out if they need it because he finishes his work faster than most).
  2. I make myself available before and after the work day (taking calls from our CEO at 6am and calls from my boss, the CFO, at as late as 10PM at night).
  3. I am no stranger to an 80-90 work week when necessary (however, unlike some in my office, I don’t wear the amount of hours worked as a badge of honor, studies show that you actually become less productive over time).
  4. I am a team player. I go out of my way to help anywhere I can within the organization. (see Mr. CEO’s comment above)
  5. I am very ambitious. I do what it takes to get promotions and bonuses like a good corporate monkey (Mr. CEO – GYFG knows how to “play the game” with the best of them.  He can talk and work with anyone. I’ve seen him diffuse a lot of “fun” meetings over the years).
  6. I am self-directed (meaning I don’t need you to hold my hand). Please don’t micro manage me! Tell me what needs to be done on the back of a napkin and let me run with it.
  7. I am loyal.
  8. I play the office politics game (not because I enjoy it, but because it’s sadly how you get ahead).
  9. I have canceled many social events in the name of “getting the job done.” Sorry friends and family.
  10. I consider myself to be very accommodative and flexible. I work on the weekends when necessary. I have even worked while on vacation when absolutely needed.
  11. I am entrepreneurial. I will treat the business as if it were my own and act as an entrepreneur on the company’s behalf.

This is how I would describe myself as an employee and company-man thus far in my career. However, this last episode has pushed me into reflection mode. It is one of a long list of things that I hate about working in the corporate world. I am a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. Do you ever feel this way?

I have always operated under the philosophy that if I scratch your back, then eventually you would scratch mine (spirit of the law vs. letter of the law). My commitment and loyalty should not be a one-way street though. There needs to be reciprocation for me to want to stay somewhere for the long-term. Something I am now sure of is that it will never work out in the long-term for me where I am now!

This was the straw that broke the camel’s back as they say. I am done being a company man. Starting today, the company I work for will only get what they pay me for (40 hours a week). If I end up working more than that in any given week, I will find ways to get the extra time back. This means there may be weeks that I work 60 hours, followed by a few weeks where I only work 35 hours to make up for stolen time.

Letter to my boss outlining a new paradigm

Dear Boss,

In the past, I have gone above and beyond the call of duty. As you know and appreciate, I have done whatever it takes to get the job done. Sometimes that means working long hours, like during the last 3 months of 2014, when I worked 80-90 hours a week (for 12 straight weeks). I have given up many weekends in the name of “getting the job done.” And how many social events have I cancelled? I pose this as a question because you are very aware of the commitments you have asked me to cancel.

Yes, the company gave me a token $5,000 raise and increased my bonus by $3,000 for 2015. But if you do the math it just means I got paid less than minimum wage for all the hours I put in above and beyond a 40-hour work week (which I now believe is all you are entitled too). I would have much rather you kept your money and I could have spent my time doing things that mattered to me like having dinner with my wife. But instead of seeing my wife, I find myself eating a pack of toll house cookies at my desk, while I worked into the night. Taco Tuesday with my friends would have been a good way to spend my evening as well instead of neck deep in spreadsheets.

I assumed that we had a reciprocal relationship. That was my bad for making such a dumb assumption (Mr. CEO – Come on GYFG, you know what they say when you assume!!! It makes an ‘ass‘ out of ‘u‘ and ‘me‘).

The reality is that there is plenty of overtime for the salaried professional, but “undertime” doesn’t exist (Mr. CEO – I think we have to make sure we’re very clear here – it’s a pipe dream that we will never ever see come true. As long as you’re working for someone else, you’re helping them to achieve their dream). I have been very accommodative over the past 13 months while under your employment. All I was asking for was some flexibility in trying to attain some semblance of a work/life balance. Or at the very least I need a better work/life blend. This has proved to be an unreasonable request based on our last few conversations.

Time is the most precious currency we have on this earth as it’s scarce – I CAN’T BUY BACK THE TIME I AM GIVING YOU!!! Once it is gone, it is gone forever. I can’t afford to be wasting my time working all the time. The reality is that I don’t live to work, instead I work to live.

