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Work situation re: hours worked
Old 03-16-2019, 06:16 PM   #1
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Work situation re: hours worked

I am in a finance role and just had my annual increment. We don't have formalised reviews really - was told everything is good with my work, always meet my deadlines BUT had a comment about me leaving at 4:30 every day which coincides with our official ending time. Others in the group don't, sometimes staying late and the optics aren't great for some apparently. I have been there 10+ years, consider myself extremely efficient and tend to stick to my work rather than wasting time chatting a bunch like some co-workers. Also, some of them also come in about 30-45 minutes later then me in the morning.

I'm not overly worried about the comment - I suppose all I can do is ask my colleagues if they need a hand particularly during busier times but I'm not going to stay late just because. We also have our set of responsibilities which I think is fairly distributed - I feel like I could take on alot more from someone else and it wouldn't change the situation much. Some people like to stay late because they know it impresses certain people.

I do work some OT during the year but probably under 50 hours and only when it is an emergency type situation. Accounting is one of those things where you could work 100 hours a week to get everything 100% perfect whereas I think 99.9% is "good enough". To summarise, been there done that kind of thing and again never miss a deadline.

In terms of where I am for FI - basically at LEAN Fire levels and need 7 more years to get what I would consider FAT-ish Fire levels at age of 50. I feel with my designation I could find another job relatively quickly if I had to.

How would others handle this?
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:21 PM   #2
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Ignore the comment unless they escalate and make something of it, then provide your rebuttal when required.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:01 PM   #3
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It only makes a difference if the boss, or the higher ups think it is...


It was a long time ago when I was in a role where the EVP thought everybody should be putting in major time, which included overtime and missing vacations (she even mentioned it to some)... she would stay late by an hour or two and then make the rounds to see who was there... guess what, I was not...


At that time there was not a lot of extra work to do, so people would stay and read the WSJ or do personal work until they knew she went by... She was finally let go because of the work environment...


The irony of this is they took on a new product that exploded and OT was mandated... people would work 70 to 90 hours a week just to get it done... they were not hiring fast enough to handle all the new work.. me, I was the most efficient and was working about 50 to 55 a week and also got complaints for me 'leaving early'!!!



I eventually left that toxic environment and it was one of the best decisions I ever made...
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:03 PM   #4
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That kind of silliness is why I FIRE'D at 55. Well, not the only reason, but it was a factor.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:05 PM   #5
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Yeah depends what the bosses feel in the end.
The starting time in our office was 9:00am. Being an early bird, I use to come in at 6:30 am and leave earlier than most of the masses.
They got used to it as I produced my work and managed, plus purposely be available to early bird clients.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:09 PM   #6
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I like to work early, starting at 6:30 or 7:00. As cultured changed, I had to play the game and adjust my schedule to have late night face time. I didn't like it, but eventually started coming in at 9 or 10am and working late well past 6pm. I had to do this because we had a lot of late meetings! I learned to shop and do chores in the morning instead. Not optimal, but it was survival.

Turns out shopping at the the local supermarket, Walmart or Target at 8 am is actually a good time to do that! I hold that habit today in retirement. I even did some home improvement projects before work. It was just part of the game.

I blame late night TV and the kids. They watch the comic-political pundits late at night and can't make it in early.

Just deal with it and look forward to retirement when you can avoid this nonsense.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:20 PM   #7
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Based upon the initial post, I would not do anything differently. (See the first response, above.)
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:20 PM   #8
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Based upon the initial post, I would not do anything differently. (See the first response, above.)
Yes a couple responses saying that now and this was my feeling too. It was rather passive aggressive as he didn't have an issue...allegedly.... but "some might". Ummm OK. Either he is projecting his own desires or someone actually said something which I doubt (it's basically one or two other people I am referring to, not a huge team). Either way leaning towards doing nothing and if round #2 comes up have a more frank talk about the "issue"
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:03 PM   #9
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Yes a couple responses saying that now and this was my feeling too. It was rather passive aggressive as he didn't have an issue...allegedly.... but "some might". Ummm OK. Either he is projecting his own desires or someone actually said something which I doubt (it's basically one or two other people I am referring to, not a huge team). Either way leaning towards doing nothing and if round #2 comes up have a more frank talk about the "issue"
You are getting ALL your work done. Your "deficit" is that you are more efficient than any of your co-workers? (He's probably jealous that you are so efficient, I know I am. )

Be VERY cautious about taking on other people's work.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:34 AM   #10
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I would leave on time as always. And look for other opportunities.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:00 AM   #11
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I’m in the minority here. I, personally, wouldn’t ignore the comment. I would find an opportunity to calmly comment why you feel you can “leave earlier than others”....or better yet, why “others have to stay later to finish their work”.

I had a similar situation back when I was working and moved to a new boss. I was a highly-related employee and he knew my projects were always delivered well-done and on time. My users loved me. Our company had a 7.5 hour workday with a 45 min lunch. We were allowed to come in between 6:30am and 8:45am and work accordingly. I was generally at work by 6:30am and stayed until 3-3:30 (so technically longer than I needed to....). But all he saw was me leaving at 3-3:30.

