Questions About Work, My Schedule, Etc.

Updated on January 16, 2015
N.F. asks from Houghton, MI
24 answers

This is a long question that is the result of a meeting called at work today purely to criticise me.
Things came to a head when I had to cancel Optometrist appointments and arrange for my daughter to go to a frends as my supervisor had rescheduled a meeting without discussing it with any of the people (from multiple organizations) involved, so she could participate in a sporting event. The meeting had been scheduled 6 weeks in advance, and was rescheduled 4 working days prior to. My husband was out of town, and the meeting was scheduled for outside of my work hours. I expressed annoyance at this and was told my attitude was irritating and I was not commited to my job.
In this meeting, more things were brought up. I finish work at 2.30, but if we are having a busy day, I should be willing to stay 15 minutes extra. I collect my daughter from school at 3pm, and just make it. I can not stay late on short notice. I did say I was willing to be flexible with my schedule, but with notice so I can arrange for my husband to fetch my daughter from school instead.
My supervisor stated I have taken twenty days off since my daughter started school, which was unacceptable. I checked our time clock, and have taken 9 days off, 4 of which my office was closed on, making it 5 really. Again, my taking too many days off is bad for the team. 5 days between September and December were bad for the team I was told.
My supervisor is taking 4 days off this month alone to attend sporting events and in the September to December period took 3 weeks off (one of which was for a family tragedy). I am not sure why she was dishonest. Defensive or vindictive, either way a nightmare for me.
None of my colleagues have chldren need I say.
I am almost terrified of the day I have to take off for my daughter being sick. I took one day off when she was too scared to stay in school on the second day of kindergarten and was reprimanded with some aggression, and threatened with termination for not being a good team member.
I am so stressed over this. What are my rights? Am I such a bad employee? I feel like this is in no way fair to me, but isn't that always the way? Any input, coping techniques, advice, knowledge on where I stand would be helpful and appreciated. Thank you!

I feel I should add I have been in position for 7 years and all my days off are paid time off scheduled way in advance.

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So What Happened?

Sorry - I m new to this. I have been in my position for 7 years. All the days off were PTO days scheduled way in advance except for the day my daughter broke down. I am not paid for days when we are closed. I function independently in my role and all my work is done before I leave work. I would be required to stay late to help other people finish up their work. There are some jobs my supervisor is required to do and does not like to which get delegated to me. In the past I have just done it as I worked a different schedule and had child care all sorted. My supervisor actually set my hours and changed them in September, which is why the email talks about the autumn period. She changed them as there was more work to do at that time of day and I was fine with taking on extra as it allowed me to collect my daughter from school. am in no way not doing my job, just frustrated at the expectation of being flexible outside my work hours when I have set up my life around these new hours. We are required to clock out on time, and if we work late we are red flagged and HR contacts us. My supervisor claims 15 minutes won't hurt but is still irks.

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

I think we need more context. Are you new to this job? We're the 4 days off last minute or ahead of time scheduled vacation? How much vacation do you get a year? 4 days out of say 3 or 4 weeks paid vacation doesn't seem excessive to me if was taken with notice. Or are you calling in that morning or the night before? I've had such a nice boss it's hard for me to relate. Same time I had years of dedicated service before I had kids. And I can do work remotely to respond to last minute things. But you may just have to find another job. Sounds pretty hostile and it's pretty hard to reverse such a negative opinion.

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answers from Washington DC on

You are describing a workplace that is not going to change or somehow suddenly understand that kids can't stay home alone sick, or can't just hang around school waiting for a long overdue pickup.

On workplace questions here I usually see a lot of shades of gray, but you describe your and your boss's days off etc. in detail and have clearly checked the records here. It's very telling that not another person in this office has a child, or at least not a school-age child. I am betting that one reason you have this job is because you were given a schedule that ends at 2:30 and it works with school pickup.

So I would say to you what I normally don't say to workplace issues on here: Start hunting for another job now. Unless you want to fight this supervisor for every time your kid is sick, or end up getting flak from the school because your child is still sitting there at 3:30.....I'd see the writing on the wall and start job hunting tomorrow.

