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to lie to my boss about a last minute 'childcare crisis'?

(30 Posts)
StagnantRabbit Tue 20-Sep-11 21:06:34

I'm going back to work in a couple of weeks after mat leave and have been umming and ahhing about what days to do and simply unable to make a decision. I need to work 3 days and I finally settled on Monday, Tuesday and Friday but I'm having a last minute panic and now thinking I'd rather do Thursday instead of Friday (long weekend etc). Work are keen for me to do the Friday and have been accomodating in terms of my hours. Therefore I thought I'd help them out by being flexible with my days.

However with not long to go I'm starting to get cold feet. I'm now toying with the idea of re-arranging my childcare (which shouldnt be a problem) and phoning my boss to say theres been a last minute disaster and I no longer have childcare for the Friday but have for the Thursday. AIBU? Would you pull a stunt like this?

Sirzy Tue 20-Sep-11 21:08:37

I think that sounds a bit unfair on your employer. I assume they have arranged staffing for the other days already? And as they have been accommodating then I think you are being bit unfair

Why is a Thursday different to a Friday?

thisisyesterday Tue 20-Sep-11 21:10:05

no, i wouldn't.
i would ask if you could change to the thursday instead.

you won't really get a long weekend will you? cos you'll be there monday

meditrina Tue 20-Sep-11 21:10:57

YABU: it's just cold feet.

If you want to make the change, do it honestly. Do not sacrifice your integrity. If you were found out, you'd never be trusted again.

And having Wed/Thurs together gives you, in effect, two weekends a week. Doesn't sound so bad put like that, does it?

rhondajean Tue 20-Sep-11 21:12:15

I would never DREAM of pulling a stunt like this. Id imagine they have already worked round accomodating you to make sure that there is no problem with cover and business continuity on the days you are and arent there.

If you dont want to work a Friday any more have the guts to be a grown up and tell them the real reason why and see where that gets you.

ginmakesitallok Tue 20-Sep-11 21:13:46

I wouldn't - what if they come back and say that Friday's aren't going to work for them?

KatieMiddleton Tue 20-Sep-11 21:14:01


I think you need to be a bit more professional.

Gleek Tue 20-Sep-11 21:17:26


Your employer have been accommodating to your requirements and you've reached an agreement that works for both of you. It's not very professional to a) change your mind at the last minute and b) lie about it.

It really doesn't matter what days you do IMO, I've worked a number of combinations and you're still spending the same amount of time at work and at home.

StagnantRabbit Tue 20-Sep-11 21:17:58

I spose I just thought Friday might be a nicer day to have off.... but you're all right, I'm 38 for gods sake and should be able to discuss this properly with my boss rather than sneak about and pull a fast one and hope I dont get caught out (which I probably would anyway). Thanks Meditrina, you're right, two weekends a week sounds ok. I guess Im lucky to actually have a job to go back to anyway as not everyone in my industry has been so fortunate lately.

slavetofilofax Tue 20-Sep-11 21:19:26

Yabu, and giving other working Mums a bad name. People that do this sort of thing contribute to the reasons why so many employers are reluctant to employ women of childbearing age.

AKMD Tue 20-Sep-11 21:19:41

YABU in the OP but YANBU for rethinking it.

Grumpystiltskin Tue 20-Sep-11 21:23:45

YABU. The "childcare crisis" excuse is not only crying wolf but is the number one reason I have come across for staff complaining about unfair treatment.

Boss: No you can't change your holiday at the last minute....
Childless employee: But you let her do it because of yet another "childcare crisis".

You wouldn't have asked if you thought you WNBU wink

goodasgold Tue 20-Sep-11 21:24:32

A lot of people who work compressed or flexible hours go for Fridays and Mondays so offices can be a bit short on those days. I used to have Wednesdays 'off' compressed working and at home so not off. Just not in the office. I found it great for having a midweek catch up at home and never having to work more than two days in a row.

It is daunting going back to work, you just have to make the best of things sometimes, there are advantages and disadvantages to any work pattern, if you work Mondays will you get all Bank Holidays for gratis or on pro rata, Good Friday is always a Friday!