So one day he made a passing comment about how I left “earlier than most”. I explained to him that I did, but that most people didn’t come in until 8am. Many never came in until 9-9:30. So I generally had 2-3 hrs work in before most others even arrived. And yet most of them didn’t stay 2-3 hours later. I also noted that I took minimal breaks and felt pretty confident I actually “worked” more hours than most. But if he ever needed or wanted me to stay late for something, I would be more than happy to stay.

Never had a problem with him. In fact, I got some of my best raises from him. To his credit, I think he looked around after our talk and realized what I said was true....
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:06 AM   #12
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I am in a finance role and just had my annual increment. We don't have formalised reviews really - was told everything is good with my work, always meet my deadlines BUT had a comment about me leaving at 4:30 every day which coincides with our official ending time. Others in the group don't, sometimes staying late and the optics aren't great for some apparently. I have been there 10+ years, consider myself extremely efficient and tend to stick to my work rather than wasting time chatting a bunch like some co-workers. Also, some of them also come in about 30-45 minutes later then me in the morning.
I had something similar happen to me when working. The president noted to my boss that "Cardsfan just doesn't seem to put in the extra time". We had flex time, and I got there at 7, and left at 4:30. Of course, HE came in at 9, and left at 5:30.

BTW it DID cost me at bonus time, but I was so ticked at the pettiness that I did not change my ways.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:41 AM   #13
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Yes a couple responses saying that now and this was my feeling too. It was rather passive aggressive as he didn't have an issue...allegedly.... but "some might". Ummm OK. Either he is projecting his own desires or someone actually said something which I doubt (it's basically one or two other people I am referring to, not a huge team). Either way leaning towards doing nothing and if round #2 comes up have a more frank talk about the "issue"
With that small of a group, I think you're right. Maybe try sometimes coming in a half hour later and staying a half hour extra? Just here and there, a couple of days a week, so you're not always the first to leave?

I totally agree that the idea of being the late stayers creates nothing more than optics, but you do want to get another 7 years in so if you can make small adjustments to shut them up it might be a good idea.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:46 AM   #14
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A good relationship with the boss will cure this. It will allow you to speak more freely about the balance you’ve established and how while it may not include late hours, there’s good value being provided to the company. Hopefully he’s not a moron and can see this. Also, it seems like a lot of companies are allowing more work from home opportunity. If you can get in on that, management pretty much has to trust you on how much time you work or at least shift over to a how much did you produce mindset.

Basically though, just keep providing a good work product and good value and you’ll be fine. Good work/life balance will allow you to get the the fat FIRE goal you mentioned.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:55 AM   #15
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I had good supervisors that would check what time their employees came and went. The supervisors would tell their bosses there is no problem with John Doe, he comes to work early and leaves early. Issue resolved.

I had bad supervisors that would just report that their bosses say John Doe isn't staying late like everyone else. John Doe, you have a problem.

Unfortunately, I had a lot more bad supervisors than good ones....
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:25 AM   #16
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There are so many variables, particularly by industry, but one thread is if you are doing less OT than your co-workers, regardless of productivity, you need to take the comment seriously. Especially if you are part of a team where your advice/experience not being available slows others down.

In software/IT: If your coworkers are having to grind extra hours and its become noticeable you're never around when you could help it leads to comments from co-workers, team leads, mgrs, etc. Apparently its already been noticed and formally mentioned to you doing a review.


I've been on forced death marches where managers were counting cars in the parking lot on weekends and taking attendance by noting who ordered free dinners (see.. they weren't actually "free"). A person who refused to put up with the BS was not a team player and were either "moved to another opportunity" if an EO hire or else fodder for the next resource action.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #17
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I wouldn't change your work habits over this, but I would do as some have suggested and give an explanation, so it's made as clear as possible that you're putting in the required time each workday. I wouldn't volunteer to take on more work. You could regret that in time. Trust me. I know.

I could tell you the story of my time in accounting with a similar situation, but suffice it to say that in my case, it was the last straw in a bad bale of hay that led me to put in my 2 week notice. You won't need to go there, unless your boss is a moron.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:23 AM   #18
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Yeah depends what the bosses feel in the end.
The starting time in our office was 9:00am. Being an early bird, I use to come in at 6:30 am and leave earlier than most of the masses.
They got used to it as I produced my work and managed, plus purposely be available to early bird clients.

Yea, at my last position at mega I was in the real estate group... many of the project managers came in early and would meet up in the afternoon to play a round of golf... as long as their projects were being built on time and budget the boss did not care... he knew there was a flow that ebbed and flowed and times they needed to put in more times and others where they had to wait...


After he left the new boss was not even in town so it was even more lenient!!! For them anyway...
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:49 AM   #19
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I am in office between 9:30 and 4. But I don’t work from home.

It’s weird in the summer as I felt I am leaving home middle of the day.
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