He’s such a hard worker

Perception really is a powerful tool in the business world.

Towards the end of my time with Direcfit (now defunct) it became very clear that our CIO, was more interested in who he saw at 6pm, than who actually did the work. We had brought some one onto the team from another department, he’s a very cool guy, but at the time was green. Super green, new to web development. He’s since turned into a good programmer from what I understand. At any rate, at teh time he did our HTML grunt work. He didn’t know ColdFusion (not Cold Fusion, which is a source of cheap clean power, and also currently pie in the sky), didn’t know JavaScript, didn’t know anything beyond basic web designer skills.

One day I was talking to our CIO and he says, “that Steve (Names changed to protect the innocent), he sure is a hard worker. He’s always here when I leave.”

“Steve comes in at 9 or 10 in the morning, and leaves after 8 hours” I replied.

“I know but he’s always here when I leave.”

“You typically work 8-5.” THis is going down hill fast.

“Well I know, but he’s just always here.”

I finally just changed the topic. Obviously Steve’s output, quality of work, or technical aptitude weren’t the important things to Directfit. The more important thing was who was here arounf 6pm.

Jump a few years into the future, my current job. Same shit. I used to work 6-3 with my friend TO. Routinely when leaving we’d get, “must be nice to leave early.” despite it being a full 8 hour work day. Now that Nicole lives with me, I’ve changed my hours to 7-4. It really amazed me how much difference that hour makes. I’m no longer lumped in with TO.

THe last week, Nicole and I have been playing with working 8-5, seeing how traffic is and such, since it’s possible her new employer will be a company that is strictly 8-5, no earlier or later.

I can’t explain why, but a lot happens between 3 and 5. Sadly working 8-5, seems more often than not to mean working 8-6 or 9. Why people wait until the end of the day to look at important things, I can’t really say.

I have concluded though that despite my increased productivity¬† at 6-3 (it’s quiet and I can work uninterrupted for about 3 hours), working 8-5 is the only way to be visible. I’ve had more interaction with my bosses boss, and even my boss in those two hours after 3 than ever when I worked 6-3. I’m the first to rage against the machine, but sometimes… You just have to go with it. :(

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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