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Boss: Why you go home so early?

March 6, 2008

A friend of mine is distressed. His boss had been complaining that he’s going back ‘too early’ (official working hours is 8:30-5:00, he goes back at 5:30 pm. That’s early according to his boss). So I told him what might be biting his boss’s hiney.

1. His boss used to work in a factory and never learned to take his eyes off the clock

2. He thinks you’re underworked and blames you for him not getting enough bonus last year

3. He thinks if you’re not here, you’re not working

4. He’s afraid people would say he’s not managing you properly

5. It denies him a chance to assign you some last-minute work

6. He’s irked that you prefer to go out and play before you finish your work (even through you’ve already finished it)

7. He’s irked because you actually have a life outside work

8. When you’re gone, he can’t be authoritative

9. He thinks you should be as miserable as he is

10. He’s afraid to be alone in the office

Well, to me its a generation gap problem. If you’re old school, excellence is going home at 9 pm every day. If you’re new school, excellence is getting results i.e. the clock basically disappears when targets are reached. Think we’ve got modern work ethics? Well think again, because the attitude of most managers clearly prove we haven’t.

Its partly my friend’s fault too. In the excitement of getting a new job, he forgot to do his homework. Had he checked up on the ceo and found what an old stiffwad he was, he would have expected to see an army of clock watchers in the company. If he discovers a ceo who mingles around with the staff, drives his own car, entertains good humored nonsense once a while and doesn’t bother to wear a tie, chances are he’ll find that people are less calculative about the clock.

Sure, stodgy old-school companies pay well and if you’re willing to set aside your ideals for a nice juicy salary, then why complain. The fact is, companies pay us money to do things their way and like any commercial transaction, its always on a willing buyer willing seller basis. They buy, we sell. If we’re choosy about the buyer, wouldn’t it make sense for us to do some homework before we sell our services?

Getting shafted by bad work culture, clueless bosses and backbiting colleagues are all part of the package. Don’t like it? Tough. Deal with it or if you’re like me, forget about changing the system, jump ship and start something on your own.

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