The fact that the boss takes time off for sporting events but has zero understanding of why it's an issue to alter a major meeting days in advance -- well, that's a sign to you that it's time to leave. I don't know what it means to be "reprimanded with some aggression" but you've already been threatened with termination, so get out before they fire you. They really want someone who has no kids, no elderly parents, and no spouse to get in the way of their demands.

Oh, and talk about "being a good team member" often is just camouflage and really means "You need to be here whenever I say you need to be here, and the your so-called schedule doesn't matter."

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You will not like this answer. And I'm sorry in advance.

You are an employee. And it sounds like a fairly new one. (September to December?) 5 days is a lot to be calling in in a 4 month time frame. It sounds like what you need is a back up care giver. It's wonderful to be able to be the only person to take care of your child but when you enter the work place you are giving a commitment to the company you work for.

Comparing the time a boss takes off to what you take is like comparing apples to oranges. She as a supervisor has earned more vacation time. Where, when or what she uses it on is not your business.

As far as you being late, or calling in sick etc She has the right to bring this up. Especially as your supervisor. Things come up, meetings change life is not always fair. Did she bring these complaints up to only you or to a room full of other employees? If the latter you have a complaint and should bring it up to her privately. And also document it to the HR department.

But above all else set a back up into place.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Maybe I'm old school but nine days, even five days is a LOT in a new job, and you've only been there since September! I never missed more than 3 or 4 days of work a year (other than earned vacation or leave) in my life.
Why can't your daughter go to after school care, or to a friend's or family member's house when you need to work later? You need a plan. A job isn't something you show up to only when it works out for you.
It really doesn't matter that your coworkers don't have kids, nor does it matter how your supervisor uses his/her earned vacation/sick time.
What matters is what YOUR employment contract states, and exactly how much time you can "miss" before they give you the ax :-(

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

When you are new at a job you need to go the extra mile, for at least a year. You should not take off sick days for at least 6 months, unless it's critical that you do so, because people will take you for a slacker. Five days off in three months is a lot, when you are brand new at a job.

Sorry, the reality of the working world is that you have to really go overboard for your first six months to a year, if you want to make a good impression.

ETA: Your update makes a big difference. After 7 years with a job, the kind of things you are describing are unreasonable expectations from your employer/supervisor, especially for an hourly employee who is required to clock in and out. Maybe it's time to look for a new job.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Work is often not kind to moms.
For most places, you have a 6 month period where you will take no time off and then you slowly accrue vacation and sick days.
Your child needs after school care - get it arranged.
I'd been working 13 years before I had a child so I had leave time built up.
Even then, arrangements had to be made.
Our son went to day care starting when my maternity leave was up (he was 12 weeks old) - I worked the earliest shift possible.
I got him to day care as they opened at 6:30am and was at work at 7am - I was first in and turned all the lights on.
I got my work and meetings completed, ran errands during lunch and was the first to leave at 4pm (even then I got some dirty looks - no one notices when you get into the office at the crack of dawn - but being in early was great for conference calls in the UK - so THEY knew I was on the job!).
You have no rights - get over that right now.
If you want to work it's going to have to be on the employers terms - and a lot of companies do not want to hear anything about your family.
You have to earn your perks - and it comes so very slowly.
It took me 15 years to earn 4 weeks of vacation per year.

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answers from St. Louis on

I would not want you as an employee. Not sure if that is saying much considering even my older daughter thinks I expect too much of my coworkers and she is cut from this mold. I count on my coworkers to do their job because if they don't get the information onto our database there is nothing for me to analyze. So when they slack I am not working at peak and then when they decide to catch up I am slammed. That isn't fair on me, don't you think?

So yeah, your choices do effect the team. a million years have such a narrow margin for error as you do unless I had a back up in my pocket. Even at 2:15 it takes one accident and your child is at school wondering where you are at. I would suggest the same as Mamzita, after school care and if offers you a chance to be a team player.

