to ask work not to call me on my day off?

(41 Posts)
Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 20:20:44

I work Monday - Thursday. Every Friday, I get a call from my boss wanting to know where something is, or can we try something or can she arrange something. It's nice that she asks me but I've been really ill & desperately need my day off to be mine. She also likes to text me work-related things on a Sunday when she's working & I'm not. Never anything urgent & often stuff that can wait for my return on Monday or something that she could sort out herself.

She has no children or family or hobbies so work is her life. I try to be very clear that my home time is my home time - for DS & my family. Not to be thinking about or dealing with work.

Today I got fed up & replied saying, 'Please leave it for me to sort on Monday. I don't want to be rude but I'd really prefer not to be contacted about work on my day off unless it's an emergency.'

Was I rude? I'm worrying about being in her bad books now. I'm not usually assertive enough to say anything like that.

cansu Fri 25-Jan-13 20:22:54

No I think you were right. She needed telling. Might be worth saying something conciliatory perhaps by saying 'hope you don't think I was rude but I find it difficult to ... Make it clear that important emergency things are fine, but not day to day stuff or ask her to e mail and you can reply when you check emails first thing back at work.

Good for you, it doesn't bother me being contacted at home, but I'm sure it would if I was in your situation, and believe me - they would know about it! I'm sure there are rules about this, ask to see their policies if you feel awkward about it.

amazingmumof6 Fri 25-Jan-13 20:25:58

not rude, she is BU!

set her txt and calls to a different ring tone, then ignore. always. she'll learn to manage

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 25-Jan-13 20:28:10

I think asking for non-urgent matters to go to your email so you can pick it up when you are actually working is fine and sensible. This might have been a politer way to phrase your request but YANBU at all.

sicutlilium Fri 25-Jan-13 20:29:26

Not rude at all. My sister had a similar problem some years ago. She works full time, but works from home a couple of days (no children, so that's not the reason). What she found was that because colleagues were used to calling her at home on the days she worked from home, they would also call her at home when she was on booked holiday. She dealt with this by getting a second phone line which she gave to work as her home contact number. She answers it on days when she's working from home, and not when she isn't. I imagine that she has now extended the technology to cover email and mobile.

PrideOfChanur Fri 25-Jan-13 20:29:56

I think it is reasonable for her to contact you in an emergency,but not routinely.
Personally I would ignore the Sunday texts - make it clear to her that you will not do anything till Monday.(I text/email my boss on her day off,on the assumption my message will then be there when she is at work and she'll deal with it then)
The calls - well,I think you said the right thing.My only other thought was is she is regularly ringing to ask where things are perhaps you need a better sysyem so whoever is in work can find what they need to,without needing to ask someone else.

What they said. Not the most diplomatic response from you, but Yanbu to want your time off to be time off.

ifancyashandy Fri 25-Jan-13 20:33:01

Depends on the job / salary (not asking you to divulge!). In my line of work, it's kind of expected. I was off sick for 2 days this week & took emails & calls including a conference call. I'm the head of a team and I'll call people on a day off if its urgent. But I'll always explain it's urgent, apologise and ask if this is a convenient time. I'd understand if they said it wasn't but I would expect a call back at some point.

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 20:37:46

Thank you - I'm glad I wasn't out of line. I used to be ok with it but the more I responded, the more it happened. I ignored everything last week and then felt guilty. She responded with 'ok.' whereas usually she'd write a super-long text and end it with x so I know she's a bit put out.

I have a good system to communicate with the person who covers my work on a Friday - I shouldn't really need one with my boss as we don't really work in an area that has sudden emergencies. I think someone in charge of an entire department should be able to decide what to do with a few packets of crisps that I'd ordered.

I think this is the problem with working part time - and I know my boss does not like people to be part-time.

GinandJag Fri 25-Jan-13 20:42:49

I don't mind getting texts from work at the weekend. I know that my boss only does it because she is working out of hours and might need a tiny bit of info from me to finish what she is doing. It's not a hardship for me. I like to help out if I can.

I could choose to ignore if I wanted to, but I don't ever feel the need to do that, tbh. I certainly wouldn't reply negatively.

PurpleStorm Fri 25-Jan-13 20:43:33


If it's your day off, people shouldn't be bothering you with work stuff unless it's an emergency. It's perfectly reasonable to tell people this if they persist in bothering you with trivia.

I think you also need to have a chat with your boss next week, and make it clear what your boundaries are - for instance - Don't contact me at home unless it's an emergency. I won't do non-emergency work until I'm back at work on Monday because my home time is not for working in. I won't answer work calls on Friday to Sunday. (phrased more politely if you like).

And then, if she continues calling / texting, say (or text back) "Please put it in an e-mail, and I'll deal with it first thing on Monday morning, as I'm not at work now."

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 20:48:51

I should have been more polite blush - I will apologise on Monday and re-iterate that I am happy to help with an emergency (or non-emergency stuff with my own staff - I've actually told them to contact me if they need anything & they never do because they don't want to intrude on my day off) but life is difficult & I need time away from work too.