I have no desire to work the kind of hours you put in. You may enjoy putting in 16-hour days and working most weekends on a regular basis, but I don’t. And frankly, I won’t (Mr. CEO – That’s one thing I can’t wrap my head around either GYFG. As a parent and husband, I want to get into the office, get my work done and get home to my family. I want to spend time reading, exercising and spending time doing what I love instead of sitting in the office for 2/3 of my day. I work my tail off just like you do, GYFG, and I don’t see the benefit in working a 16-hour day if I can get the work done smarter and faster.  And it sounds like you don’t either).

You see, I thought we had an understanding. More importantly, I thought you had my back.

But these past few months have proved me wrong. First it was the Friday I left early in order to get ahead of traffic for a trip to Vegas with my wife. You had things that needed to be done so I promised you that I would work from the car by tethering to my laptop via my iPhone, while my wife drove us to Vegas. For 5 hours I worked to get what you needed done so urgently while taking multiple calls from you to review the work I had sent.

I even promised to be available to work 4-5 hours each morning on my weekend while on my Vegas trip. As you know, I am up about 4-hours before my wife. So I got all the work done that our CEO needed for his meeting on Monday morning.

Yet, when I got back from my vacation you called me into your office to chat. You informed me that “the office time-keeper” had informed you that I had not booked a half day of vacation when I left the office early on Friday. Instead of standing up for me, knowing full well that I was actually still working even though I was not in the office, you lectured me.

What the HELL is that about?

I kept my cool. I reminded you that not only was I working the whole trip on stuff you asked me to work on, but that I also put in another 8-10 hours on the weekend during my trip. I explained to you that I was not going to submit vacation time while on “the clock.”

You proceeded to back pedal and asked that I communicate with you ahead of time. Apparently I should have let you know that I was not going to be submitting vacation time for leaving the office early on that Friday.

OK, fine! I will send you a pointless email reminding you that I will be leaving early and not submitting vacation time because I am a team player and I will put in the time necessary to get work done so you won’t have to do it in my absence.

(Mr. CEO – So he didn’t stick up for you?  He didn’t think about all of the hours you had put in over the past months or that even though you missed 4 hours of work in the office you worked for 5 hours in the car?  I can’t even imagine how you kept your cool GYFG. Situations like this just continue to reinforce why we need to work for ourselves and not work for someone else’s dream.  He should have stuck up for you. He could have handled the conversation and situation much differently)

NOPE! He didn’t stick up for me at all.  I decided to accept this as a one-off occurrence and move on.

But then I got pissed on. Last week we finally got a week where I felt like I could breathe and find a little bit of balance. I left at 5pm every day last week. Yes, I only worked 40 hours last week. Please don’t faint, I know it was a real shocker and an offense of the worst kind. Why would I want to work anything less than 60 hours??? I don’t know what I was thinking.

Oh, and let me tell you, that week gave me some much-needed rest and brought a little balance back into my life. It was going to allow me to keep doing what needs to be done when those crazy weeks happen.

But then we had another talk…

Yesterday you called me into your office to chat once again. You informed me that “the office time-keeper” had let you know that I was working abbreviated days.

I explained to you calmly that the fact we were even having this conversation was frustrating. What wasn’t acknowledged was the many extra hours I have put in over the last 6-months, the time I put in before I ever even get into the office, the phone calls I take to discuss work, and the emails I answer on my personal time.

Again….What the HELL are you doing here?

You said you understood, but then you contradicted yourself when you said it would be best for perception if I spent a minimum of 9 hours in the office every day. You don’t want people to think I am getting any kind of special treatment.

(Mr. CEO – OK, seriously?! Who cares what people think? All that should matter to Mr. Boss Man is that you’re getting the job done. That should have been enough for him. A good boss would have been able to tell the team to mind their own business and not worry about what others may or may not be doing. I wonder if those people could work less than 16 hours a day if they kept their eyes on their computers instead of watching the doors.)

Wrong move my boss man. Now you will be getting a completely different type of employee – one that will not come natural to me. But you earned it.

Starting today you will get 100% of my attention – for 40 hours a week. I will not be working on weekends. I will not be answering your calls after I leave the office. The CEO will have to wait to talk with me until I get in the office.

Starting today I will be finding ways to strategically slack. This will be the only way I will be able to get any of my time back from you, the thief.

And don’t worry, I will make this transition as seamless as possible.

You should also know that I will be planning my escape every free hour I have outside of the office – This is War!

And so that all my cards are on the table, you should know this is a war that you can’t win. You don’t even have a fighting chance.