After school care usually expects you to pick days. So sit down with your team leader and say I want to offer more flexibility for the sake of the team. So I will put my daughter in after school care for two days a week, what two days work best for the team? Go over the after care's policy for changing these days. Say they need a weeks notice for changes, then you need a weeks notice for a meeting that isn't on those days. It is called meeting in the middle. You are giving up a bit and in return they are giving you more flexibility within your limits.

Say on those two days you work ten hours instead of eight, then the rest of the week are seven. This gives you a larger margin of error for getting your daughter after school. Jobs are not rights, you have to be flexible.

I have a flex job but I was hired with my employer knowing I have an autistic son, I was a single mom, and on no notice I may have to run out the door. They hired me anyway, I have more than shown I am worth it.

Show you are worth it

Oh, looked up whether you are an at will state, you are, you have no legal rights, they can fire you without reason unless you are under a contract.

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answers from Boston on

I'm not sure I completely understand if this is a job you just started in September, or if the problems started or are being tracked from September to December. If you have been there for at least a year and are entitled to X number of days off, that's one thing. If you just started in September, and you have earned no time off yet (most companies don't give anything for 6 months), and yet you were out the 2nd day of school, that's a problem. If you have accumulated time off (sick, personal, vacation) and are giving advance notice when you can (vacation always, personal often, sick never), there shouldn't be a problem.

I have no idea why the supervisor (or you) would be counting the 4 days the office was closed. That's a paid holiday, right? So it's irrelevant to the discussion. So the only days to be discussed are the 5 remaining days when the office was open and you weren't there. Why she would say you were out 20 days, I have no idea. That should be a simple error to correct - you simply talk to her or to HR or the accounting office, whoever keeps the records. Ask for a list of the 20 days she has you recorded as being absent. If should be very simple to recreate your schedule and the days you were there. Don't take the approach that she's dishonest or aggressive, but that you all strive for accuracy in the record keeping. I think it would help us answer if we knew exactly what you are entitled to. For example, if you have been there at least a year, perhaps you get 5 sick days, 2 personal days, and 10 vacation days. So that's 17 days for a year, and you took 5 in the 4 month period from September 1 through December 31. So that's probably about right - 1/3 of your days in 1/3 of the year. But if you only started in September, it's absolutely way too much time because you haven't accrued it yet. Even if you take it without pay, that's not the point - you aren't there to work, your team has to work around you, someone has to bring you up to speed when you return, etc. It shows a lack of commitment.

I think it's not productive to worry about how much time off your supervisor takes, or how much she's entitled to. I'm guessing you don't have access to that information, nor do you know how many hours she works beyond 40 per week. You work part time and leave at 2:30, and you don't know if she leaves at 5, or 7:30, or works Saturdays and evenings. Moreover, what a person does on their time off is not relevant. So if you are home with a scared child or she is at a sporting event, they are equivalent in the eyes of the company. Neither one of you is there, and so no one is doing your respective jobs at that moment. I suggest that perhaps some of your attitude that her time off is not as valid because she is attending sporting events may be coming across in your dealings with her, and that may be taken as offensive or unprofessional. Likewise, whether your coworkers have children is irrelevant - you are all expected to be there when you are scheduled to be, and people with children don't get special consideration. If you or anyone else has a family tragedy, as your supervisor did, one would hope the company would be sympathetic. But my guess is that a child who's afraid to go to school and whose mother allows her to stay home all day is not going to be seen in the same category as a family death or critical injury.

As for the rescheduled meeting, there is no way for a large meeting with multiple departments involved to be scheduled at a time that's good for everyone. You had 4 days notice, which is plenty of time to find a sitter for a child. It was in the afternoon, so a high school student could have done the job I'm sure. Rescheduling an appointment with an optometrist shouldn't be a big deal. For a physician with a 3 month waiting list, yes, that's a huge hassle. But an optometrist shouldn't have that long a waiting time. In fact, if you had a sitter for your child so you could go to the optometrist, that should have covered you for the meeting as well. But these things happen. If your supervisor is in charge of this large group, then she gets to set the meeting times. Her athletic event is no less important than your optometrist in the eyes of the business world.