Dromedary Fri 25-Jan-13 20:49:00

I think what Purple suggests is rather too "assertive". You've already been quite assertive. When you have your next weekly chat or whatever I'd refer to what you said in a friendly way, just making sure she gets it and no hard feelings. It would be a shame to spoil a good working relationship.

Some people are pretty much expected to be checking their blackberry the whole time they are not at work. I'd hate that.

PurpleStorm Fri 25-Jan-13 20:49:13

I think this is the problem with working part time - and I know my boss does not like people to be part-time.

I don't think it's a problem with working part time. I think it's a problem with your boss. You said in your OP that your boss likes to text you about work on a Sunday - that suggests that your boss would have a problem respecting your home time even if you were working full time Monday - Friday.

But perhaps your boss interpreted you responding to her messages initially as you not minding doing work stuff on your days off?

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 25-Jan-13 20:49:51

YANBU at all.

Chelvis Fri 25-Jan-13 21:00:37

I think you've done the right thing - my boss used to do this when I worked part time (mornings) and email me Sundays, then she was surpised when I'd arrive on Monday morning, not having read the emails. She even rang me a couple of times after she'd made me redundant!

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 21:05:08

Chelvis shock

That does sound like something that would happen here too.

I don't mind if it's an occasional text about something only I know about. But anyone can work out where to put a pile of crisps that I'd ordered til I am there to deal with them. I guess she was just trying to help but she tends to take over and can be very critical if she thinks things weren't done her way correctly.

If I'd not been standing in a field in freezing wind having more or less just split up with DP (boss doesn't know about that yet) then I might have been more willing to help. But she caught me at a bad time & unless I am blunt & to the point, things tend not to change.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 25-Jan-13 21:07:05

YANBU. I work p/t and switch off my work mobile on the day I don't work. I gave my personal mobile to my direct team members in case of emergency.

Today I got a text asking me what to do about something that can definitely wait until next week, from someone who incidentally happens to be paid quite a lot more than me, despite the fact there is a designated senior point of contact when I am not around.

Doesn't happen often, if it did I would find it seriously irritating.

Chelvis Fri 25-Jan-13 21:18:00

Yep, she was a bit odd - just fussy silly things much of the time and I think she used to do it when other people were around too, just to imply I was at her beck and call. I ended up just ignoring her calls after I left, it was crazy! She got the hint eventually!

dizzy77 Fri 25-Jan-13 21:30:52

I get the odd call/text on my personal mobile on my non work days from a particular senior person. It really pees me off - I know she wouldn't do it if she had any other option but she also works part time and takes the odd urgent call on her non working day, so expects others to do the same.

OP, I think you did the right thing in responding assertively to your lady message. My approach when I addressed it with my boss was to say "i know you try not to bother me on my day off [not striclty true in this case it seems but plants the suggestion]. i already have X and Y in place and Z is usually around on my non working days who can answer most things. Is there anything else we need to put in place so you don't need to call me?". I don't think you need to directly apologise for being rude (you weren't rude, and you dont need to be sorry) but this might set the conciliatory tone you're looking for if you want to manage your boss' response.

dizzy77 Fri 25-Jan-13 21:32:32

Lady message? Last!

GinandJag Fri 25-Jan-13 21:38:50

A very unfortunate auto correct grin

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 21:44:26


MumVsKids Fri 25-Jan-13 21:53:34

YANBU at all. I have been avoiding at least five calls per day for the last two weeks from my work on both my home and mobile (I am on maternity leave)

There is an inspection due at work next week, and they need some standard procedures signing by me, even though these standard procedures have changed massively since I went on maternity leave.

Work is a 45 minute drive away, I'm at home with three DCs and I simply do not have time to go there, 45 mins each way, sign the documentation, which will take a couple of hours, and be back in time to collect dd2 from pre school. They do not get this, and are now hassling me sad

I wouldn't mind, but they have known for 3 years that the inspection was happening at the end of this month hmm

Makes me angry

MumVsKids Fri 25-Jan-13 21:54:02

And very thankful for caller display wink

williaminajetfighter Fri 25-Jan-13 21:59:25

In principle it sounds like she was bring quite unreasonable.

However I think it also depends on the kind of work you do - if it's pr and you're dealing with crisis mgmt or media it comes with the territory. There are other sectors where it's assumed. If you're a senior staff member or making say over 40k it's pretty normal to be expected to be available for work issues outside of work.

But texting is really odd! It sounds like your boss needs better communication with staff when they are in the office. And it sounds like she might need a bit of a social life.

flow4 Fri 25-Jan-13 22:21:59

YANBU. I work half-time, and I switch my 'phone OFF when I'm not at work, unless I know there's something important coming up that really needs my attention on my days off. It's the main reason I have a separate work 'phone and won't give colleagues my personal mobile number.

There is often a huge sense of urgency about things at work that really aren't urgent at all! Jobs that really DO need staff to be available on stand-by are few and far between (e.g. fire fighters, medical staff, care workers) and they have an 'on call' system and pay staff for it.