Gleek Tue 20-Sep-11 21:24:41

I actually really enjoyed working Friday when I was PT, there was always that slight air of excitement from about 3pm onwards and slacking off wink

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 20-Sep-11 21:25:02

I do Monday, Thursday and Friday. It's actually better having 2 days off in the middle of the week together for me, feels like a second weekend. Working close to the weekend has its benefits smile

SexualHarrassmentPandaPop Tue 20-Sep-11 21:26:03

I would do it but I would check it's ok with the childminder first provisionally then tell work about your 'crisis'. But then I am quite cynical in that everywhere I've worked I've given 100% and found that I was no better thought of than people who took the complete piss.

MollieO Tue 20-Sep-11 21:27:13

No one actually does any work on Friday so its actually quite a nice day to be in the office. All the hard work is done on Thursday. Or is that just me? grin

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 20-Sep-11 21:27:46

Oh - another though, do you have any holiday that you can use to go back just 2 days a week for the first month or something? You should have accrued your normal annual leave while on maternity leave. Makes the transistion back a lot easier and you don't lose out financially. Might be worth considering, even if it's only for the first couple of weeks (I did it for 3 months and it made things a LOT easier - saved on the initial terrifying childcare costs too!!)

I do think you should just explain to them that you're rethinking your days, rather than lying to them.

JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 20-Sep-11 21:28:39


JarethTheGoblinKing Tue 20-Sep-11 21:32:01

MollieO exactly grin

Oh - another one! It's very good when you're working part time to minimise the days inbetween when you're out of the office. At any one time I'm only going to be away for 2 days, which means if any horrible emails come in or something urgent happens, then it doesn't have to wait too long before I can deal with it. When I did do only 2 days a week it was hard to have that big break inbetween days in the office

<hopes she's making sense>

Sleepyspaniel Tue 20-Sep-11 21:36:53

It's just "return to work" cold feet, honestly smile Having the Thursday off instead of the Friday is fine. What you should do is: return as planned, definitely, but after a few weeks back tell your manager that yout childcare provider has indicated that it would be better for them to do Thursdays rather than Fridays so would it be possible to explore changing your day at work at some point.

Remind yourself to count your blessings in terms of having a job to return to, part time, flexible employers etc. After the first week back you honestly won't be thinking "if only I had Fridays off". You think you will now, but you won't. As you get back into working, you realise that it's all the same no matter what days you work/are looking after DCs and if you want a Friday off for a long weekend you simply book one off as a holiday like everyone else and it will seem totally normal. But if you change plans at the last minute you could be refused and you will have weakened their faith in you in the process. Stick to your original word and do your manoevreing when you are safely back in the fold. That's my advice.

StagnantRabbit Tue 20-Sep-11 21:38:12

Thanks everyone for the helpful comments. I havent set out to be a bad example of a working mum or anything - I think my doubts/indecision about things are really just symptomatic of the fact that I'm struggling to get my head round the thought of going back to work and the fact that Ive found the decision about days so difficult is because I havent had to make a work-related decision for a whole year and now that a few have come along at once, I'm struggling.

Interesting also to hear everybodys opinions on days of the week to work and whats good etc. I am quite a disorganised person at home so perhaps 2 days off in a row will give me time to get organised mid week.

Jareth - Ive tagged some of my holiday onto the end of my mat leave and have saved some for when I'm back, am on annual leave now which means i will get paid soon which is a nice thought.

heleninahandcart Tue 20-Sep-11 21:39:45


You WILL have a childcare crisis at some point, everyone does.

Then you have already used up a huge amount of goodwill by your employer.

Be honest, maybe you can still change to Thursday's later.

NonnoMum Tue 20-Sep-11 21:42:41

Work the Friday. Everyone is always a lot more relaxed on Fridays and knocks off early...

StagnantRabbit Tue 20-Sep-11 21:43:29

Thanks Sleepy thats excellent advice.

MollieO/Jareth - being away from work for a year I'd forgotten about knocking off early 'The Friday Feeling!' You're both right... thank you for reminding me.

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