When you were hired, what were you told about staying past 2:30? Did they say they would give you notice? Did they say they wouldn't expect you to do so on short notice? What's in your employment contract or offer letter? Is there an employee handbook? Talk to HR and/or go back through your paperwork at the time of hire to be sure you fully understand all the terms and conditions of your employment. Then meet with HR and talk about ways to improve workplace communications so that you have a better relationship with your supervisor. Even if she is unreasonable or a poor communicator, you can learn to work within that scenario to have a more positive relationship.

If you can elaborate on some of these questions in your "so what happened" section, it will help us to understand the situation better and give you more advice.

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answers from Dallas on

As a business owner, 9 days off, ok... minus the time the office is closed so 5 days off Sept-Dec sounds excessive to me.

You already have flexible hours if you leave at 2:30 and can pick up your child. MANY moms don't have that perk!! In essence, that takes you away from your group for at least 2.5 hours a day assuming most of the team works until 5.

What was the valid reason for allowing your child to skip day 2 and you staying home with her? She started k, it's time she understands the routine. You don't just stay home to stay home when you have a job.

However valid your reasoning may be... I can see from the business side why some co/workers may feel irked and that they are doing more work to make up for your absences.

It does not mean you are a bad employee. My initial gist is that you are not committed to the team. I believe in missing work if someone is sick or has no child care if a child is sick but arrangements should be made in advance.

The boss's schedule has nothing to do with your schedule. Supervisors earn their perks along the way as they work up the corporate ladder.

In the corporate world, I was in marketing for a major snack food company. We had deadlines, everyone had a vital responsibility to the brand in order for us to achieve the advertised roll out dates and other deadlines.

We own our company now and work from home so there are no sick days because that's money out of my pocket!! I would raise eyebrows and question any employee that averaged more than 1-2 days a month off.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh but that is the business in me. You are committed to the job or you are not. Don't waste a company's time and money ( or your reputation).

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answers from Las Vegas on

I'm not reading the other responses, and I can only go off of what you've shared here. If what you have written here is the complete and correct story, my initial feeling is that this woman is pushing your buttons because she knows she can. It sounds as if you've been nothing but accommodating to her, and she just keeps pushing you the more you come through for her. Again, maybe there is something missing or maybe I'm off base, but that's my initial impression.

I'd first take some time to sort out your thoughts and do your very best to let go of attached emotion. Not that your feelings aren't valid; they certainly are. However, they have to be set aside so you can get to an effective solution to this. You can vent your frustration to your husband, best friend, sister, whomever, but take that factor out of it when you go talk to your supervisor.

Next, read your HR handbook. Make sure you KNOW what the company policies are. If you are taking PTO within company policy, I'm not sure she has any leverage in threatening your position with this. It sounds you were hired with the expectation that your workday ends at 2:30. What is the company policy about working overtime for urgent projects or emergencies?

Next step: email your supervisor and ask to make an appointment to talk with her. Yes, as a mature, responsible adult and employee, you must talk with your supervisor FIRST. Show her that you are a team player (bring a bullet-point list of the recent work you've done to help others). Also, say, "I want to ensure my work record is correct in your files," and hand her a copy of your attendance records from HR showing that it was 5 days (not 20) and leave that part at that. DO NOT mention HER time off in this meeting. While a valid point in your overall story to us, it has no business in your conversation with her.

Tell her you want to come up with a solution that works for both you and for her and the company. Be specific about your childcare arrangements. Let her know the time that you must leave the office in order to pick up your daughter in a timely matter. Remind her that with advance notice (decide how much time you need and reiterate this to her) that you can stay later to work on urgent or emergency projects.

Keep copies of the copies you provided to her and make some notes of what you said and what she said in this meeting with appropriate date and time and keep this in a personal file at home. You should also add more detailed information to this file that shows how/when you've helped others on their projects (including the supervisor); any written schedules from the supervisor and any schedule changes she's made; any other information that supports your case. This is for you to use with HR, in the event talking with her doesn't work.

If she knows that you are well aware of company policy and rules, and that you are operating within those rules, I'm guessing she will be less inclined to use her current tactics. Hopefully, you will be able to come up with a workable solution by talking with her.

