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Am I being unreasonable for thinking this is unfair?


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Old 8th March 2019, 9:19 AM   #1
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Am I being unreasonable for thinking this is unfair?

I started this position at my current job about 5 months ago and it's been fine so far, nothing special but it's the highest paid job I've had so far (I'm 25).

Anyways, my working hours are 8:00 - 4:30 (I am supposed to take a 30 minute lunch, but I usually just end up working while I eat). Even before and after I get home from work, I am still responding to some work emails on my phone (which I'll count on my time sheet even though I am salaried).

When I got into work yesterday, my boss told me that 'things are all about perception' and has asked me to stay until at least 5, if not longer. He then went on to say that a new (as in started 3 weeks ago) business development 'higher-up' noticed that me leaving at 4:30 just means that I am apparently not busy enough... Even though I have great time management skills and am able to do all my work in the allotted 8 hours while at work.

I was then asked if I could start working 9 - 11 hours every day, and then asked me to start taking on more responsibilities (I just checked out my job description (I can find it on our ATS, and the job description is only about 50% of what I actually do).

So not only do they want me to work 3 extra hours every day, just for "perception", they also want me to start doing way more than what I was originally told I'd be doing. So I'm not very happy.

I know that I've only been here for 5 months, but it would be outlandish for me to ask for some kind of raise, right? I just am not happy that I'm gonna be asked to stay for a couple hours longer (when I'll just be BSing, since I won't have any work to do). Am I also being unreasonable for thinking this is just absurd? Don't you just LOVE American Corporate Culture!!

I just got into work today and my boss said I need to do some work/reports over the weekend so it's done by Monday... Now I don't even get weekends to myself without work
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Old 8th March 2019, 9:22 AM   #2
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Is this a place where you want to build a career? Or is this just a job? My answer depends on that.

Career? Then yes, perceptions matter. As does the fact that you are early in your career at age 25.

Job? Nope. Work your hours/do your job and go home.
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Old 8th March 2019, 9:39 AM   #3
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Salaried positions generally come with at least some work outside normal business hours, at least in my experience. Being asked to work more than 8 hours a day isn't unreasonable on its face, sometimes your "presence" is part of the job description (officially or not), not how quickly you can knock out the existing work to be done that day.

As Wallysbears referenced, if this job can help you advance in your career goals, whether you stay with this particular company or not, then put in the extra effort and learn your "craft" with an eye toward the future benefit. You are at the "paying your dues" stage of your career right now. This is when you soak up all the knowledge and experience without being focused on whether you are being financially compensated for every moment of your effort.

If, however, this is simply a job for you to pay your bills, then you should probably start looking elsewhere for something that fits your preferred schedule. I wouldn't want to work an additional 1-3 hours with no additional pay for something with which I saw no career prospects.
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Old 8th March 2019, 9:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallysbears View Post
Is this a place where you want to build a career? Or is this just a job? My answer depends on that.

Career? Then yes, perceptions matter. As does the fact that you are early in your career at age 25.

Job? Nope. Work your hours/do your job and go home.
The type of job - career, but this company - not my career
I moved to this state in October, and I'm not a fan of the weather so I am most likely moving back to my home state this October or November
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Old 8th March 2019, 7:59 PM   #5
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Staying late every now and then... sure, but on a consistent basis when this wasn't originally the expectation you were hired in under and you're salaried... NO. Do I think it's appropriate to ask for a raise after 5 months... probably not. You might just have to either A. Have a chat with your boss about the additional work, particularly working later and on the weekends, or B. Put up with it for the time being, but start searching for another job.
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Old 9th March 2019, 12:57 AM   #6
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Sure as long as they pay you overtime. Do not make life all about work. Especially on weekends! If this isn't your dream career and it's just about experience, then do what you can for as long as you can then find your dream job. You're gonna burn out eventually in this job, especially if you're not passionate about it.
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Old 9th March 2019, 2:14 AM   #7
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First, I think you should figure out what you're actually making per hour if you work 9 - 11 hour days. That's 45 to 55 hours per week. When you divide your salary by that, do you come up with a reasonable wage per hour for your job title and responsibilities, compared to a similar position at a competing company, perhaps? If not, then I think it would be fair to go to your managers with these figures and ask that you be compensated more fairly for your time.

But I think you should make sure you legally qualify as a salaried employee. Certain conditions must be met for them to be paying you like that. I'm not absolutely certain what those conditions are exactly, but one issue that immediately comes to mind is that (I believe) salaried employees must be in some sort of management or supervisory role. And it doesn't matter if your job description simply calls you a manager if you're not doing any actual management. Look up the FLSA and see if they're actually following the rules there.