I am sorry it has to be like this. I thought I was more than reasonable. I wasn’t asking for much, just a little reciprocation.

I am really looking forward to our new adventure together!


Your Loyal & Strategic Slacker

p.s. please be on the lookout for future correspondence with other things I am now compelled to share with you.

[To Be continued in another rant for another day]

Have you ever felt like writing one of these emails? What happened that sent you over the edge? Did you actually write the email and not send it? Please share your stories in the comments below. Or if you prefer, I would love to have a series from the readers if anyone is interested in guest posting on the blog.

– Gen Y Finance Guy

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Gen Y Finance Guy

Hey, I’m Dom - the man behind the cartoon. You’ll notice that I sign off as "Gen Y Finance Guy" on all my posts, due to the fact that I write this blog anonymously (at least for now). I like to think of myself as the Chief Freedom Officer here of my little corner of the internet. In the real world, I’m a former 30-something C-Suite executive turned entrepreneur turned capital allocator. I am trying to humanize finance by sharing my own journey to Financial Freedom. I believe in total honesty and transparency. That is why before I ever started blogging, I decided that I would share all of my own financial stats. I do this not to brag, but instead to inspire motivate, and also to hold myself accountable. My goal is to be a beacon of hope, motivation, and inspiration, for you, the reader, by living life by example and sharing it all here on the blog. My sincere hope is that you will be able to learn from me - both from my successes and my failures! Read More



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44 Responses

  1. Wowwww I feel your pain GYFG! I’ve felt this way in the past, specifically about “undertime”. Luckily I’m in a decent group at my firm where people don’t really care if you leave early, as they know you probably worked late all last week. Yesterday was beautiful outside in NYC, so I left at 445pm. No one stopped me, no one cared. They know I get my work done, and I am not pressed to meet any deadlines currently. I love complaining about work just like the next guy, but lately they’ve been more than accommodating with my schedule. Therefore I’ll just complain that I think I should make more moolah!

    Let the job search begin for you!!!

    1. Sounds like you have a bit more progressive office than my own. It’s really important to have some give and take…it’s not sustainable if it’s always give, give, give.

      Don’t think I am going to search for another job. No desire to be jumping from one rat cage to another. My rants get a little over the top, but they are also for entertainment purposes as well.

      But I am serious about working my way out of the corporate world and doing my own thing. Everything else is pretty good here until then. Just keep leverage the cash flow to make forward progress. I have some things going on that I will eventually talk about on the blog when they are more substantial.


  2. “Time is the most precious currency we have on this earth.”

    Amen. Ain’t nothing more ugly than time gifted to those who don’t value us. Ain’t nothing more sweet than having generous amounts of time to do the things that give us life.

    Thanks for sharing GYFG. I think you’re choosing the right and noble path.

    1. Hey Simon,

      You recently asked me what I find beautiful…

      Time is something I find beautiful. I love having the freedom to spend my time doing things that interest me. The newest of these activities has been writing for this blog. Other things that I absolutely love are: my wife, investing, working out, cooking, teaching, reading, food, my dogs, friends & family, and of course travel.

      And within the dimension of time I find the following elements beautiful: Connection, Contribution, Vitality, and Serendipity. The scarcity of time makes all of these beautiful.

      I appreciate your support man.


  3. Your situation is not enviable at all, but passive aggressive revenge will absolutely destroy your dignity as a human being. As Fervent Finance says, “Let the job search begin for you.”

    Best of luck GYFG!

    1. Hi Hannah,

      I may have been a little bit of a drama queen when I wrote this rant. But like I mentioned to FF below, it is a little over the top for the entertainment value as well. I won’t find the ideal situation by jumping to a different rat cage. Besides this particular annoyance of time keeping, I actually have a pretty good set up. At least until I am ready to make the leap of faith into full time entrepreneurship.

      I personally have to do a better job managing expectations. My own as well as my boss’s.

      Revenge is never really worth the energy. All I plan to do is be better about setting boundaries with my time.

      Thanks for the comment.


  4. This is one of the reasons why I don’t like 9 to 5 jobs… The bureaucracy! It’s as if they want you to ‘look like’ you’re working instead of ‘actually’ getting the job done. I agree with you, you can’t get your time back. To work hard at work is good, especially if you’re still trying to climb the corporate ladder, but then there comes time when you have to prioritize… And with a rather discouraging boss, it’s even easier to choose which one is more important.

