Author Topic: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy  (Read 5441 times)

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Samgirl2

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Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« on: January 20, 2014, 09:38:17 AM »
My company has a policy where people of my grade and higher are fairly free to arrange their own time and as long as jobs get done and you check in with your line manager then everything is fine. If we need to work from home for a valid reason occasionally then we just need to let our line managers know.

Background:
My line manager is terrible for micro managing and power-tripping. For example, if I ask to book holiday 6 months in advance she will tell me she has reserved that whole month and I can't book anything in it until she has decided exactly when she wants to take her holiday. Last year I waited for 6 weeks while she made up her mind and then she took it in completely separate months to when I had asked for.

When we had a bad snowfall predicted, she told me and a colleague to work from home the following day if it did snow because she hates driving in the snow and was going to work from home herself. As a courtesy, I texted her the next day to say that I would be doing as she's suggested because the snow was bad and was going to continue snowing all day. I then started work and copied her in on an email so she would know I was working. She proceeded to give me the nth degree via text about any other ways I could get to work, then she said would have to check with HR, then she came back to me saying, ok, just this once she would let me!!!

Basically she always causes a fuss and then says she'll have to check with her line manager before she makes a decision. So, I never ask, unless I absolutely have two, which has been twice in three years!

however she herself works from home whenever she needs to - gas man coming, a delivery, dentists appt at 2pm and she will work from home for the rest of the day etc.

Today:
I had my car checked out at the garage on saturday morning. I need a new clutch (ouch!).  The guy told me it was ok to drive but it could go anytime and so I just want to get it sorted asap.  However it's a big job and they will need my car the whole day. It's a little local garage and they don't do courtesy cars etc.

I came in this morning, checked my diary for the week and saw Thursday was empty of meetings so I was planning to ask my boss if I could work from home that day while my car was being fixed. However she was tied up in meetings for the entire morning and I wanted the garage to be able to order the part and book me in asap. I also knew she would most likely go and ask her boss before granting me permission anyway (even though she doesn't need to), which would add to the time it would take for a decision.

While getting a coffee from the staff lounge I passed the office of my line manager's boss. We get on well and her door was open. I explained about my car, that I had no appts on Thursday, that my boss was tied up in meetings so I couldn't ask her and would it be ok to work from home that day. She said yes, absolutely, take the time to get something done at home with peace and quiet and let my line manager know that's what I was doing.

I dropped an email to my line manager saying:

"Hi Manager

I found out over the weekend that my car needs a new clutch and I'd like to get it fixed as soon as possible as I'm nervous driving it at the moment. The garage can do it on Thursday and I don't have anything in my diary that day.

I've spoken to 'big line manager boss' as I was passing her room and she said that was fine and to let you know.

I'll take the 'big project paper' home with me and concentrate on that for the day because it needs getting on with.

Kind regards,

Samgirl2"


Later on I went to see her about something else and when I went into her room she was really off with me. We talked about the reason I'd gone in and then I said 'by the way, did you see my email about my car?'. She folded her arms, glared and said 'yes' in a really curt tone.  I said 'is that ok? I need to get it fixed and Thursday seemed the best day'. She carried on with the tone and said 'well, if it's fine with 'big boss' then I suppose so'.

Then she asked if the garage could drive me to work. I explained it was a tiny place, they don't do that kind of thing. then she quizzed me about buses. I explained I don't live near a bus route, otherwise I would and then I tried to change the subject by talking about the project I would work on that day.

She has continued to be snippy with me all day.

I can see she's peeved because I asked her boss first. However, I haven't made an unreasonable request or asked for anything out of the ordinary.

But I feel as if I'm in the wrong and like a naughty child.

PS She's sending me on an assertiveness training course. I'm not sure she'll like the results if she doesn't like me now!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 10:03:07 AM by Samgirl2 »

MyFamily

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 09:52:15 AM »
By going to her boss before you went to her, you went over her head.


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POF

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 10:24:10 AM »
By going to her boss before you went to her, you went over her head.

Yes - thats a big problem and really disrespectful.

I would ask her to clarify what the policy is on working from home.  Is it written or one of those ... its OK if I want to things. 

Samgirl2

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 10:40:11 AM »
There is a written policy, so everything should be straight forward. But she doesn't stick to it. Everything becomes kind of at her whim or a really dragged out process because she says she wants to check with her boss.