If this doesn't work, your next step is to take this file you've made and go to HR to ask for assistance. As a seven year employee, I'm assuming you are a valuable asset to the company and that it would be in their best interest to retain you.

Make a plan to get started on a solution for this. Otherwise, this stress will spill over into other areas of your life. Hope you get this settled soon.

J. F.

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answers from Chicago on

ETA: Based on your SWH, the problem is with your supervisor. And BS on her claim that 15 minutes won't hurt. If you are required to clock out on time and are flagged if you don't, she does not get an extra 15. If she requires you to stay and you are flagged, you need to have a discussion with human resources.

Without knowing what type of days you took off, it is hard to know if this is a problem. If these are vacation/PTO days that are scheduled in advance, it shouldn't be a problem. If these are days that you didn't come to work because of illness, etc., then yes, there is a problem with missing 5 days in 4 months.

Most office jobs require some flexibility in terms of being able to stay late or working off hours. I'm over 50 and can't remember one office job I've had where it wasn't occasionally necessary to work overtime or come in on a weekend/evening for something. The reality is that your supervisor, by virtue of being the supervisor, most likely has more flexibility and/or days off than you. You might not like it or think it's fair, but she most likely has more responsibility and accountability than you and that's often a perk of the job.

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answers from Dallas on

I think that you need to find another job that is a better fit for you. This is not working out for you or your employer. Was this meeting today "put you on notice" or a "personal improvement plan". If so, you are in serious jeopardy of losing your job. Rescheduling a meeting four days in advance is more than reasonable (unless a lot of the participants are having to arrange airfare). Even if that meeting was outside of your regular hours, you were local - you had plenty of time to make childcare arrangements or reschedule an optometrist appointment. And then you complained about it and were reprimanded for your attitude. You cannot compare yourself to your supervisor in terms of time off. It is none of your business. She may have a lot more vacation time or comp time that she is entitled to take. Was your supervisor involved in hiring you and agreed to your work hours? Did the company tell you that you would never have to work later than your 2:30 time? Perhaps she miscalculated your 20 days --ask her how she arrived at that number and then provide your time clock documentation. Five days off in a 4 month period (unless you have earned vacation time) is too much. It is probably disruptive to the other people on your team if it is not planned in advance. To give yourself peace of mind, find another job or have a fail proof back up child care plan for your child. Good luck!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Your SWH helps a lot. I have a few thoughts.

1) You need to stop even thinking about what your supervisor does or why. It doesn't matter how many days she takes off, or if you feel she's not doing her job and delegating it to you. Or if her reason for rescheduling meetings is valid or not. It doesn't matter. It's her supervisor's job to worry about that that. You need to completely let that go. Try not to even think about it. I'm not sure how you even know things like why she has to cancel, but if it's break room talk, then it's gossip. Walk away from it and if you can't walk away, let it go in one ear and out the other.

2) I would suggest that you be proactive with her. Set up a meeting with her. Do not complain or present problems. Come to the meeting with solutions. For example: If you know in advance that a day will be busy and she will want 15 more minutes of your time, can you shorten your lunch by 15 minutes instead of staying 15 minutes late? Or maybe the new hours that she set that end at 2:30 aren't really working, and you and she need to revisit those. Do you need to start 30 min later and leave at 3 instead of 2:30?

3) I also suggest that you check your professionalism at work. Are you always respectful? I know you are going to say Yes, of course I am! But in your post you say that you expressed annoyance at the meeting being moved. That's unprofessional. If you can make the accommodation to come to the meeting after normal work hours, then you do it and you attend with a smile on your face.

If something comes up and you can't attend a meeting, then you inform your supervisor in a professional way (which, by the way, does not mean giving details. You don't have to explain that your daughter was freaking out about kindergarten. You can just say that something unexpected makes it impossible to come in, and you need to use one of your PTO days.) And, when requesting the day off, you can also be proactive and say how you will make up the work that you missed by being out. For example, I appreciate it when my staff says they have to take a day off, but they follow it up with something like "I know that project X is waiting for A and B from me, and I can get that to TeamMember as soon as I get in tomorrow morning." Obviously, they don't tell me every single thing that they do, but I appreciate it when they acknowledge the most critical tasks on their to-do list, and how/when those will be accomplished.

