Ask the expert: "I HATE my new schedule"

Ask the expert: "I HATE my new schedule"

A Firstline reader seeks help when her boss wrecks her work schedule, jeopardizing her time off with her retired spouse.
Jun 20, 2016

Dear Firstline,

I've worked for the same practice for 25 years. For 22 of those years I worked blocked days on and off. Three years ago, my boss changed me to split days off. His reason: He doesn't get his days off together, so none of his staff does anymore either.

I've tried to negotiate this arrangement, as my husband is retired and we don't get to do things together anymore. My boss said possibly I could have days together every other weekend. I offered to work every Saturday in exchange for having all my days together. My boss' reply was I'm not being flexible enough.

At this point I'm looking for a new job because of this impasse. Do you think there's any way to try and renegotiate? Or has my boss made it clear that he's not going to budge?--Overscheduled

Consultant Bash Halow has heard this number before and has an answer that may go into the "hate it" file, along with that new schedule. Here's his take:

What's the real problem?

Scheduling staff is a huge part of making sure the practice runs well. Balancing days off for employees for their life needs and our practice needs has always been a consideration for me. If the employees are happy about their time off and hours, they are happier about working.

What I don't understand is why blocked days off is necessary for a person whose spouse is retired and doesn't work at this point. If that is the case, then every day she has off she can spend with her spouse, so why are 2 days in a row needed?

Her employer's excuse is just that, an excuse. It's not a very valid reason to change the schedule with 22 years precedence of allowing a blocked schedule for this employee.

I think they both need to come clean on their reasons, and should be able to communicate better after such a long employment history. There is something deeper going on.

If the boss is being honest

If the boss is being honest that the reason is: "He doesn't get his days off together, so none of his staff does anymore either," that is one of the most petty reasons I've ever heard of. I'm rather shocked the consultant wants to side with the boss on this. Perhaps some mediator can speak with the boss and see if there is some truly valid reason for the schedule change, but until then, I'd have to side with the employee.