    1. Hey Sarah –

      It’s probably a good thing that this happened because I need the extra motivation as I work to break away from the corporate world completely.


  5. I’ve worked multiple jobs like that. I do not understand at all why the hours you put in well in excess of 40 are not taken in to account when the office isn’t busy.

    You must be at a smaller company. I’ve only worked big corporate gigs and the idea of an office busy-body complaining to the CFO about someone’s hours is insanity.

    1. Hey Adam,

      Yeah, it makes absolutely no sense to me. I do work for a smaller company with about 300 employees. And I report directly to the CFO. It is actually our controller who acts as the time keeper.

      My boss is a nice guy. But sometimes he just doesn’t get it. Likely because he regularly puts in 14+ hour days.

      It is just an annoyance I will have to deal with for now.


  6. That is infuriating. But I guess it needed to happen in order for you to really try to set your boundaries. My last job was like that, but sadly it’s a cultural norm in Korea. You’re basically “required” to put in overtime, and it’s almost disrespectful to request for vacation days even thought you’re entitled to them. I’m sure you can understand why I made it a top priority to land a job here in the States so I didn’t need to be bound by “cultural duties.” But your post reminded me again that even here, I’ll need to be wary.

    1. Sounds rough Annum.

      Glad you were able to secure a job in the states.

      Hopefully you got a gig within a progressive company. Or even better your blog takes off and you build a business around it and don’t have to work for someone else 🙂


  7. GYFG,

    Sometimes you have to make a stand, no different than dealing with a bully. If you truly are an asset to the company, you can make reasonable demands and they will make concessions. Ultimately “the company” doesn’t want to lose top producers. Once you get the initial concessions, then they are ripe for additional concession as time goes by. These include monetary, perqs, favorable treatment, advancement, etc. Again be a top producer in your company and then you can dictate the terms of your employment.

    And yes, certain people to get special treatment over others so be sure you are one of the ones getting the special treatment. I know this may come across as somewhat barbaric, but the world is full of sheep and wolves and you need to become more wolf-like.

    As always, I enjoyed your post.


    1. Hey MDP,

      I totally agree with your philosophy. It is a dog eat dog world when you are in corporate.

      I will still maintain my position as a top producer. But I am making my boss feel a little pain just so he realizes how available I was.

      I actually have plans to circle back to the conversation in a few weeks. I wanted to make sure I cooled off before I had the conversation. I am not one for saying things I may regret later.

      Glad you enjoyed reading.

      Now don’t you have some new investments to write about? You have been on a role lately.

      Glad you were able to get Google Analytics up and running.



  8. Interestingly, one of my best friends is a so-called “company man” who thrives in corporate environments and works 10+ hours per day. He enjoys helping people more visionary than himself make dreams come true. And I can actually hear him telling me your decision is a good one as well, not because it’s anti-corporate but because you’re in an environment where you aren’t being valued/respected.

  9. I will probably get lambasted for this…

    I agree your boss took things overboard – especially in regards to booking a half a day PTO when he knew you were working while on vacation. That’s inexcusable.

    However – and I realize I come from an old-school frame of mind – I do think perception matters. I do think it’s important for employees to actually see a high performing individual (which I assume you are) putting in the time. It sets a good example and motivates others. I know, I know. “If you get your work done, that’s all that matters” I agree, to a point. At junior staff level, I agree. Once you begin managing people and your actions influence others, I think it changes, and the perception begins to matter too.

    So my question would be, are the 40 hours per week less than expected for the entire company? As in, even the clock punchers, are they working 40 hours or do they put in 45 (9 per day) like your boss suggested? If company culture has been set at a 45 hour work week and you were skipping out an hour early each day, in a vacuum, I could see why he may say something.

    Of course, when I say in a vacuum, I am taking your constant overtime out of the equation. Given the OT you have put in and the high-level of work you have provided him (I’m assuming here) he should have mentioned this to you over a beer and let you know it wasn’t a big deal to him but important for Company morale and setting an example to junior staff.

    1. Thanks for the additional perspective Paul!

      I absolutely see your point and even understand where my boss is coming from. It’s just a way different philosophy than my own. I have been fortunate to work for other companies in the past with much more progressive working environments. As a motivated and self directed high performer I do expect a little more flexibility than the average employee.