Whereas when she wants the time, she simply asks her boss and her boss says yes. That's why, because I wanted to get it sorted asap and I knew she wasn't going to be available to ask and it would get dragged out even longer when she was available, I sought permission from her boss who is the person I am supposed to go to if mine is unavailable and who is also the Director of HR.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 10:59:54 AM by Samgirl2 »

Hollanda

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 10:43:35 AM »
Where I work, if I went to my line manager's boss over her head, I would get some pretty harsh words said to me. That said, I can understand the frustration and I hear you about fuss being made over every decision, as I've been in that situation before.  Unfortunately, there is not much you acn do about it now, what's done is done, all you can do is move forward and try to deal with things more professionally next time.
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Perfect Circle

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 11:58:25 AM »
I think you need to have a conversation with her regarding the policy. There are some roles where a policy cannot be applied for business reasons, but as she works from home at times, that does not appear to be the case here. Do it when she is not miffed at you about something to clarify your position and how the company wide policy is applied. It can also help to have the policy with you - not to be confrontational but to clarify what you are being told by HR and the discrepancy between that and what she is telling you.

I have worked in several roles where working from home was possible at set frequency and now have a home based role with a lot of travel involved though. It hasn't always been possible to follow the company policies to the letter because of my specific role and that's fine, but I do need to understand how it is applied and why.
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veronaz

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 12:04:36 PM »
OP, I understand your frustration, but regardless of all the negative information you've given about your boss and regardless of her boss's door being open, the bottom line is you went over your boss's head.  Understandable that she's angry about it.

JenJay

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 12:05:02 PM »
Do you have to ask her to work from home, or is it acceptable to inform her? Because that's what I'd do if possible. It sounds like you're well within policy to work from home as needed but your manager enjoys feeling like it's up to her. When you ask "Can I?" she gets to decide to say "No." If you can, next time inform her "Due to a transportation issue I will be working from home on Thursday. I do not expect the inconvenience to take longer than a day and will be back in the office on Friday. I plan to work on project X and will take it home with me Weds. evening unless I hear otherwise."

Hmmmmm

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 12:22:04 PM »
I don't see what you did as going over her head at all. You hadn't asked her first and not liking the answer gone to someone else. Instead you needed quick answer and asked a person within your management line who was available and had the authority to make the decision. If she wants to get snippy about it, take up with her boss. "Boss, I prefer to make all decisions about my staff personally. If one of them makes a request, please tell them to ask me." That's how a professional would handle the issue.

Does she pull this with other staff members? Did she try to get your other colleague who she told could stay home for a snow day to come in too? Or just you?

I think you've handled the issue well so far. But I would become a little more assertive.

You: Boss, I plan to work from home on Friday. I'll have X report for you Monday morning if you would like to review it then.
Her: Why do you want to work from home.
You: I have a house repair occurring and need to be there for the workmen.
Her: Can't they come on a weekend. Or have a neighbor let them in.
You: You seem reluctant to allow me to take advantage of the company work from home policy. Can you explain why? Do you feel I'm unproductive when working from home?

Make her address why she acts like this.

veronaz

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2014, 12:27:44 PM »
Quote
You seem reluctant to allow me to take advantage of the company work from home policy. Can you explain why? Do you feel I'm unproductive when working from home?

Some communication is definitely needed. 

shhh its me

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2014, 12:31:20 PM »
   There is a very fine line between "I can work from home if my line manger oks it " in a company where most of the line managers treat this with a rubber stamp and the policy actually saying " I can chose to work from home solely at my discretion, I need to info line manager by 8 am when I am working from home"   I would use the PP suggestion here  "You seem reluctant to allow me to take advantage of the company work from home policy. Can you explain why?" Do you feel I'm unproductive when working from home?I would not include the strike out don't feed her any form of an answer.

I do think you went over her head and most bosses would be unhappy with that. 

When Ive had to deal with micromanagers I tend to let them manager everything and take it very literally.

Samgirl2

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 12:51:44 PM »

Does she pull this with other staff members? Did she try to get your other colleague who she told could stay home for a snow day to come in too? Or just you?


When we had the snow day my colleague simply worked from home without contacting to confirm with our boss. Therefore she had no hassle.

