Quick q - AIBU about work hours?

(23 Posts)
Thurlow Mon 18-May-15 12:59:04

I work fixed hours, 9.30-5.30 with an over-hour long train commute either way. Office job, non essential, just an industry that's still clinging to fixed hours for it's "support" staff.

DP does shift work, not on a Mon-Fri rotation, so it's difficult to juggle things around him and he has no flexibility to start or finish at different times.

Work sometimes let me work 9.15-5.15 so that I can leave in time to pick DD up from childcare, but it's something that has to be discussed in advance and agreed upon with the team (and on occasion I've had to take a half day's leave in order to be around to pick DD up, which is completely illogical to me but hey ho)

There's a 3 day course being run in-house (by an external trainer) they'd really like me to go on and I do really want to go on it. But it starts at 9am. I can't get in 2 of those days for 9am as I don't have childcare pre-8am to get an early train. I might be able to do it on one of the days, but it would mean waking DP up even earlier than usual after he's not got home until 2am.

Aren't really any other options for help - dropping a grumpy and half asleep 3yo on a friend at 7.30 in the morning when they all have newborns and sleepless nights isn't something I'm keen on doing not in an emergency.

Work are getting a bit annoyed that I have said I want to go on the course but I can't get in to the office for 9am.

I like this firm and my team but... There's a bit of me that thinks if they make it such an issue for me to occasionally change from 5.30 finishes to 5.15, it's ok for me to not bend over backwards to make this 9am start. If they are so fixed to that end time for me, then why shouldn't I be so fixed to this start time?

AIBU? Having a quick chat with them about it this afternoon so I wanted to canvas a few views.

playftseforme Mon 18-May-15 13:03:41

If you can get in for 9.15am, is the fact that you're 15 mins late for the course really going to make that much of a difference? Day one, time will be spent on intros, day two etc, it will be recaps...

Snoozybird Mon 18-May-15 13:05:56

Employment contracts usually have a clause stating the employee's hours need to be flexible where needed and it sounds like you have requested to leave early much more than they've asked you to start early. Unless your particular skills are indispensable to them you don't really have the same hold over them. Depends on how much you want this job really.

Alanna1 Mon 18-May-15 13:06:50

Can you really not arrange anything else with your childcare as a one-off? Nursery nurses will often take earlier as a one-off (collect your kids from your home - like babysitting but in the morning), similarly childminders?? Or you can use nanny agencies for one-offs, too.

YDdraigGoch Mon 18-May-15 13:11:10

1. Offer your CM extra for having DC for extra time
2. Tell your DH he's going to have to get out of bed earlier (tough, but that's life)
3. Call in a favour from a grandparent or friend - perhaps someone could have DCs overnight.

Your child care is your problem, not your employer's.

If they are so fixed to that end time for me, then why shouldn't I be so fixed to this start time?
Because they are paying you, not vice versa.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Mon 18-May-15 13:15:14

Do you need this course to progress at work? Or even stand still?

I think it is the occasion to pull in favours, actually, or throw money at the problem with additional paid for child care

Thurlow Mon 18-May-15 13:20:55

I don't think I need it to progress. It would be interesting and useful, but not essential.

Friends I really don't want to ask, we have a small pool of friends but with DP's job and the disaster it can be we have already used a few favours lately with them picking DD up. No family on the doorstep.

Childcare I will need to look into but we would have to pay extra, which is a bit of an issue - for me, I doubt it will be for work. The CM might do an earlier drop off but I'm not sure (she's lovely, but not enormously flexible...)

I think I'm a bit grumpy about this one as I was "selected" to go on a 4 day conference next month, so have had to pull in family favours to send DD to grandparents for a few days as DP's job really isn't one that allows him to care for DD on his own if he is working. So background resentment that DP and my much hoped for night or two away alone (not had one for a long time) has been scrapped because we can only ask our GPs to do so much, and they're taking a big one with this 4 day conference. But that's just a personal sulk grin

Fizrim Mon 18-May-15 15:24:27

tbh, if I was your employer and you'd said you wanted to go but not come in early I'd be annoyed too. You will start at 9.15 for childcare pickup purposes, but won't come in 15 mins earlier for a course (that they are paying for, presumably?).

Of the three days, you can make one, you could make a second if your DH got up early and maybe make the third if the CM would take your child early one day?

Thurlow Mon 18-May-15 15:28:33

Sorry, that was badly worded - I can make one if I wake DP up early, but the other two would be at cost.

I can see why it looks U. It's just a struggle, for a non-essential course, when I'm already making a big struggle the same month to manage the conference.

I'd like to say I can't go at the moment, but then I did really want to say I can't go to the conference but I didn't feel in a position to say that, so I'm going and pulling in the favours for that one.

sanfairyanne Mon 18-May-15 16:14:40

arrive late? i've emailed the trainers sometimes beforehand to see if it was ok. they were always just doing coffee/biscuits stuff til 9.30 anyway

Iggi999 Mon 18-May-15 16:44:07

If all the employees start at half nine, why have they arranged training from nine? I assume it means you all leave at five, at least?
I think arriving 15 mins or so late is the best plan, for two out of free days. Your dh will need to lose out a bit, but after all you run round deign all the arrangements normally by the sound of it.

LineRunner Mon 18-May-15 16:48:33

I gave up a wonderful job as a university lecturer because of shit like this. An hour's commute, no childcare available before 8am, a 9am lecture to give... then evening lectures... then could I do the Saturday morning MA class? Aaaaagh.