There is a lot of info on the web about 'managing up', and it is really useful at all stages of your career. The key ones, IMO, are being proactive and never presenting a problem without also presenting a solution. You might do a little reading see if there are other managing-up strategies that could help you.

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answers from Seattle on

This kills me. I'm an employer and I understand that it's a challenge when someone is out unexpectedly, but how dare they get upset with you for a few days off when they are out for weeks. Family first, is my motto. Yes, I get slightly annoyed when the work has to shift around depending on people being out, but completely understand why they need time off. You can't plan everything. We have employees who forget to let us know about needing time off for events and even then I understand that life is busy and being supportive and understanding will get you much further in the long run. Sorry you are going through this. Just wanted to give you the perspective of a "boss" with a different style. If there are other parts of the job you aren't enjoying, it might be time to move on and find a better fit where someone understands family and the occasional time off.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Sounds like you need to find a person in your neighborhood to babysit your child when she isn't in school. I will say taking off work because your child is scared isn't a valid reason for taking a day off....working moms have to take their kids to child care/school and leave. They don't have the ability to just take off work when there isn't an emergency.

Your supervisor's days off work aren't any of your concern. As supervisor they have more status than you. They are higher up the food chain and therefore have more freedom and rights. It's part of their job.

As for the meeting. That would make me mad too. If there were other people involved who couldn't be in the meeting due to it being during after hours or was it just arranged for after 2:30?

To me it sounds like you need to put your child in after school care or have a neighbor/school mate take her home with them. This way you can work after when needed.

I assume you work from 8:30-2:30 because you take her to school and then pick her up. That's not full time. If you want full benefits and to be treated like a valuable part of the team you do need to work full time.

Most jobs are 8-5. With an hour lunch break that makes your day an 8 hour day. I will assume your boss is tired of arranging everything around your leaving time of 2:30 when there are 2 1/2 hours more of everyone else's work day left.

So, to me, if you want respect and to show you are committed to your job you need to work full time, have your child's care lined up so you don't have to take off any days (have hubby stay home with her if she's too scared to go to school), and go to work and do your own job. Quit worrying over what others get to do, they work full time and put in the hours to get favor to take off for sporting events.

I don't think you seem committed to your job. It truly sounds like it's not your priority. Mom's who have to work and have a full time income don't get to take off at 2:30 every day even when there is work to be done and they certainly don't take off days when it's not an emergency.

I wouldn't like working with someone who did this. I would not like to have to schedule every meeting and every work activity according to when someone's children get out of school.

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answers from Tampa on

Yes, you are not being a team player here.

The company culture seems to have evolved and you haven't with it. As others have said, the supervisor's time off is not relevant to this situation. I agree that it would irritate me too, but saying something about her schedule would make you look petty and unprofessional. You are not in charge of her timesheet.

Yes, five days off seems a bit much. Were those days in which there was something critical scheduled at work? That might cloud their opinion of your time off. I am the only one that does my job function where I work. There are certain days that I simply cannot take off as there is no one to cover me. It is my role as a salaried professional to know this and to plan my time off to accommodate this. As for taking the 2nd day off of kindergarten because your daughter was scared, this was ludicrous. This was NOT an emergency and I would even suggest that you handling it as such made it harder for your daughter to adjust to kindergarten. You should have given her a pep talk, a hug/kiss and dropped her off letting her know how much fun she was going to have.

Others are right in that you have cut your time too close for picking up at 3 p.m. If you value your job at all, you need to make arrangements so that your daughter can go to an after care program when needed. Four days should have been plenty of time to make alternative arrangements for her for your meeting.

Being a working mom is hard and does require some juggling. I tend to give my job more information than they actually need. I make sure that they know that my husband and I switch off taking off of work when the kids are sick. I make sure that I answer my cell or email in the event that I DO have to take a day off for sick kids.

Your job is telling you that they expect more from you. It is up to you as to how you want to handle it. If you are invested and want to stay there, you should find a way to step up and meet them halfway. If you don't care and this is nothing more than a paycheck to you, you might be better off finding a different position that requires less.