I have had to show her the policy before. She asked myself and a colleague if we would be able to work on a saturday in November (all day) . It wasn't compulsory but she needed volunteers.  She told my colleague, who is on a lower grade than me, 'dont worry, you'll get paid time and a half overtime as per the company policy'.  She said nothing to me at all.

I told her I was free and would be able to help out and could I use the time in lieu for a day off in January rather than immediately?  The policy on my grade is we can't claim overtime, we just have to get the job done. UNLESS we are required to work a weekend, in which case we can have the time back, an hour off for an hour worked. There's no time limit on when we take it, but people usually take it fairly quickly.

She told me I wasn't entitled to time in lieu, I was expected to get the job done however long things took on my grade, but this occasion was voluntary so if I didn't want to do it I should just say so. I said I was happy to help, but I was entitled to time in lieu. She offered me half a day off.  I said 'ok sure, if you only need me for half a day then that's even better'. She said' no I need you for the whole day but I'm being generous by offering you half a day back!

I told her I wasn't trying to be awkward, but I was entitled to a full day back. I was quite happy to volunteer to help at the event but I wanted to be able to claim the time I was there. how about we see how long I'm needed for an then sort it out afterwards? She asked to see the policy and even then said she would need to discuss it with her boss because she didn't think it was correct.

Of course the following day she came to me and said, t'hanks for offering to work at the weekend, make sure you put in a claim for the full day's time'! 


siamesecat2965

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 12:57:15 PM »
I don't see what you did as going over her head at all. You hadn't asked her first and not liking the answer gone to someone else. Instead you needed quick answer and asked a person within your management line who was available and had the authority to make the decision. If she wants to get snippy about it, take up with her boss. "Boss, I prefer to make all decisions about my staff personally. If one of them makes a request, please tell them to ask me." That's how a professional would handle the issue.
 

I kind of agree with this too; while it would have  been "ideal" for you to ask your direct boss, as she wasn't available, and you needed a response quickly, you still followed procedure.

I'd also try and find out why she is so reluctant to let you work from home, when in fact, per company policy, you can. and would also second the suggestion that you let her know you are going to do it, rather than ask permission, if you think you can.

I know my job is quite flexible; everyone but me works from home one day a week. I don't, by choice, but when the weather is bad, I am able to, either before or the day of, simply say "its snowing, icy, etc. so I'll be working from home today" with no issue.

NyaChan

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 12:59:41 PM »
I'd probably have a discussion with her about the policy,

"manager, it was my understanding that for the company, it is okay to …….However, when I make requests of that nature, it seems as you don't think I should ask for….Could you please clarify the actual policy for me?"

You did go above her head, but it seems like she has that reaction regardless of whether you go through her or not.  Does she do this with your coworkers as well?

siamesecat2965

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Re: Requested to work from home for one day - boss is being snippy
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2014, 01:02:59 PM »

Does she pull this with other staff members? Did she try to get your other colleague who she told could stay home for a snow day to come in too? Or just you?


When we had the snow day my colleague simply worked from home without contacting to confirm with our boss. Therefore she had no hassle.

I have had to show her the policy before. She asked myself and a colleague if we would be able to work on a saturday in November (all day) . It wasn't compulsory but she needed volunteers.  She told my colleague, who is on a lower grade than me, 'dont worry, you'll get paid time and a half overtime as per the company policy'.  She said nothing to me at all.

Of course the following day she came to me and said, t'hanks for offering to work at the weekend, make sure you put in a claim for the full day's time'!

My current boss, early on, did this to me re: not being aware of company policies, and then not believeing me when I pointed out to him that I was right! I simply stood my ground, and showed it to him, in our company handbook, and he finally, grudgingly, agreed. In my case, it had to do with sick time.

Company policy is that if you work at least half a day, even a minute or two over, its considered a full day, so if you go home ill, you aren't charged for it. He didn't seem to believe that. He also doesn't get that since we are salaried, if we have to leave early, come in late, etc. we are not required to make up the time. Some of my more conscientious CWs always do; me, I only do on a case by case basis.

That being said, I don't take advantage at all, unlike HIS boss, and I work plenty of hours "extra" so in my mind, it all evens out eventually. Liike one day this week. I have a dr. appt that was ONLY able to be scheduled at 11am. So my solution is to work from home in the am, leave at 10:30, and be back in the office no later than noon (dr. is close to work) He's fine with that, and while I may be taking about an hour and a half, I am not reequired to, nor do I plan to make any of taht time up.