      We have a small office and most of the folks in my office are classic clock punchers and do only work minimum 40 hour week. Most have never worked on a weekend or during vacation. My guess is that most would quit after a month of 90 hour weeks.

      I totally agree that the delivery was what annoyed me most. It came as if he didn’t even have my back. At the end of the day I have a clashing philosophy and thus my comment about being a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.


  10. Hey,

    Corporate life can sure suck balls sometimes. I left my last company because of it (apparently even though all of my jobs came in under budget and I was making the company good profit and winning business I got overlooked for a promotion because I needed to work on my ‘visibility’). This was in an accountancy firm which are pretty old school in their work life balance here in the UK.

    I moved into a position now where I can be much more flexible with my time. And it was worth it, the culture of “you have to be seen” doesn’t exist. A culture of being proactive and getting the job done is. Happy days.

    Did you actually send that email?

    Mr Z

    1. Mr. Zombie –

      It sounds like you found a more progressive environment. The culture you work in now is a lot like previous places I have worked. I have plenty of visibility since I work directly with all the executives in the company. The problem is the culture of the office. There just isn’t any reciprocation of flexibility. It just means I have to be a bit better about setting boundaries. But it’s a delicate dance in order to maintain my status as a high performer within the organization…until I decide to leave 🙂

      Glad you are in a much better role now.

      I did not actually send the email. But I did have a much more toned down conversation about this with my boss after I cooled down a bit. I left as I will do what you need me to do with respect to being in the office for 9 hours a day on average.


      1. Haha, shame, it was a great email!

        It is hard if the culture is embedded in the company, if you resist it you just stand out for the wrong reasons.

        What’s odd is I moved from an accountancy practice into a bank, and it is more relaxed. I was expecting much of the same.

        Yep it sure is a delicate dance, but one we have to do while still in the corporate world!

        Mr Z

  11. I know where you’re coming from. I generally work about 70 hours a week (sometimes more, sometimes less). It’s great if the work is interesting, but it can definitely get old after a while. I too don’t get paid overtime (I’m guessing you don’t either?).

    Hope things turn around for you!

    1. No overtime for the salaried professional. It just means my effective hourly rate goes down. I would make a lot more money if I got paid on an hourly basis.

      For the most part things are pretty good. This is just one annoyance that I have to deal with.

      Thanks Professor!

  12. Wow! This is where the FU money comes in real handy. It’s no fun working for a boss who literally wants you to live and breathe the job. That isn’t what life is about.

    A few years ago, I went through a very similar transition – from my job being THE thing that I focus on, to being a means to an end. My job is how I accomplish my goals, not what defines me. During working hours, I devote myself entirely to doing my job, and doing it well. Outside of those hours, anything goes. My blog. My photography. My personal life. The job can wait.

    Good luck to you! 🙂

    1. Thanks Steve!

      It’s pretty sad that my boss just doesn’t get it. I was totally cool with putting in long hours and providing flexibility to get the job done no matter what. But now I have to start setting boundaries since it has turned into a one way street.

      I will be treating the job a lot like you do on a go forward basis.


  13. Sorry this happened, GenYFinGuy. A couple thoughts…first, the ‘timekeeper’ is the CFO, to whom you report. Sounds like there might be some communication issue, there. If there is any way you can loop-in the CFO when you are working weekends/long evenings (an e-mail, voicemail, a post-it on his desk with date/time you left it, etc.) where you are delivering actionable information, but the subtext is ‘hey, I’m working far more than 40 hours!’.

    If you do not repair the communication issue with the person to whom you report, you must leave. The CEO of your company has to back up the CFO. You may feel you have a ‘special relationship’ with the CEO and do many things above-and-beyond, but that CEO has to back up his CFO as well as appear to treat everyone equally. The APPEARANCE of favoritism (leaving early, especially if you sneak out without saying goodbye or telling at least one person that you are taking “comp time” for work you did elsewhere in the week) makes a problem for management in that they are now in the position of explaining why you left early to others. The burden of ‘justifying’ or ‘explaining’ should not fall to them, so if you can eliminate the issue in the first place by letting nearby co-workers understand that you are leaving early BECAUSE you stayed late, blah, blah, blah, or let your CFO know so he doesn’t run and tattle, then the issue is moot.

    fwiw, I have never, ever seen a working relationship where the EXPECTATION of a ‘win-win’ worked out in the long run. You may be ‘friendly’ with the CEO, but you are not friends and people come-and-go, and the business goes on. My last thought is to “stay a pro.” Don’t fall into that clock-watching, half-assed thing. Once you do, if you think you are under a microscope now just wait until your performance and productivity decline. And you won’t be teaching anyone a lesson, and there will be no way to undo the damage you do to the relationship and your reputation.

    btw, I bought and completed Jeff Olsen’s “Slight Edge” and am able to use to concept immediately. Finished Brian Tracy’s “Goals” and am going to start ‘Mediations’ by Marcus Aurelius. Thanks again for the recommendations. Be well!

