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I thought this day would never come

July 15th, 2015 at 04:38 pm

Did you ever imagine that you could get your boss to let you work at home so that you'd have more time to take care of non-work-related stuff in your life during the workday?

That's essentially what I've done. But honestly, I have been stressing for such a long time now, trying to manage a f/t job and deal with the seemingly never-ending series of little "issues" that need to be dealt with as they relate to my mother's care at the assisted living place. Mostly in the form of phone calls, but these very senior level people there....I've counted 5...never return my calls.

I kept feeling like something had to give, and soon. And yet my job is incredibly important to me. I'm in good shape now, financially, but I can't retire yet. I need a few more good years.

I'm shelling out $5300 a month in "rent" and I do expect premium service. I can't figure out if they're extremely understaffed over there or if they would rather avoid my calls then have a quasi-unpleasant conversation. Although I have not been rude or out of line in the least. But I do expect accountability and answers.

Anyway, back to my job. I was going to wait to make another strong push for working at home until after our floor moves to another floor next month, but that really has nothing to do with my situation, and yesterday things came to a head with certain mother-related things so I somewhat impulsively decided to act. First I was only going to ask for one day a week, but then I figured I'd ask for two since my boss would probably feel better if she could win some sort of concession from me, eg, getting me to agree to 1 day a week instead of 2. Two would be ideal, but I'd be very happy with just the 1. I'm so tired of running into stairwells or empty offices just to have a personal phone call.

My boss agreed to the 2 days off without a fight after I sent her a rather detailed note with an Outlook meeting invite to talk about it. I was telling her about how I am still so pressed for time, even after getting my mother situated at the assisted living place and even after getting her condo on the market.

When she had read my note asking to work at home 2 days a week, it appeared she thought I was asking to cut back my hours from 40 to just the 2 days at home, so it may have possibly been a relief to her to hear me say that wasn't the case.

I work for a very enlightened company, one that very recently has been ENCOURAGING its 10,000 employees to work at home. After a downsizing in my location last year, they're smooshing all of us remaining employees onto 1 floor, to save money, so they are again emphasizing work at home arrangements. My boss always resisted my suggestions, direct or indirect, to work at home. She just likes to have me there, she feels a greater sense of control, she's a little old-fashioned, I really am not sure.

Now I think she didn't try to fight it given the urgent and impassioned appeal I made, which comes direct from the heart. Usually I don't share a lot of my personal issues at the office becus I am somewhat reserved, but it has been worth my while to analyze her personality type, and hers is very different from mine, so I adjusted my approach to talk about the work at home stuff. Meaning that, like a lot of women, her primary personality characteristics are emotion-based. Her heart dictates her decision-making, or at least makes a strong contribution. I, on the other hand, am highly logical/analytical and don't usually let my personal feelings get in the way. But I did share a lot of highly personal information with her to make sure she knew this was for real, it wasn't just a story or something.

Also, I think one reason she caved is because she knows she'd have no leg to stand on if I wound up leaving the company and then she'd have to tell her boss why I left. That would look very bad becus as I said, this company is very open-minded about work at home stuff.

I was also able to set up my work phone today so that when I work at home, any calls going to my work phone will automatically get routed to my home phone, so I won't miss any calls.

So I have Tuesdays and Thursdays at home. In addition to the all-important having extra time to deal with my mother's affairs, working from home will also offer these benefits:

1. So much less stress becus I'll be able to get mom-related things done more promptly, without having things drag on from one week to the next, simply becus I can't find time during the workday to make some phone calls.

2. I'll spend one-third less on gas and wear and tear on my car

3. I can more easily attend monthly alzheimer's support group meetings, which i hadn't done before becus there's very little time for me to get home first, feed the cats, and i'm often too tired to head out. If I'm working at home all day, it's much more likely I'll be able to attend the meetings.

4. My cats will love having me around more. They get so bored alone all day.

5. I can sleep a little later if I need to, and I have insomnia a lot, so I could sleep in a full extra hour if I wanted.

6. I don't have to dress up for work.

7. I'll have better home security simply becus I'm around more during the week. This is always something I worry about, somewhat, becus if someone really wanted to break in here, they could.

8. I can potentially save money by there being less likelihood of eating in the office cafe as I'll only have to make carry-in lunches 3x a week.

9. I can more easily keep my house cool in summer, which I routinely do by closing drapes and opening windows throughout the day. It does make a difference. Don't have to close up all the windows when rain is forecast either.

10. I can more easily schedule heating oil deliveries or home repairs becus I'll be home more.

11. Less usage on my cell phone minutes.

The only downsides I see are that I'll use up somewhat more heating oil in winter since I'll be home and wont' want it too chilly, and I also won't be able to shop the farmer's market on Thursdays in the city where I work, though there's a farmer's market here in town on Tuesdays which has organic stuff, so even better.

It's all about work/life balance. Such a simply concept, and yet so many people don't get it. It makes sticking with this job for a few more years so much more doable. I got a call from a recruiter when i got home from work and I quickly deleted the message. I have zero interest in other job prospects. The one I have is becoming pretty near perfect.

7 Responses to “I thought this day would never come”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    I'm happy for you!

  2. Carol Says:

    Me, too! Gosh, I hope things start to go better for you with your Mom.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    This is great. Happy for you.

  4. Frugaltexan75 Says:

    That is awesome!

  5. My English Castle Says:

    Great boss. Flexibility is so valuable.

  6. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Congratulations, wonderful news.

  7. Ima saver Says:

    That is good news! Congratulations!

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