Spending Too Much Time on the Job? Reasons for Considering a Change

Discussion in 'Senior Employment' started by Jorge Ruiz, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Member
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    Hey all.

    So, to set the stage, I'm pretty bored and not a little "fed up" with my current day-job. I happen to work with another man, my age, in the sales of agricultural machinery. Sound glamorous? Well, it isn't, but it got me out of ESL teaching (read: no my kids, nor their parents! yay!), got me a steady income with some bonuses, helped me pay my part of the mortgage that I was behind upon, even helped me purchase my first new car. But, all that doesn't take away from the reality that the job kind of doesn't "satisfy" me much.

    But my point here isn't to simply complain about the day-job, that's too easy to do. What I was discussing with a friend today was some of the reasons that the day-job sometimes gets to me. Here is one of the first that comes to mind: I'm at work way too many hours for what I actually do.

    Now, I begin the work day at nine in the morning, stop at one for lunch, return to work at three and am in the car, heading for home at five. This is seven hours a day at work. The two-hour lunch time is something cultural in the country I reside. My boss would love to have me stay until much later, eight in the evening would be the average "go home" hour for him, but as he only pays me around 12 thou a year, he's not getting that kind of time commitment from me anytime soon.

    What is a bit frustrating, though, is not the seven hours, or the lunch hour spent at the desk (since I live just a bit too far from work to go home for lunch). It's that the actual work I do do, I could get done in about two hours instead of the seven that the boss asks me to be there. Really. The only reason I'm there all day long is because he is totally unable to organize his work day and spends a lot of time wasting time and wasting my time. Which means that from nine to five I'm at his call, from 8 to 9 I'm getting ready for and driving to work, from 5 to 6 I'm leaving work and trying to wind down. Which leaves me just a couple of hours to do things I like to do (not counting fixing dinner, walking the dog, spending time with friends, watching stupid YouTube videos....)

    So, do I tell the boss "Look, I don't mind the job, but all these hours are taking away from time I could be doing something else-- what's more, what you actually ask me to do, what you pay me to do, I could do in less than half the time, so give me a half day and pay me half, save yourself some money and give me some time for my guitar and violin lessons"-- knowing that he believes that work is actually a 24/7 activity and that all who work with him should share that attitude.

    Well, in a certain way, I do share that attitude, I do happen to work a lot of hours on my own stuff (once I'm out of the combine harvester business), but I'm pretty efficient with the two or three hours I have left over, while I just get so tired of just being at the job because one is supposed to be on the job.

    Do share, I've got other reasons that I think job time is not well structured, this is just one.

    peace,
    revel.
     
    #1
  2. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    It seems that you like the work you do but not the routine. I've tolerated similar instances but I just did my job until a better opportunity came along. Some one who doesn't manage their time well on the job could end up not having a job or business. How well do you think your co-worker would last if you did request to work a shorter, or even better would you be able to work shorter days?
     
    #2
  3. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Member
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    Hey Von and all.

    Actually, good questions yours.

    The "boss" (and I'm not one to have a boss, not very good at being bossed about, just my personality and attitude! ha) actually asked me to work with him for two basic reasons: one, because he speaks no English and a lot of the work I do is interpreting (buying outside of our country in countries where English is spoken); two, because he wanted someone to put a bit of order into his "business" before it got bigger.

    When I started back in 2009, he had one desk, one small file cabinet with five or six file folders, one ancient laptop computer and the desire to sell more than one combine harvester a year. He had the terrible habit of putting all his received invoices into an envelope and passing them to an accountant who tried to make sense of them for him. His own billing was border-line illegal, and let's not go into his sales contracts.

    Six years later, I've built the entire infrastructure of his business. Clients, potential clients, providers, invoicing (both received and generated), purchasing, sales, all is organized (he thinks it's overly organized, but when I can find information in exactly two clicks of the mouse button while he takes about half-an-hour to find the same information, well, he's got to sit down and shut up). The business has grown, but it would not have been able to grow without someone organizing the business end. This is what he doesn't seem to pay any attention to.

    He doesn't believe in dates or agendas (though this year I finally gotten him to note in his personal agenda that I bought for him things he'd like to get done each day), if you ask him (or worse yet, if a client asks him) when such and such will be delivered, he will give an evasive answer, usually followed with some form of "you never know...."

    So, were I to leave the job tomorrow, well, he'd carry on as he has been for the past fifteen years (and as he has been since I've been covering his arse with the administration, the tax people and, worse yet, the clients) but I don't think he'd be able to handle it alone. Just yesterday he was whining that he has to do everything, which means that he sticks his nose into everything (don't get me wrong, he should be aware of how everything is going, it's his business) but doesn't actually do anything. He'll sit at his desk for about ten minutes, knowing that he should call that banker or that client, then will suddenly go out onto the lot, wrench the power cleaner from the mechanic's hands and hose down a machine.

