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Boss setting up team meetings for times that I'm not available

(104 Posts)
HerdingSquirrels Tue 10-Feb-15 14:41:53

What to do about it, that's the question. My boss arranges all team meetings for 4.30 or 5pm, or for days that I'm not working. Not intentional on my boss' part, I don't think (boss is in the US, the team are in the UK). I have to leave at 4.30 to pick up my child from the childminders, meaning I can't make the meetings. I've explained the situation and asked if they be rescheduled but my boss says it's not possible. Anyone else been in this situation? How did you resolve it?

Unexpected Tue 10-Feb-15 14:59:38

Where in the US is your boss? If he's on the West Coast, that is early morning so I can see why the meetings can't be rearranged. I presume 4.30 is your normal finish time? How regular are these meetings, can you have your dc stay later at the CM on those days? Or do you have a partner who can do pick-up?

rookiemere Tue 10-Feb-15 20:05:17

How many days a week do you do and how senior are you?

If you are relatively senior i.e. on higher tax rate salary then I'd see if you could play willing sometimes so see if DH can do pick up or get CM to have them longer. If you're not then I'd restate your hours and try to come up with constructive solutions about when they can be held.

HerdingSquirrels Tue 10-Feb-15 20:11:17

Sorry, I should have said, it's east coast. Yes, 4.30 is my (and many others, just not in my team) normal finish time. There after 2 meetings a week. DH does the morning drop off so that I can start at 8, although its not a clock watching culture. He can't do pick ups as he has a longer commute and often gets delayed so can't reliably get back in time. DS is shattered by the time I pick up so it's not fair on him to pick him up any later, and CM won't cover past 6 anyway.

Pico2 Tue 10-Feb-15 20:11:58

Is everything organised through calendar invitations and do you have the times blocked out in your calendar? That's how I work - so people can see my availability and if they are foolish enough to book a time that I have got blocked out then they don't get me at the meeting.

However the circumstances depend partly on whether you work for a British or American company as the flexibility seems to depend on where the head office is in my experience. I work for a British company and our US staff get up early for calls with us.

keepmoving Tue 10-Feb-15 20:17:56

Could you leave the office earlier and call in from home?

HerdingSquirrels Tue 10-Feb-15 20:22:07

Not sure why my tax band would make a difference? confused

Panga63 Tue 10-Feb-15 20:23:27

Do we share a US based boss?! I get fed up reminding him of my contractual my working hours (8-4), blocking the time out in my online calendar etc as he rarely checks before booking calls and then plays dumb that there are different timezones when I mention that I would need to call up from home. Otherwise in my work I do calls with teams across 3 continents and always try and get a timeline that works for as many as poss. Woe betide me if I book a call with him when it's outside his hours!!

JeanSeberg Tue 10-Feb-15 20:26:26

I'd expect you to make an attempt to join some of the meetings eg dial in from home, stay late, rather than a flat refusal with no solution offered.

JeanSeberg Tue 10-Feb-15 20:29:02

Not sure why my tax band would make a difference?

I'd expect higher paid members of staff to show flexibility.

meandjulio Tue 10-Feb-15 20:29:41

Really Jean? Why? Or rather, why would the solution not be 'I would be pleased to attend meetings during my working hours'?

AddToBasket Tue 10-Feb-15 20:31:40

Mmm, yeah, just because you earn a certain amount doesn't mean you don't have to meet pickup times.

Koalafications Tue 10-Feb-15 20:32:43

Agree with Jean

Toetallynamechanged Tue 10-Feb-15 20:33:31

Then why have a working time agreement if flexibility is demanded? Why have start and end hours?

It's not a one off situation where OP can adapt and show willing, it's a regular occurrence. Op says others finish at the same time as her so it's not like she's ducking out the door. Regular meeting should be better scheduled to be inclusive imo.

HermioneWeasley Tue 10-Feb-15 20:34:22

On those days could you do drop off and your DH do pick up? It doesn't sound like an issue that's going to go away.

AKnickerfulOfMenace Tue 10-Feb-15 20:35:46

Are these regular eg once per week or ad hoc?

flowery Tue 10-Feb-15 20:37:07

As a general point it's naive to think that highly paid senior member of staff don't commonly have higher expectations than lower paid, more junior members of staff in terms of availability and flexibility.

OP is your boss actually concerned, or is it you? Only doing meetings literally at those two times is strange, do you know what the restriction actually is? Is your boss unhappy that it means you find attending difficult?

AKnickerfulOfMenace Tue 10-Feb-15 20:37:19

If regular, agree with Hermione - try and swap on that day. Or work from home that day/that afternoon as you could then join the call and still get to the CM?

WeAllHaveWings Tue 10-Feb-15 20:41:53

I agree with Jean, there is an expectation (and usually written into the contract) for additional hours when required for higher paid and/or senior roles.

AddToBasket Tue 10-Feb-15 20:46:19

This is exactly the kind of attitude that has brought a massive problem for parents in the workplace. If you have end hours and commitments you should be able to meet them. If not then, the issue is with the employer's organisation.

Of course, if you are more senior there will be times that you have to pick up the slack and work a weekend or evening. That doesn't apply here, though, as this is regular.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 10-Feb-15 20:46:57

I think it's odd to work hours that mean you're unavailable to your line manager. Can't you call in from home before you pick up your son?

I also report into a US business but finish early to collect from nursery - I just flex when needed.

meandjulio Tue 10-Feb-15 20:49:58

Additional hours when needed is one thing. A regular team meeting which by definition is for the whole team to attend which is consistently fixed for after the end of the working day is taking the piss.

flowery Tue 10-Feb-15 20:51:53

Personally I think a team meeting at 4.30 is a far more reasonable ask than wanting someone to work weekends.

It sounds as though regular attendance isn't necessary but it would certainly be sensible for the OP to make arrangements to be able to attend on a less frequent basis, say once a month.

rookiemere Tue 10-Feb-15 20:55:58

What time in the US is 4.30pm OP do you know?
If it's earlier than 8 there then I can see why the boss may not want to organise the meetings any earlier - he/she is also entitled to a life.

Yes if possible get home early on those days and dial in from home - propose that to your boss . I think you said they were twice a week - I'm not sure if I understood that correctly, but I'd try to attend one a week that way.

Oh and I would certainly expect more from people if they are paid more, that's why I went down a pay grade at my organisation so I could genuinely be part time and not clock in the evening and spend ages trying to sort out last minute convoluted child care arrangements ( DH is a contractor so doesn't have much flexibility).

HerdingSquirrels Tue 10-Feb-15 21:00:53

Agh. Internet crashed and just lost my response.

We are neither a UK or US company. People normally respect others family commitments and arrange meetings at a mutually agreeable time, quite successfully, despite multiple time zones.

Tax band/salary is irrelevant. The most successful teams are based on respect. I don't feel respected by my boss (and it's not just the meeting thing). I have made huge efforts to make as many of the meetings as I can, but can no longer do so as DH is now less flexible with his work.
I do need to talk it through with my boss, but it's impossible to get any time with her and she's not the easiest to talk to. I can't really know what she is really thinking until I have that conversation (and even then I might not know!)

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