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ohjustchillin

How to tell my boss I need to work less?

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I work part time right now, about 28-30 hours a week. Usually 4 sometimes 5 days a week. It's been a lot more stressful then I originally anticipated, and I already had to completely quit classes at least for a couple semesters. 

I don't know how to tell my bosses that I need to cut back to 3 days a week. Like my availability is probably still going to be pretty much completely open, because I don't have classes, so they're definitely going to ask for a reason. I don't know if I should tell them I'm bipolar and all. Even just saying for medical reasons, they'll definitely ask me for specifics, even if they're not supposed to. 

Any ideas? I'm completely at a loss. I can't keep working here this much, it's taking its toll. 

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Part-time sounds great...wish I could find a part-time job that would support me financially. Maybe you can tell them you need to increase your class load or something?

I would never again disclose (or even allude to) any kind of mental or health issues in the workplace. I was let go (despite no performance issues) after asking for part-time accomodation due to a "medical issue." I hadn't disclosed any MI or anything of that sort due to stigma/privacy. This was at a job that I was at for many years. After returning from a (doctor approved) legitimate medical leave, I had various people prying/asking if I had Cancer or what my issue was...then I was spontaneously let go shortly after.

Talk about a nightmare. This happened to me twice (once it was after I got out of a psych unit for treatment) and it has traumatized me for years. Many workplaces claim to be "supportive" towards "work-life balance" & "non-discriminatory practices", but in the end, it's all about the bottom line. All talk.

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I was sort of in the same situation a month ago. I had started working part-time, and it ended up taking up more hours, and a lot more energy (because it is a stressful workplace and my boss is... stressful) than I anticipated. I am also working on my dissertation, but my schedule looks very "open" (I just have to go to the library to study, which is quite flexible), and the issue was not really the time I spent at the bookstore, but the energy it took, because... I am "fragile". The stress and anxiety from my workplace were just eating me up and I could not do anything beside it, which is... difficult to explain to a boss. How do you say "well, I just can't manage emotional stress. At all. Or very little. Because I have anxiety, and then it triggers depression, and then my life goes to hell?"

I felt very ashamed and weak. I tried to make it into a positive, saying I needed to cut down my hours and responsibilities because I was prioritizing other things, and that at the moment it was important to have my workplace not be super-stressful, I admitted my struggles with anxiety (because I think it is quite easily accepted, and easier to understand than a more detailed answer). And I decided I also did not have to disclose too much, after all, she is my boss, not Big Brother, and it is my right to work less (and be paid less). It took me... 4 attempts at least to finally actually say that, and implement it, because I felt too ashamed, but... I do not regret it at all. I am much, much better, mental health wise, since working less. And I feel weak for not being able to handle a job "like everyone", but the difference in stability is mood is so huge it really was worth it.

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I would say I'm taking on a project or something. 

Not sure, I'm out at work. I work for a psychiatrist so I wasn't expecting any negative reactions so I let him know when I'm not doing well.

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Could you say something really general like, "My schedule has changed and I can only work 3 days a week." They might ask why or if there are days you can no longer work, but you could again give something general like family obligations, or just say that any 3 days are fine. Since you are currently working part time already, they may already assume that you are doing something else like a 2nd job, or going to school, or serving as a caregiver for family members, and that something has changed with these. You may just be able to play into this assumption without actually saying that.

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I could understand if they asked why you want to work less, because they might think the reason has something to do with them, and they don't want to make that mistake again.  Maybe not but it is a possibility ... then if it were me, I'd say something like, 'there has just been a change in my schedule and I have to work less hours/days.'

And if they do ask why, I'd keep it short and simple ... family obligations, or taking care of a sick family member, or something like that.

Also, I would not bring up the MI either, like cloudmonger said above.  I don't think (IMO) they need to know that.

 

 

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9 hours ago, cloudmonger said:

 

I would never again disclose (or even allude to) any kind of mental or health issues in the workplace. I was let go (despite no performance issues) after asking for part-time accomodation due to a "medical issue." I hadn't disclosed any MI or anything of that sort due to stigma/privacy. This was at a job that I was at for many years. After returning from a (doctor approved) legitimate medical leave, I had various people prying/asking if I had Cancer or what my issue was...then I was spontaneously let go shortly after.

Talk about a nightmare. This happened to me twice (once it was after I got out of a psych unit for treatment) and it has traumatized me for years. Many workplaces claim to be "supportive" towards "work-life balance" & "non-discriminatory practices", but in the end, it's all about the bottom line. All talk.

The same thing happened to me. I was a temp at a call-center for an insurance company and I was having the worst anxiety and starting to get depressed. I just needed a day. You know? I needed a day! So I told the manager that I was bipolar and had medical concerns, and that I needed to take the rest of the day off. She said ok. Then I got a call later that day that I'd been let go from there. They said it was because they had a zero sick day tolerance policy for temps there, but I suspect the manager could've avoided my termination at her discretion. I think they foresaw 'problems'. 

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If I told them it was because of classes (the easiest explanation because they already think I'm in classes) I'd have to give them a specific schedule and I'd have to cross off 4 full days, all weekday. I'd end up working all weekend every weekend. I can't do that. I could say I'm doing online classes and that I can just work 3 days any days? I don't know. They know I WAS going to school for sign language interpreting (couldn't handle it all right now, dropped out without telling them), and you can't really do that anywhere online. Art either, really. 

Could I say health reasons and then tell them I don't really want to be more specific than that? They know I have an autoimmune disease, but it's not really something most people take off for, so I don't think they'd assume it's because of that.

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I would go with health reasons. I think it's best to be as honest as you can be. They aren't allowed to ask for specifics about your illness.

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Honestly, I'd just say that your availability changed because you're looking into getting back into taking classes or something? Either that, or if you'd have more difficulty with transportation on certain days then say you can't work on those days, and bump down your total available hours next time you're able to. I know that when I had to decrease my hours at my old job, I just said that my availability changed and asked if I could write out my current availability as far as hours I can work per week and such.

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