If they're not, I think you should just look for a new job. If they can't follow the law and value their employees as they should, then they're ****ty, dishonest businesspeople who are taking advantage of you and probably others.

And consider that if they aren't following the law and are STILL asking you for more of your time, then they are definitely taking advantage of you.
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Old 9th March 2019, 8:47 AM   #8
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Welcome to the new norm. You can change jobs but it won't be any different elsewhere.

First, you need to absolutely work until 5 if the higher ups are commenting. You can do this by actually taking the 1/2 hour allotted for your lunch instead of being "productive" & working through lunch. Not eating at your desk is actually better for your health.

Now you need to figure out if you are an exempt or non-exempt employee. I understand you are paid a salary but that doesn't necessarily mean you are not entitled to overtime. Check with the Federal Dept of Labor & do review the Fair Labor Standards Act, the FLSA mentioned above. If you are non-exempt & I expect you might be, work all the time they ask because they have to pay you. Once they figure that out, they'll be shooing you out the door at 4:30.
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Old 10th March 2019, 6:51 AM   #9
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Eh, fair or not, I had to work unpaid overtime in every job I ever had. I think your expectations are unreasonable if you count answering a work e-mail after 4:30pm as a "big deal".

Also, if you want to progress in your career - first stage of it is about "start-up costs". You really will need to work overtime, go above and beyond to gain experience, prove yourself and suck it up. This will happen at every company.

If you don't care about career progression - then find something where you can do the bare minimum and fly under the radar.
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Old 10th March 2019, 2:42 PM   #10
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Jobs are all over the place these days. I don't like that they want you to stay later for "perception." Many jobs these days want people to get work done ... not just officially put in x number of hours.

I have a buddy who works at a high-end law firm ... he puts in fewer hours than others, but he's a super fast worker (he's super smart and organized) ... and the bosses are fine.

So ... a tip for your next job: the information you're getting now about the expectations... you can actually learn that real info ... before you start a job ... if you meet with employees and ask the right questions. The etiquette goes something like this ... You ask to talk to a few employees as you're going through the interview process ... Most jobs are good with that. And you then want to talk to employees NOT at their desk ... but at lunch ... or by phone at night ... something like that.

In my experience, employees speaking away from their desk (even the happiest employees) will tell you what the real hours are ... as opposed to the officially announced hours ... and they'll tell you about the real expectations, as opposed to the expectations presented in interviews. But the etiquette, of course, is that you do not report what the employees say to you at lunch or on the phone ... to the people interviewing you.

You can even run your expectations and goals by the employees ... and see if your expectations sync up.

Try to adjust for now ... see what happens ... Save money ... You may ultimately want to get to a different company. Just speak to employees at your level when you interview the next time.
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Old 10th March 2019, 10:34 PM   #11
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I agree with Wallysbears that the answer depends on whether or not this is just a job for you, or a stepping stone in your career. That said, even if this is a career job, your overall well being comes first. If you find yourself being stressed more often than not, then maybe a conversation with your superiors would be in the best interest of everyone involved.

Additionally, if this is a career job, then what may be best for you is to suck it up and kick ass for another 9 to 12 months and then start looking for another job, and making sure that your expectations align with the expectations of your superiors before accepting any job offer. If it's just a job that you don't care about, I would probably start looking now.

Hope that helps!

Also, try posting this question on the RGUE app (pronounced "argue") to try and get some additional perspectives.
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Old 10th March 2019, 11:38 PM   #12
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I'd be looking for another job. A little over time is normal, but they are asking too much and if they wanted that they needed to let you know that when you took the job. You might make a phone call to the EEOC and see what the rules are about asking for extra hours and whether they're paying for them or not. They should have told you that when they hired you.
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Old 11th March 2019, 7:41 PM   #13
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You always have to stand up for yourself. Speak directly with the higher up who said something about you. Tell him straight up that you put in a full 8 hours and an extra 1/2 hour to hour each day and are doing more than you were originally hired on to do. You are a busy person with a full life and if they want you to put in another 30% hours-wise and eat into your full personal life, you need a 40% pay raise. You state your case plainly and stand your ground. You will not work consistently 11-12 hours a day and be paid for 8 because that is never what you agreed to. Salary is really there to even out the payout each pay period and cover ups and downs evenly so it balances out and it is not there to bind you to say, working100 hours a week at his whim.


You tell them, you don't really debate or ask.


I find a lot of people are afraid to do this and think they will get fired because the boss does not value them but in reality they actually back down right away and take whatever lumps they get out of fear so of course nobody above them will have "respect" for them, they don't respect themselves. Others make the mistake of "asking" instead of commanding. When they just "ask", their boss will say, I will think about it...or, let's have a review in 6 months and then if you do XXX we can discuss a raise...or, "No".


