Boss Took Away My WAH 2x a Week Schedule - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-11-2003, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I went back to work when my son was 4 months old. At the time, I explained to my boss that I was going to have a hard time paying for full-time care because 1) my husband's in law school and 2) we live in NYC! He agreed to a schedule whereby I worked from home Tuesdays and Fridays and at the office M, W & Th each week. It has worked out very well for the past 12 months. In fact, I just got promoted. BUT, last week, I received an email stating that my boss' boss (a VP) had decided to make it our department's policy that no one could work from home on a regular basis. Originally they wanted me back in the office fulltime by the end of June, but I explained it would be nearly impossible to find fulltime childcare on such short notice. See, I presently pay my sitter (she watches 2-5 kids every day from her home) by the hour, and the cost of sending him every day would be the same as having a personal nanny!!

So now, after much back-and-forth, I am returning four days (all but Friday) from July 7 to mid August. I might be able to stretch that untiil Sept. 1 but no later. Then it's back all five days. Meanwhile, I'm on three wait-lists and am hoping my sitter will offer me a flat fee. But I'm just so sad that I'll be away from Elias every day!
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Old 06-11-2003, 05:30 PM
 
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Good luck. Perhaps over the next couple of months you can think up a more creative solution. What a disappointment. This VP just decided to make an across-the-board decision? Are there performance problems with others who split time? What about working 4 tens--could you somehow work that out with dh? Yuck.

I work the MWR schedule, but my hours are PT...I surely wish you luck!
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Old 06-11-2003, 05:47 PM
 
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Spamama, so sorry to hear that! Like the above poster said, is there any way that you can stretch and do four 10 hour days? Also, are there any affordable and reliable daycare centers or homes near your work. That way, if you do have to work all five days, your ds will be nearby and you can visit during lunch. What a bummer about the company policy. I don't know what your line of work is, but is there any way that between now and Sept you could find another job in the same field where you can work from home? In any case, I hope things work out for you.
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Old 06-11-2003, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately, I believe the four-10s would be received even more harshly than the idea of keeping my M,W, R schedule. I am really sad, and the fact is, daycare centers in NYC are SO expensive. Even in Brooklyn, where we live, they are $$$. I am actively looking for a new job. There IS another possibility that wouldn't be AH at first, but it's a much more family-friendly place, so I think it would be a better situation. That job won't be available for another couple of months, though, so I have to keep my fingers crossed!

Oh, and to answer your question, UmmNuh, the VP made this decision because two women gave birth in May and one had asked for a flex schedule. He rejected her and she wrote a letter saying it was unfair that the policy seemed inconsistent. I mean, they could have easily granted her request, because my job is 99% web based, and so is hers. Communication is via email and IM. It would've been so easy! But no, they said no to her and then said I needed to stop!

Thanks to you both for responding with such kind words.
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Old 06-12-2003, 11:20 AM
 
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Sandie, I am so sorry...and I can definitely relate! I also have a web-based job, and when I got pregnant my boss told me I could work full-time from home. I started WAH when Mallory was 6 weeks old, and it was perfect. I got a lot of work done, I was productive, I completed every project ahead of schedule--and of course I got to be home with my baby. Then, when Mallory was 4 months old, another woman in the company went to HR and announced that she would like to work from home "like Krista does." The problem was, this woman was a manager--she had a very hands-on job, she HAD to be in the office. So they told her she couldn't; she said it was unfair and raised a fuss; so they called me and told me that effective immediately, I couldn't work from home either.

Honest to god, they (by which I mean HR--my boss was livid about this) expected me to show up the very next day. They didn't allow me any kind of grace period to find childcare for my 4-month-old baby. I was devastated, and if we hadn't been in the middle of buying a new house, I would have just quit. Luckily, I had previously scheduled a week of vacation for that month, so I took that time off and told my boss I was going to be "sick" for another few days. Then, coincidentally, my father-in-law got laid off and agreed to keep Mallory during the day. And my boss pretty much let me choose my hours; I worked 7-2:30 for a while, and now I do four long days and have every Friday off, which I like even better.

Anyway, that's my long sad story. It's really awful when your place of employment jerks you around like that. I hope that the new job works out for you and that you can find childcare for your baby.

edited for clarity!
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Old 06-12-2003, 11:37 AM
 
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You guys are scaring me!

I guess that, for now, I feel lucky enough to work in a company that has no HR dept. We have a consultant, but the co. is so small, they have not yet decided that our own HR person would be cost-effective. AND, I am the lone marketing wolf in a company full of scientists. They HAVE TO be in the labs to do their jobs, where a lot of what I do is web-based, and I set my own priorities for the most part, while they really have to follow a strict schedule.

In addition, I got this job/took this job because the boss is a friend. I am working for well below market value, and he knows this as well as I. I have a baby on the way, and I fully intend to bring the babe to the office with me when I have my office hours, until baby needs more action. And then...I guess I'll change my schedule and work afternoons or something, so dh can do more childcare and we can afford for me to work. Boy...that makes it sound so silly.

Anyway, I can only hope that some lab tech doesn't get any ideas about what's fair and what's not. I love the WAH option.
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Old 06-12-2003, 01:41 PM
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$%^%!$%%@@!! HR decisions that pay no heed whatsoever to one's particular circumstances or job requirements!

Good luck in your job search! I hope that position comes through for you.
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Old 06-12-2003, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. I should explain that the HR consultant is preggo and was on my side. But the policy at my corporate-giant company is "purposely vague" so each manager has the right to set their own policy on it, in a way. It sucks, because my company prides itself with the fact we were chosen to be part of Working Mother Magazine. What a joke!
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Old 06-12-2003, 06:43 PM
 
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Sandie, that really sucks. I hope things work out on the childcare front, and that you get a job at a more family-friendly place. My environmental non-profit was completely family unfriendly....you can save the world, but you can't do it working from home or part-time. :

Maybe you should let Working Mother magazine know about your situation....when you are about to leave, of course.

T Which law school does your husband attend? My brother-in-law just finished his first year at NYU law.

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Old 06-13-2003, 11:49 AM
 
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Sandie, whether you take a different job or not, and no matter how you resolve this issue in your own context, I hope you really clearly communicate to your manager that the decision to revoke the WAH option for you resulted in loss of productivity and efficiency, and effectivelt served as a pay reduction for you...and ultimately, it may serve to lose them a valued member of their team.

I have every intention of communicating regularly with my boss--and the HR consultant--about exactly WHAT I manage to get done while I am at home, so that everyone "gets it" just a little more.

This is supposed to be the direction work is moving, kwim? This is the kind of progress our moms, and women who opted out of becoming moms, worked so hard for. It makes me MAD when it's so easily disregarded by people who don't see the whole picture. Grr...
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Old 06-13-2003, 03:32 PM
 
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I am in a very similar situation and all I can say is to be thankful that you have a job - really - that is a gift these days for families that need two incomes like yours and mine. Also, the one thing that someone told me that actually helped was that I should be proud that I am helping to provide for our family. I honestly had never thought about it that way - all I felt was the intense guilt and hurt about being away from my son even though, without my income, we literally would not have a roof over our heads. So, take heart and know that this is temporary. Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-18-2003, 03:07 PM
 
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hi,

your post really hit home with me too, as i was sitting here holding the phone trying to decide if today is the day that i talk to my manager about revising my work schedule. I don't have to go back until sept. 29, but i want to set a flex schedule ... and see if they agree ... it is so stressful! this way if they don't agree, i will have some time to decide what we will do instead.

good luck to you and I hope it all works out!

mary
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