DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dilemma (not the movie)

I like what I do to earn a living. I like the company I work for. I've advanced to a lower management position. I don't want a higher management position--I don't want to be in charge of critical decisions.

I was actually surprised that I got that promotion since I have a special arrangement for normal people hours rather than our required professional people hours. So I am allowed to work an average of 40 hours weekly rather than the 2300 annually that is required for my position. When you do the math, taking out the 8 hours allocated for each holiday and vacation day, you have to work about 45 hours a week to meet that requirement.

This was arranged when I started working here. I was leaving my previous firm for health related reasons and felt it was important that I have time to focus on my health. At various times, that means different things, but I frequently take time out of the workday for different medical appointments.

Usually, people in my position get a "senior" position before a management or leadership position. Somehow, that step was missed, so at my recent review, I was told that I would be recommended for that additional promotion.

It was approved and announced at a meeting.

And then my supervisor told me that the next boss up had put a stipulation on my promotion. I need to increase my hours to the standard professional amount. I need to work more hours to get the title of the position I'm already doing. W. T. H. They don't want to pay me more unless I give them more time.

But here's the thing. I'm exhausted. I'm stretched thin. I can't find time to do my errands, although I do some during lunch or right after work. I'm away from my house for 12 hours a day. To add an extra hour a day to my work schedule, I would have to skip or take shorter lunches AND come in earlier or stay even later. Taking shorter lunches means less errands get run and/or I don't feel so great. I can tell some (many) days that I have to get out or my body is going to give me trouble for days.

As if that's not enough, there is someone in leadership pushing for the telecommuting benefit to go away. We are currently allowed one work at home day a week, no Mondays or Fridays or right before or after a holiday or vacation day. I end up cancelling some of my telecommuting days for in-office meetings or other out of office activities that come up, so I probably work at home 3 times a month.

During my work at home day, I don't always get extra hours in. I'd like to say that I always get some extra hours since I don't have the commute. But really, I usually start early and end late; in between, there is usually something else--an errand that has to be run or something personal I need to catch up on. (Recent examples include car service and eyeglass adjustments.)

And here's the part I hate to admit, but it's just between us, right? Sometimes I just need a little extra rest. I'll lay down and close my eyes for a while. They hurt. All. The. Fucking. Time. Or my fatigue is getting the better of me. Maybe I've been dragging through for a couple of days. Some shut eye can make the rest of the workday so much more productive. It's a relief to take that break. But it's time I'm not working. (To be clear, I do not claim that time as work time, just as I wouldn't for lunchtime.)

My husband thinks they are bluffing, that if I tell them no, they would still give me the title. He thinks I should give back the management position if they don't back down. I think he's high. I'm valuable but not irreplaceable. I wonder if this is that male/female difference, why women get paid less, don't get as far or high. We undervalue ourselves while men think they are all that. I know I'm a big deal but I do work less hours than required (and I'm pretty sure I get paid less because of it although I don't know other people's salaries) so it's hard to be aggressive or demanding.

I "know" I have to* say no to the hours, but I don't know what else to say, how far to push...And I really hate to turn down the money if they won't concede.

*I believe we all have choices so when I say "I have to" I mean that I must do that because it is the best choice based on my priorities.
It's all old except the bracelet. :)


  1. He is right.
    If it were me, I would tell them that I cannot increase my hours, and remind them that was the agreement upon signing and the salary. Then remind them of your performance that resulted in the good review, and that is why you deserve the title and raise.
    One of the reasons women are paid less than men is because we do not ask or negotiate for more. Remember, they mentioned it first? You did not ask for the title and raise, but you should have.

    And it only hurt a little to admit that he is right.

  2. Ha, yes, I did tell him he was right. After I got it. :)