I think in your case, arriving a bit late is your best option.

Thurlow Mon 18-May-15 17:12:00

Thanks, we're going to have a quick chat tomorrow. I have no idea why they've arranged it from 9am though, it might have something to do with some of the other staff who are attending I suppose - without outing it all too much, I work somewhere that has a definite split between 'fee-earning' and 'support' staff and our flexibility and working hours are very different. I very much doubt that means I leave at 5.

I'll have a quick juggle with the dates and times today but I really think the best I can do is to get in 15 mins early, unless we pay through the nose for extra childcare. Yes, DP will just have to suck up it and lose sleep that morning. While I love my job it's not that sort of job and it's not an essential course, and they don't pay me that much either!

Georgethesecond Mon 18-May-15 17:16:46

If you just kept quiet, said yes with enthusiasm to the training and turned up a bit late - how bad would that be?

Thurlow Mon 18-May-15 17:21:24

Now that I don't know, George. My trains can sometimes be very unreliable grin

I really don't want to piss them off. And if this was an essential course for my job, I wouldn't be questioning. But it's just a nice course to have. It's probably just the way my manager keeps deciding on these things for me without any discussion - she has my career interests in mind I know, and I appreciate it, but like many people with commitments things aren't always that easily flexible.

tobysmum77 Mon 18-May-15 17:27:09

I think yanbu but then my boss would just be confused why are you telling me this?

Can't dp take lo to nursery and then go back to bed anyway?

attheendoftheday Tue 19-May-15 00:51:23

Surely your partner needs to try to swap his shifts to work around you? One of the joys of shift work is the possibility of doing this.

JessieMcJessie Tue 19-May-15 07:26:29

The CM might do an earlier drop off but I'm not sure (she's lovely, but not enormously flexible...)

I hope you appreciate the irony of that comment about someone who works for you! smile

It seems to me that the 4 day conference that you mention in one of your later posts is actually the bigger issue here: it's a very long stretch to be away from home and have to find alternative childcare, and it's adding to the way that you perceive the inconvenience of the training course.

Can you expand a bit more on how you were "selected" for the conference? Are there others with fewer home responsibilities (eg teenage kids or no kids) who could have done it instead? Is there a solid reason why it has to be you? Is there any way you could pull out of it now? I'm surprised that you say hat you didn;t feel able to say no; if you had said to your employer that it was simply impossible for you to be away for that length of time I'd be surprised if they had thought that unreasonable.

Turning to the course, the logistics are a bit unclear to me but from an employer's pov unless you explain very carefully to them about your home arrangements they are going to find it a bit difficult to understand why 15-30 minutes difference to the start time is such a problem. Do they know how long your commute takes, how old your kids are and about your DH's shifts? (I see you were due to have a chat, perhaps by the time you've read this you will indeed have explained the details to them). I'd imagine in the circumstances they'd be prepared to allow you to join the course 15-30 minutes late.

On the other hand, if childcare is available at extra cost, are you maybe being a teeny bit dramatic about having to "pay through the nose" for it? Would it really be that much for essentially an extra hour over 2 days (and your DH does the third day).

By the way, you say that

(on occasion I've had to take a half day's leave in order to be around to pick DD up, which is completely illogical to me but hey ho)

I see what you mean in that from your perspective they then end up being without you for half a day instead of 15 minutes or so. However I think that the logic is that if they give you 15 minutes off here and there regularly it eats into the work hours that you are paid for, whereas if you have to take holiday then it's "your" time (yes you get paid for holiday but using a dayfor childcare means that you have less to use for actual holidays so it feels like your time). So i's more about principle than practicalities really.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

GreenAugustLion Tue 19-May-15 07:41:15

Sometimes you just can't do it. And you need to tell work that if it's the case.

I start at 8.30 - work, home and school are all within the same 2 mile radius. DH works shifts and has no flexibility at all - he sometimes starts at 7am with responsibility to open up where he works, key holder etc.

The dc go to breakfast club at 8am, and I usually make it in by 8.20. With the best will in the world, I couldn't get there before that. Even if my job depended on it.

I have been asked to go in for 8 before, and I've had to decline. But I think a firm response is better rather than a wishy-washy 'well I'd like to but...' and keeping them hanging.

How long have you worked there? Just tell them no. Realistically what's the worst that can happen? Unless you're new and on probation, there's no risk to your employment directly.

GerbilsAteMyCat Tue 19-May-15 07:50:12

I had something similar once. I did the school run and the kids were in school for 8:45. This would of given me 15 minutes to get across town for a training course start of 9:00. I told work I did the school run and I would be 15 minutes late. That's all I could do! They were good about it.

Georgethesecond Tue 19-May-15 08:01:30

I have been here (so many times!)

I wonder whether you will piss them off more by being up front about it and telling them there is an issue for you than you will by saying ooh yes please I'd love to and just turning up a few minutes late.

MinimumPayment Tue 19-May-15 08:05:24

Can you use a nursery nearer work? It would save you money, as you'd need fewer hours and give your and DD lovely chatting time on the train.

Although for the course, I'd just tell them I'd be there as soon as I could.

MinimumPayment Tue 19-May-15 08:08:06

It's not just about you being missing from work for those short blocks of 15 mins. It's about the effect it has on the rest of the staff who don't have children or who manage their arrangements so they don't impact on work. If they repeatedly allow you flexibility, they need to do it for everyone, or risk dissatisfaction among the other staff.

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