    So, yes, though in general I don't mind what I'm doing, my question is if I can continue doing it with a person who is so disorganized. Why, just today, about five minutes before my quitting time, he said "you really should get in the car with me and drive two hours over there so we can talk about business...." to which I replied, no, if he wants to talk about business, he has me in the office those seven hours a day, we don't need to talk about business on a drive over there where, when we arrive, I'll be doing nothing more than waiting for him to finish the appointment, then two hours back home, getting home around nine at night. Now way, José! (His name is, indeed, José, by the way....)

    Oh dear, there I've done it, spent an entire post b*tching about the day job. It's got its days numbered, in part because of the difficulties I have just sitting down and shutting up, in part because I just dislike disorganization (when I know that we could do better and make more money!), mostly because I've never held down a job more than five or six years any way. Sorry for griping. I'll get over it, ha!

    peace,
    revel.
     
    #3
  4. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    Sounds like a partnership should be in there somewhere along with a much higher pay. He seems to be a hands on type of person not really interested in the details except for what's showing on the bottom line.

    You Jorge need a break from it all.;)
     
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  5. Teresita Campaner

    Teresita Campaner Active Member
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    I plan to retire next year as I really want to enjoy the fruits of my labor and receive pension without taxes being deducted. My worry is on turning my accountability to whoever will replace me. You see I am a college librarian by profession, and we have to inventory each thing or every book we receive as per government requirement. As of today I am still doing a self inventory before doing the turnover and to think that i have 15 folders to account for.
     
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  6. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Member
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    Hey all.

    An update, then. Von was on the dot about the boss only being concerned about the bottom line. The new guy in the office, who has taken on most of the general administrative work I had been doing, asked me today about the accounting for a recent trip.... how he should present a report to this boss about how much the trip cost. My instructions? Come to some type of total, estimating things you aren't sure of and showing him the total while pointing out where you have estimated because he didn't bother to keep a ticket or a receipt or ask for an invoice and paid in cash. Bottom line thinking.

    As to a partnership, Zeus no! We think in diametrically different ways about some of the most basic business practices (quality of service, integrity towards clients, respect and honesty with providers, legality with administrations vs. money accepted under the table, falsification of documents, fooling with clients and savings over quality while charging as much as possible.... ugh!). Were I to invest in half the business the first person to go would be him!

    Now what I am evaluating is just how far to let him go. Today I had to instruct him clearly not to lie to me. I also had to indicate to him that there are obviously grand communication problems and that they need to be worked upon. He, of course, rightly indicated that I should not approach these themes with anger or frustration, but he's been peeving off everyone for a couple of weeks and I'm pretty much the only person who will tell him directly that he's been acting like a jerk and needs to shape up. It even came to a comic scene of me saying I was out of there and him saying "if you go now, don't bother to come back tomorrow!" and I was not Shakespearean enough to actually take advantage of that and get in my car and drive home, washing my hands of the entire foolishness and relieving myself of unnecessary job-related tensions at my age. Foolish me, I went back into the office and bluntly told him that that was not the answer either.

    We did make peace rapidly, but he's on thin ice with me right now and will have to watch those p's and q's. I on the other hand have to step back, turn off the cell phone from 5pm to 9am (he's already prohibited from calling me from 9pm to 9am), and be more ready when an opening presents itself for my graceful moving on.

    Which brings me to Teresita, at first I thought she meant that she was worried about turning over the responsibility of her accounting to another person, and I wanted to share that my having turned over all of the accounting of the business as well as probably 80% of what I was doing before (and which I had created and even took classes to learn how to do while doing it!) was a relief and I haven't looked back twice. It is no longer my job or my responsibility and I rarely think about it except when I check over the new guy's work or ask for a particular report. Then I wondered if I didn't understand and that she was saying that she was missing several files or something like that, or if she has several big fat files left to go through before being able to release herself and enjoy the retirement. In either case, I think I'm a little envious, Teresita, I can't "officially" retire for another eleven years.... which doesn't mean much to me anyway!

    peace,
    revel.
     
    #6
  7. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    One time my husband was complaining that I have been spending too much time in my job. I leave for work before 5:30 in the morning and leave for home at 5 pm. But it's not really because of my job. It is about the heavy traffic that clogs the streets where I pass in going to work. I leave early and be in the office early to avoid the stress that the heavy traffic can give me.

    Fortunately, my husband agreed and didn't talk anymore. But on the side, I am also spending quality time in the office because I want to give my best in whatever I do. I just hope that I would get a raise next year because I was bypassed for a merit increase this year.
     
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