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answers from Chicago on

I once had a job in a retail store. I was hired by the regional manager, not the store manager, and my start time was based on my school hours--and it was supposed to be flexible enough that if I needed to talk to my instructor after class, I could do so. Once I was permanently at a store, the manager would pout down my hours (verbally put down). She would say how I had "bankers hours", etc. I always worked hard and actually cleaned up the store compared to how it was dusty before. When I got engaged, she hated it. She would try fixing me up with customers. She was miserable in her own marriage and actually tried to talk me out of getting married. I ended up quitting that job with no notice after she told me I was mystery shopped and ignored customers and gave things for almost free and always coming in late. If you had your days off scheduled, then I see no reason you should be punished for it. If your work has gotten hostile, I would try to talk to the supervisor and if needed, go to HR. It doesn;t really matter why she is taking off but if you were scheduled first, and maybe if there was some kind of agreement about being able to get your daughter, then it needs to be discussed. I woul dnot get defensive about it, just bring up the facts in the case.

We have several people at my current job that leave a little early to pickup kids. I start a little late so I can get my teens to school first. It is worked out and I take a little time from my lunch to make it up. But that is how it is worked out.

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answers from Washington DC on

I agree with much of what is said below. I had a supervisor who hassled me about my PTO, and I printed off my paystub email and showed her that I had that time available, was she going to approve it or not? She was giving ME a hard time because other people were low. I think she resented that she was a single mom and I wasn't and didn't ever fully understand that my sks lived with us so sometimes DH and I had to figure out who would take off in an emergency. Their BM was not local.

At the end of this meeting, did you get anything in writing? And if you did, can you submit a rebuttal or talk to HR? I agree to be calm, informed, and know your rights. If you were given written permission weeks ahead for the time off and it was rescinded just days before, what is HR's PTO policy? If you are required to clock out on time, and clock in on time, then you should clock in/out on time if that is in the employee handbook. Staying 15 mins every day adds does leaving early or arriving late. Basically, they would be getting an extra hour or so out of you every week if you stayed. If you need to shift your hours so that you arrive earlier to leave when you need to leave, or shorten your lunch, that is another discussion to have, and get in writing. But I would be loathe to give them extra time off the clock.

Get everything in writing, and back up your case. Like Julie suggested below. Make sure she knows you know you were out 5 days not 20. In my case, I was being lumped in with others so perhaps she is thinking you were out when someone else was.

ETA: I also agree that you worry about your own time off and less is more. Boss does not always need to know why you took time off, unless it's a sick day. I had a boss that would question every move (she even questioned my commute since I took a different route from a similar area) and I stopped explaining myself. I would like to take a day off for a family emergency. Yes or no? I would like to take a day off for a medical appointment. Yes or no? Etc. She did not need to know whether I was taking my DD to the dentist or I was going to the GYN for a personal matter.

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answers from Cleveland on

I don't get it. Most people I know take a week's vacation every year. That's 5 days. So why is it such an issue you took 5 days between Sept and Dec? I get they were scattered days and one likely was last minute but paid vacation is paid vacation. The only day your boss might have a legit issue is the 2nd day of K but unless it's a habit or there was some huge thing you messed up that day by calling in, these things happen.If you're not going over your PTO max and days are scheduled in advance, I don't see the problem. If this is the same boss you've had for 7 years, has anything else changed? Perhaps she regrets how she changed your hours? Has your relationship always been strained? If not, I would sit down again with her and say you were caught off guard but you want to do a good job and be a team player but you don't really understand. When can you take PTO?... If staying 15 min past the time you'd agreed on now a requirement on last minute notice? If so, you have to think how you can do this. If it's a requirement, then you have to have backup plans for your daughter or change jobs. Not much else you can do. But try to have another conversation explaining your confusion. Ask why she has 20 days down etc.

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answers from Amarillo on

From what you have written it appears that you have not learned how to compartmentalize work from home. When at home you do home things. When at work you work and don't worry about home (or children) period.

