Perception really is a powerful tool in the business world.
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. :(