    1. Hey JayCeezy,

      It seems redundant to tell my boss that I am working more than 40 hours when 80% of the work comes strait from him. He is also the one to ask me to be available to work weekends and cancel social events in the name of “getting the job done”. And there are plenty of emails, phone calls, and voice-mail’s that take place between us outside of normal working hours and on weekends.

      There also is a very weird dynamic going on right now that I think my boss is not happy with. Before the CEO would funnel everything through him, then he started coming to me directly (while cc’ing my boss). And recently over the last few months he has completely dropped him from the emails. I go out of my way to keep my boss up to speed on what I am working on for the CEO. He has even said “there is not much he can do about the CEO coming directly to me and leaving him out”, but he has asked that I keep him in the loop as much as possible.

      I even have instances when the CEO is sharing his frustrations with me about the CFO and why he comes directly to me. It is a bit uncomfortable at times. Recently he even tried to pull me out of the Finance group so that I could report directly to him and our COO…trust me when I say it is a very strange dynamic going on in the company right now (something I have never really experienced). I am doing my best to stay neutral in the whole thing.

      I definitely don’t sneak out if I am leaving the office early than normal. I always say by to folks. Then again it is also very rare that I am not one of the last ones out of the office most nights. The week I talked about in the post was really an aberration. I think that is what frustrated me so much. We are talking about one week where I only worked 40-45 hours instead of 60+.

      Totally agree that it is best to “stay a pro” and I will definitely not be letting the quality of my work slip. However, over the past several weeks since this discussion took place I have been setting a few boundaries around my time. I am available, just not on the drop of a hat.

      This weekend is a perfect example of me working a few hours and corresponding via email a few times with my boss. Actually, he left me a voice-mail to discuss something from our CEO as I was writing this comment (and its a Sunday).

      Thanks for the perspective. I will keep it professional. The post was really my outlet to address my frustrations. I would never do or say anything that would jeopardize myself while still under the the companies employment. And I am a strong believer in not burning bridges. I just don’t have to always agree with the way things are done.

      On another note…glad you were able to pick up the Slight Edge. That is my favorite book of all-time.

      Thanks for the comment and your support.


      1. Cool, I know you got this. A quote I used to keep above my desk you might find useful…“If you expect anything more than a paycheck from this job, you will get a broken heart.” – Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan

        One last thing, in Tim Ferriss’ “4-Hour Workweek” on page 97 he discusses “The Art of Refusal”, in particular how to stop being “available” for voicemails and e-mails when you should be enjoying your personal time. Even if it doesn’t sink in now, you will be needing this sooner rather than later. NOW is the time to be working your network for your next job, don’t wait until the drama becomes unbearable; hope you get some attractive option(s) soon.

  14. I have experienced the same thing in the past and it can be frustrating. Now that I am a CFO I have had to be on the other side of the equation and it is equally frustrating. Sometimes I have to remind the best employees that we still have to follow the policies of the company. Yes they may work more hours than everyone else, but if they decide to not come in on Friday because they already worked 40 hours, it is still vacation. It is not fun to be on either side, I promise you!

    1. Hey Vawt,

      I appreciate your perspective on the issue.

      It is frustrating. I totally agree that if you don’t work on a Friday because you already got your “hours” in that it should be considered PTO or vacation time. However, I have a problem with an expectation to submit PTO while working (just away from the office). I may not have been in the office, but I was still working. I would had been more than happy to take a half day of PTO if I had not been working during my time away from the office (during the half day away and the 8-10 hours I put in during the weekend).

      I refuse to submit PTO if I am working during my time off. So if the policies are so rigid that there is no room for compromise (or flexibility), it means I just need to be better about setting boundaries. It can’t be a one way street.