If your manager genuinely needs someone available 7 days per week, she needs to take on other staff... But tbh, what with the kisses on her texts and all! it sounds like she's really just a bit lonely.

When I was pt I would set my out of office so that anyone emailing would be reminded of my hours - you can set Outlook to send OoO to internal addresses ie colleagues only if you don't want clients or suppliers to get messages.

It can be hard to keep track of who works which days unless you are particularly sensitive to part timers. Giving people the benefit of the doubt (or pretending to grin ) can work wonders.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 26-Jan-13 09:15:43

When I got the message on my personal phone my out of office was on and my work mobile was switched off.

In my case I would be more forgiving if it was a senior person that had texted me, but it was someone who sort of works for me, but yet is paid more angry.

People just don't get p/t workers sometimes, but then I guess if you are f/t these days you are expected to be on call for way more than your paid hours as well.

diddl Sat 26-Jan-13 10:16:36

Well obviously I don´t know what you do-but I don´t think that they should be contacting you at all tbh, unless it´s in your contract that you are available when not there.

Why can´t they sort it out without you?

Sounds like laziness tbh-"Oh I´ll just call Grockle rather than think for myselfhmm"

I don´t think that you were rude at all.

LadyStark Sat 26-Jan-13 10:30:53

Sorry to hear about you and your DP Grockle. Are you ok?

Sounds like you're not feeling yourself and it was a case of bad timing. You weren't rude, just to the point, don't give it another thought.

Rocknrollnerd Sat 26-Jan-13 10:35:43

Also - never call it a 'day off' it implies you might normally be at work - you're not, you're not contracted to work that day, nor are you being paid. It sounds a very small thing but I always call it a 'non-working day'.

Sorry to hear about you and your DP.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 26-Jan-13 10:41:02

I agree rocknroll, I always say non-working day too.

OP, I don't think your original text was rude. I think the suggestion about having a meeting on "systems for your non-working day" is good.

It's important to break this habit - I used to swap my non working day sometimes and then people got the idea they could always call me on a Friday so I have now switched back and only take or make calls as one-offs with prior arrangement.

TWinklyLittleStar Sat 26-Jan-13 10:47:42

YANBU, I work shifts and there is always someone in. I can't remember the last rest day when nobody tried calling me about something. Yesterday I made a conscious decision to not answer the phone; I did get called, but when I listened to the voicemail the issues were firmly in the 'not requiring my input' category. I was on a rest day and I needed the rest.

Rocknrollnerd Sat 26-Jan-13 10:52:22

Definitely agree with them how you are going to manage your NWD. I worked 4 days a week in a very high pressure job for about 3 years after my ML - I got called twice on my NWD in that time.

I used to leave a trusted PA an email the day before setting out where my work was and with instructions about specific situations and what to do eg if x calls, pass them onto colleague b (who also knew what to do), if such a thing happens, person c can deal or in all honesty it can probably wait until the next day etc. The PA was the only person who had a means of contacting me on my NWD and she knew that even then there was no guarantee she could reach me as I might have buggered off to the beach, DS could be screaming/vomiting or whatever. I set the expectation from day 1 that I would do everything to stop home life interfering with work and I expected that to cut both ways. A couple of people were a bit concerned initially and I explained the arrangements and also asked them to consider would they automatically call people on a weekend for such things, if not then my NWD was no different (not a contracted work day, not being paid for it etc).

It can be done successfully but you have to stand your ground, be professional and make it clear that it can work.

iseenodust Sat 26-Jan-13 11:01:52

YANBU If it's not a work day for you, you do not have to make yourself available to work.

Grockle Sat 26-Jan-13 16:58:34

She's middle management and I'm not. We're not in PR or anything that has major emergencies, I'm a teacher. No-one needs to call me to ask where to put some crisps confused and, if that was an issue, I have 4 TAs who could assist my boss if she couldn't figure out what to do. My TAs never call me, even though I have said to them that they can - I really wouldn't mind. They are respectful & protective of my non-working day.

I don't know if I'm ok LadyStark but thank you for asking! I will explain to my boss on Monday that I didn't mean to be so blunt but that I have a lot going on and Fridays are my days to get everything done & usually involve several appointments & complicated things that I need to sort out. Also, with my illness, I couldn't manage 5 days which is why I now do 4. They know this - I need a 'rest' day.

Rocknroll, that's a good point. I will refer to it as my non-working day from now on.

I'm just not used to telling people stuff like that. I usually just put up with it and mutter quietly. I surprised myself!

SuffolkNWhat Sat 26-Jan-13 18:16:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thanksamillion Sat 26-Jan-13 18:18:29

MumVsKids surely if it's that important they can send the documents with a bike courier (or another member of staff), you can sign them while they wait and send them back.

thanksamillion Sat 26-Jan-13 18:19:28

Ahh ignore my last post, just re-read you saying it would take a couple of hours blush

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