One of the things my boss did not mention in all our conversations about applying for my job, in the interviews, and then in the two weeks leading up to my start date was the hours I'd be working. As she'd been in classes with me before, I knew she, like me, preferred to be habitually early for classes (we're talking a half hour to 45 minutes early), which meant she got out of the office around 4:15. So, the Thursday before I started, I asked 'Are my work hours 8-5?', thinking that I need to be prepared if they're not. The response was a 'Well...yeah,' in a tone that said that it just might be a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule.

Other than working retail management, where no one got in unless I was there, this is the first job where I take that 8am start as a hard and fast rule, even if it isn't necessary. The other day, I awoke when I should be leaving the house and still, I only arrived to my office five minutes late-and no one else was there. Today, I was up and ready much earlier than expected, so I just headed in and walked in the door a full five minutes before anyone else in our suite. I find the quiet pleasant, even though we're a pretty quiet office already.

I was told not to sweat the days I need to leave early for class. When I asked my boss when she typically heads over to that side of campus. She told me 4:15, so I figured that arriving early might balance out those days I need to leave early. I suspect that the manager of the other department in our suite mentioned that I'm habitually early (so not typical for me, honestly-but I don't have to do morning kid duty now) to my boss, and she came to me about it. "Would you prefer to start at 7:30 and leave at 4:30? It might be better for traffic both ways." I like this idea, because I'm not scrambling to get GameTeen from aftercare at school. Then we talked about the general guidelines and it's what I pretty much observed in the past week. As long as the work gets done, if you need to leave a few minutes early or come in a few minutes late, they're cool.

I spent twenty plus years having to watch the clock for not only me, but all my employees, then I spent the last six months where if I was late, my students were waiting. My most recent employer was most definitely flexible in the time off I needed for surgery and appointments, but the day to day variation in hours was non-negotiable due to the nature of our work. This mellow attitude to time? It will take some getting used to. However, I think I will really enjoy it when it comes to things like needing to go to a doctor's appointment.


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