See when you ask, they can say, "No". When you state what you are willing to do, they really can't say no because you are not asking a question.


When you say, I need A, B and C if you want me to do D and E, otherwise I won't agree...and leave it at that, you'll find most people will be stuck with your ultimatum. It's not about being an ass or a jerk, but about stating what you expect confidently and also letting them know what you won't accept in the future without even having to really say it.


I have had some bad bosses that were pretty difficult and treated people like crap, but every time they crossed the line to what I was willing to do, I simply went in and said...Here's my line. I am not willing to go further, so where does that leave us? Each time even the most unreasonable jerk of a boss backed down and at lease feigned being reasonable.


You'll find when you define your line, your bosses will respect it. If you don't define your line, then frankly, there is no line they ever worry about crossing and they will realize how easy it is and have no problem pushing that line back more in the future because they know they won't meet any resistance.


I will say I have seen more people during my career get hired under the terms A, B and C and then outright refuse to do D and E without equal compensation when it gets foisted on them and come out ahead and compensated fairly vs people that have been fired. If the people were competent, they usually worked out a fair deal with even some of the most difficult bosses I have known. Some of these people you would think were marked from that day on, ended up working at least 4-5 years and in most cases, they chose to leave the company. I have seen way more bosses back down and give in than fire someone for refusing an unreasonable request.
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Old 11th March 2019, 7:51 PM   #14
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You always have to stand up for yourself. Speak directly with the higher up who said something about you. Tell him straight up that you put in a full 8 hours and an extra 1/2 hour to hour each day and are doing more than you were originally hired on to do. You are a busy person with a full life and if they want you to put in another 30% hours-wise and eat into your full personal life, you need a 40% pay raise. You state your case plainly and stand your ground. You will not work consistently 11-12 hours a day and be paid for 8 because that is never what you agreed to. Salary is really there to even out the payout each pay period and cover ups and downs evenly so it balances out and it is not there to bind you to say, working100 hours a week at his whim.


You tell them, you don't really debate or ask.


I find a lot of people are afraid to do this and think they will get fired because the boss does not value them but in reality they actually back down right away and take whatever lumps they get out of fear so of course nobody above them will have "respect" for them, they don't respect themselves. Others make the mistake of "asking" instead of commanding. When they just "ask", their boss will say, I will think about it...or, let's have a review in 6 months and then if you do XXX we can discuss a raise...or, "No".


See when you ask, they can say, "No". When you state what you are willing to do, they really can't say no because you are not asking a question.


When you say, I need A, B and C if you want me to do D and E, otherwise I won't agree...and leave it at that, you'll find most people will be stuck with your ultimatum. It's not about being an ass or a jerk, but about stating what you expect confidently and also letting them know what you won't accept in the future without even having to really say it.


I have had some bad bosses that were pretty difficult and treated people like crap, but every time they crossed the line to what I was willing to do, I simply went in and said...Here's my line. I am not willing to go further, so where does that leave us? Each time even the most unreasonable jerk of a boss backed down and at lease feigned being reasonable.


You'll find when you define your line, your bosses will respect it. If you don't define your line, then frankly, there is no line they ever worry about crossing and they will realize how easy it is and have no problem pushing that line back more in the future because they know they won't meet any resistance.


I will say I have seen more people during my career get hired under the terms A, B and C and then outright refuse to do D and E without equal compensation when it gets foisted on them and come out ahead and compensated fairly vs people that have been fired. If the people were competent, they usually worked out a fair deal with even some of the most difficult bosses I have known. Some of these people you would think were marked from that day on, ended up working at least 4-5 years and in most cases, they chose to leave the company. I have seen way more bosses back down and give in than fire someone for refusing an unreasonable request.
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Old 27th March 2019, 8:50 AM   #15
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I agree with what people have been saying.

Take your 30 lunch away from your desk. Take your morning and afternoon breaks too and leave at 5. Your supervisors have asked that you stay until 5 and so you should.

Overtime work should be approved by your supervisor so you don't get to use the fact you are answering emails outside of work hours as time you are working. Either stop doing it or continue doing it without expectations, you millennial you. (please take this as a tongue in cheek thing, I actually love millennial)

Same for working on weekends. You should be compensated for it (either in money or time) but you're kind of 'at the bottom of the ladder' here and should be willing to do it for now.

Keep in mind that any little thing you are doing outside of your boss' expectations (such as answering emails outside of work hours without considering you are actually working) will be appreciated by your supervisors, and you may not want to work there in the long term, but they will be references for your next jobs. Would suck to miss out on a great opportunity because you refuse to take your lunch so you can leave at 4:30...
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