Many things have changed for working moms and some not so much. When I worked and then we adopted (baby) I made sure that my child would be cared for at a child care facility and not at a neighbors or friends so that I would not have to run around and find someone else at the last minute to watch baby. When child got sick and I had to find a new job that was one of the first things I explained that child went to day care so that was not a strike against me, There was also a stigma to hire student or military wives in many good professions. So we wives had to learn how to take all the negative issues out of the hiring process and work the full 40 hours or so a week to survive.

What I see with you is someone who wants to work a few hours a day and do something to keep busy vs the dedicated person who enjoys what they do and will stay the extra time for the extra mile. Bosses do see those who stay and work even the ones with kids. But your job does not have that fuzzy feeling for moms with little kids and they are not going to change it. In fact you have been put on notice to shape up or ship out. It is up to you how to mend the fence with the supervisor or move on to a new job and deal with their demands and consequences of working outside the home.

It is a hard line. There is not much compassion for the working mom and you have to remember that. You have to prove yourself and sometimes that is at the cost of time with your child to get a job done. Or take a real part time job of 4 hours a day so that you get out in the work world. But if you expect to be at the top you are going to have to change your ways.

I am sorry if I come off hard and blunt but these are the facts of the work world. I have been employee and employer. Being employer you cannot depend on the working mom to be there when a project is going on because of a sick kid which changes the deadline or makes other have to pick up the slack. Your coworkers may smile at you but deep down they begin to resent you for not being there doing your job. So figure out what you want a job/career or to stay home with your child.

the other S.

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answers from New York on

Please stop stressing but get your priorities in order.

1. Know the company policy.
2. Have your time off facts straight.
3. Stop explaining in detail why you are taking your time. It's your time.
4. Get more options for your child's afterschool care and/or sick day care. You need your village.

I was a single parent and I had to juggle and often assess myself. Honesty is key but not being bullied by a boss may also come into play. Knowing the company policy like I know my name is what you really need. It will help you keep things in perspective. You may need to find a new job but not before you have taken an honest look at yourself and more help with your child.


answers from Santa Fe on

I don't think you are a bad employee. I think you just have different expectations than your supervisor. You might not be a good fit there. If it were me, I would arrange for my daughter to go to a friend's house on the days I need to work later. Or find some kind of care for after school nanny? My son's teacher told me this year that some teachers she knows do this to earn a little extra money. Perhaps there is a parent you trust that you could offer to pay? I would also make sure I have child care lined up for the times school is canceled but I still need to go to work. For example, I have a friend here with a business called The Best Nest and she watches kids at her home for this reason. Also, I would schedule all doctor/dentist appointments for after school. In a new job I would definitely go the extra mile to "prove" myself. If you do these things and are able to be there when they need you and take off less days, and you still feel as though your supervisor is not satisfied with you...then I think you should start applying to other jobs. Look for a flexible job that you can do either there or at home. Or a job where you get the feeling they value family and allow more flexibility. Good luck.



answers from Denver on

It's time to go over her head. Please schedule a meeting with your supervisor's boss and go prepared with the facts.

The only reason your boss could possibly have for her OWN behavior is if the sporting events are actually client-related. Otherwise...she's way out of line. It's also time to look for a new job.

I am, incidentally, a supervisor and whatever is going on with your boss is her problem. You don't sound problematic at all to me. I think she doesn't like your new schedule - and while that is understandable, lying and tearing you down in front of colleagues is incredibly unprofessional and inappropriate.

Good luck,



answers from San Francisco on

You don't really have many rights here. Your employer has a right to expect you to come to work. You said that your days off are all paid and are scheduled well in advance. Did you really schedule to be off on the 2nd day of kindergarten? I doubt it. And really missing five days in a 3 month period is bad. I too would have been severely reprimanded. Why did you have to take all that time off? I assume it wasn't because your child was sick because you say you dread the day you have to miss because your daughter is sick.

It seems to me that you would be able to see for yourself that your team is particularly busy on any given day and you could simply take the initiative to call hubby to arrange for him to get your child and then voluntarily stay that extra 15 minutes. It would make a good impression which it seems you need to do at this point.

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