      Companies need to empower high performers and trust that they get the job done. I also think that sometimes it makes sense to make exceptions for exceptional employees, but that’s where my philosophy clashes with many. I have been fortunate to have experienced a certain level of trust and flexibility for going above and beyond the call of duty. Prior bosses have always appreciated my willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done and were always willing to offer some reciprocation. They always knew that the company always got what it paid for and more.

      At the end of the day I understand that I work for the company and must comply to the policies. It’s just not a great way to retain high performers. The sad part of the whole thing is that the company is very entrepreneurial, yet our back office still operates under an old way of management.

      If it was my company I would run things differently. That’s all.

      But it’s not my company so I need to play by the rules that are laid out in front of me.

      I am just bummed that it has to be that way. It take a bit of wind out of my sail if you know what I mean.

      Again thanks for your perspective.


  15. This makes me so happy my job readily allows for flex time and we have minimal core (in the office) hours. Everyone has hobbies outside of work (lots of hard-core musicians, athletes, and the like) and the Company Man type isn’t much our scene. Our employees pretty consistently stay home if they need to (for contractors, sick kids, etc.), but as long as they get their job done nobody really cares. Plus we get paid hourly so at least if we’re working overtime we’re getting paid for it explicitly.

    I’d hate to be in an environment where someone was watching my time on the clock. If I come in 5 minutes late one day, whatever, not really a big deal. The last time I’ve been chided for that sort of thing was during my first job as a teenager, and I lasted in that environment all of 2 months.

    Good luck, man.

    1. Sounds like a great working environment Taylor Lee.

      And very progressive.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  16. In a professional setting, I think it is absurd to watch the clock so closely. We are all adults here. And our work product should speak for itself. It does for me, and it certainly sounds like it does for you. Your value is not tied to hours on location – it relates to what you produce.

    One other idea that employers should get straight – not everyone is a top performer. I think it is perfectly acceptable to give certain employees ‘preferential treatment’ when warranted. A boss shouldn’t expect to bug out early while all of his employees work a ton extra. But so long as you’re all playing for the team, certain folks are going to get better treatment. And that is A-OK. For the folks grumbling in the corner about not getting the same, perhaps they should look in the mirror to figure out why. The idea that everyone must be treated equally is permeating through our children’s lives – awards, sports, etc. – but the real world isn’t necessarily that way. It has no place in a company of adults. Surely we have all grown up past that point…

    Perhaps I have a skewed opinion because I feel like I’ve been on the high performer spectrum in my career. I don’t know what the other side feels like. I dunno…

  17. I work in an office where most people have to put in 40+ to stay on top of the work. I made a decision a few years ago, not to join the club. I get paid for 40 and that is what I give. If the workload can’t be managed in 40, they need to hire more people. This has been a re-occurring theme in the office. Unfortunately most people are too scared to take a stand. I applaud you for your courage. It’s not easy being a rebel, but it sure is fun.

    1. Thank you Shimeka!

      Glad you have been successful in setting boundaries around your time.

  18. Hey Gen Y,

    I found you though a comment of yours on the blog of my friend Sarah Peterson:

    I like the illustrations that you use on this website. I’ve never seen a blog with pictures quite like yours.

    I create custom music. And I am looking for people who are willing to easily provide me with consumer feedback in exchange for my custom music services. So I would basically make premium custom music for these people, for free.

    I don’t see any links to a podcast or YouTube channel here on your blog. So what I can offer actually may not help you.

    But in case you are interested, feel free to contact me:

    I’d love to hear from you.
    Aaron, the Custom Music Guy

  19. I don’t get how $5,000 raise plus an addition $3k in bonus is “token”. Even at $200k/year that’s still 4% increase.

    1. Hey Drockafeller,

      I think it is in the eye of the beholder. My point was that based on all the extra time I put in that I would have rather spent that time doing something else than receive the extra income. For a 3 month period I put in an additional 40-50 hours a week (on top of a normal 40 hour work week). That valued my extra time at somewhere between $13-$15/hour, which is well below my normal effective rate.

      Hope that helps clarify.


  20. This is so crazy it makes my blood boil just to read it. I tried to influence the office culture when I was a manager at my old job and I did somewhat – by emphasizing results and not hours worked and going round the office and telling my employees to leave and cancelling vacation half day requests. I also wouldn’t send emails on nights or wknds (huge pet peeve of mine that my new boss does). I couldn’t control my boss though and he valued the perception of the 9-5 so I had to suffer. Oh well.

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