Crossing the Line Between Personal Time and Work Time

In my attempt to study between making a large breakfast, entertaining children, and watching the Panthers loose I stumbled across a quote that applied so readily to my situation with one of my jobs.

Employers, who want to maximize the value-added
of each employee, have the technological means to
expect constant contact and an increasingly blurry
distinction between work and non-work time (e.g.,
Porter, 2009)

In a resent event, where I was unable to put my personal life on hold to come in on my day off for a meeting, my employer deemed this inappropriate and disrespectful.  Now, a week later and two full hours of my time spent emailing back and forth while not resolving anything I have been ‘punished’.  I have been removed from the schedule completely.  This is as far from a punishment as possible.

Between two jobs and school I have been too busy to think straight or even do my laundry.  My intent was to take a few days off of this job to have my grandfather visit me.  Now with this increase in time I am able to catch up on school, be more productive at my second job, and have my grandfather visit.

Now I must admit that If I had simply gone in on my day off I would still be on the schedule and it probably would have taken far less of my personal time (over two hours have been spent emailing with my employer), however I could not find a motivation that was strong enough for my values.  The second job is more demanding of my time in my personal life too, though I am an independent contractor and work from home most of the time so it balances out.  This second job also appeals to my values, beliefs, and I find I am respected and valued, not just as an employee, but as a person in general.  I am trusted to do my job, do it well, and get each job done.  With this respect I find that an interruption of my personal time less invasive, and that the communication that takes place far less time consuming.

My school is slowly coming along.  I had to change my working thesis half way through this week, which I first felt was a hard set back.  Four days of research, citing my sources, evaluating and rereading each document and I have found that this thesis is only encouraging my frustration with the first job.


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