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To think I'm trying to be flexible

(23 Posts)
cogitosum Wed 24-Jun-15 22:25:25

I work Tuesday Wednesday Friday.

A while ago I was asked to do a presentation in a meeting next Friday morning. Absolutely fine. I blocked it out.

I'm now on annual leave and have been told I need to come in next Thursday for a meeting going into the night.

I've said I will try to but it'll mean I can't make the meeting on Friday as my parents need to have ds on the Thursday so I'll need to pick him up Friday morning. They are disabled and can't manage him two days running.

I've been accused of being inflexible. I disagree. I'm agreeing to change my working days to convenience them but it's not practical for me to make both. My parents live an hour away so can't pick him up then drop him at childminder in time to make meeting on Friday.

It's different managers but rather than telling me which meeting I should prioritise they're blaming me. Thursday meeting is more senior manager but Friday meeting was booked first.


Iggi999 Wed 24-Jun-15 22:28:19

You don't work on a Thursday.
Would they be paying you enough extra for coming in to enable you to pay a sitter? If not, forget it.
I would imagine the presentation you'll give will bring you a higher profile than mere attendance at the meeting. Could they video conference it if your input is really important?

cogitosum Wed 24-Jun-15 22:31:52

It'd be a day in lieu. Unfortunately I've shot myself in the foot by being flexible with Thursdays previously so now they seem to think it's given.

Presentation is fairly low level. It's internal and something I do every few months. Thursday is much more high profile. But regardless they're just blaming me and using it as an example of part time not working despite my attempts at being flexible. I'm the only person who has ever been given three days.

cogitosum Wed 24-Jun-15 22:33:12

Video conference not really an option if I have ds. Also thursday is as much about the evening reception as the actual meeting

Iggi999 Wed 24-Jun-15 22:36:11

Is your part-time work under any threat? I mean, do you have to keep them sweet or can you just work to your contract?
A day off in lieu does not help with childcare difficulties/expenses at all does it?

cogitosum Wed 24-Jun-15 22:41:47

Nope. Luckily my childminder is fab and very flexible so not normally an issue.

My job is not under threat really but they'll grumble and perceive me as not being committed. It's hard to explain as nothing official but will cause a shift in attitude towards me.

TiredButFine Wed 24-Jun-15 22:47:26

Tell them you will be bringing DC into work on Fri to do the presentation, then leaving after to take time in lieu.
Actually I've worked in a few offices where mums have had to bring their kids in for a bit due to minder letting them down and personally I don't see any problem with it- kids have always been well behaved and v happy with the attention/flip chart paper/thousands of highlighters/holepuncher.

cogitosum Wed 24-Jun-15 22:50:09

Unfortunately ds would not be one of those children. He's more likely to smash up the flip chart assault MD with the hole punch and break all the computers. And that's with constant supervision grin

cogitosum Wed 24-Jun-15 22:50:53

He's nearly 2

ZenNudist Wed 24-Jun-15 22:51:30

Stick to only doing one or the other otherwise you set a precedent that you can do Thursday and Friday.

I think you need to be bold and take the initiative to do what you think best. I'd drop the Friday presentation and do Thursday meeting.

Is there any danger of them dropping you for PT work? It's hard. They're putting you in a very difficult situation.

Perhaps explain that you are trying to compromise to meet the needs of the business but you do have other commitments. Tackle it head on if they say it's an example of PT work not working I'd have to challenge that and not let the diagnosis stand. Are there often conflicts like this? Can you be easily replaced? Doth ruin fact gain most of the benefit of a FT employee at a fraction of the cost?

Keep a record of these comments, might be useful if they try and get rid of you shock

cogitosum Wed 24-Jun-15 23:10:03

I can't be replaced. Not being arrogant but that's the main problem. They only gave me three days because I insisted and they can't currently afford to lose me. Unfortunately that'll change next year.

I've explained why I can't do both and they profess to understand but I know it's held against me and I still haven't been told which I should prioritise. It's so subtle. I won't lose my job over it but will lose respect of one or more managers. They are just anti part time

cogitosum Wed 24-Jun-15 23:11:39

And I keep a record of everything wink ironically I work in employment law but it's not as simple as that as it's more an attitude shift rather than overt discrimination.

MountainDweller Wed 24-Jun-15 23:17:11

Can you ask if the Friday presentation could be moved to the following week? You are showing flexibility be going in on Thursday - maybe they could show some towards you?

BlinkAndMiss Wed 24-Jun-15 23:21:56

YANBU to stick to your hours, the problem is that you give an inch and they'll take a mile. They might think you're being inflexible but that's just how it has to be unless you're prepared to have this happen more and more often.

Ruralretreating Wed 24-Jun-15 23:35:14

Could the meeting on Friday be moved to a later time so you could do both? I work part-time in a legal role and company pays my childcare costs if I have to work additional days, as well as giving me the time off in lieu. Could they pay childcare for Thursday (assuming you have someone who could cover the evening part) rather than sending DC to grandparents? Or could you dial-in to Friday meeting by phone rather than attending in person? The more options you can put forward the better to show up their inflexibility rather than yours.

Ruralretreating Wed 24-Jun-15 23:36:24

Not that I think you are being inflexible by the way!

howabout Wed 24-Jun-15 23:43:51

Sounds like no matter how flexible you are it will not be sufficient to prevent a "change in attitude" from your employer as they progress to needing you less.
I would be tempted to be progressively less flexible to remind them why they do need you.

BackforGood Wed 24-Jun-15 23:45:21

Sometimes - where management act like this, particularly - the simplest thing is to withdraw your flexibility.

We have had a wonderful manager who is happy for PTers to work whenever thy want to, as long as the job gets done. 1 Team member refuses to work on her NWD, and that's fine. I am happy to, and think I gain from being able to then take time when I need it, even if that's a working day. That's fine too. However we have a new Manager who wants to start getting very pedantic and withdrawing our flexibility of hours.... ultimately, she (well, the workload the Team covers) will lose out, because we will all withdraw our flexibility and she'll be stuffed.

Managers can't have it both ways - they need to appreciate you have the right to work just your contracted days, and if they ask you to swap, they need to understand that you are doing them a favour, and that it isn't always possible.

mellicauli Wed 24-Jun-15 23:46:54

Suggest you do the presentation on Saturday. Why should you be the only one to give up your day off?

howabout Thu 25-Jun-15 11:11:10

Given Friday presentation is internal what would happen if you had a client facing clash? What would happen to this meeting if you were ill? I assume the meeting would be rescheduled or cancelled or run without you?

sparklewater Thu 25-Jun-15 11:24:54

I totally sympathise. Nothing formal will be done, but your perceived inflexibility will remain in the back of people's minds...

Ask them outright which they'd prefer you to do - including all departments who are involved.

Make sure they know that you'll do things outside of your contracted hours whenever you can, but that you need more notice in order to put sufficient childcare plans in place.

My DD is almost five, and I think work have just realised that telling me the day before will get a 'no' (even if I could pull strings with childcare and manage to do it), but telling me a week before will get a 'yes'.

cogitosum Thu 25-Jun-15 18:38:27

Thursday won!

Thank you - I think I'll speak to them about additional childcare costs for coming in on my days off.

Littlef00t Thu 25-Jun-15 18:53:54

Gah I hate this. Ft workers would want more than a day in lieu if they had to come in on a Saturday. For some people it would be impossible to be flexible. End of.

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