Help me talk to my wife about what time I leave work?
January 5, 2011 3:30 PM Subscribe
How can I communicate better with my wife about what time I leave work?
posted by anonymous to human relations (86 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I have a salary position that demands between 35 and 50 hours a week. I work for a company who does consulting for automotive OEMs; my position is onsite at one of the OEMs. This means I sit right next to my client who pays the bills.
I don't have a set starting time, and generally arrive at work between 830 and 930. I don't have a set ending time and generally leave work between 5 and 630 - depending on a variety of factors: what time I got there in the morning, how long my lunch was, workload, what I'm working on at the end of the day, last minute questions, what my client's schedule is [don't want to leave before them consistently], time of the month [busier at the beginning doing reporting for the previous month], etc. I have a 45-60 minute commute coming home, so I arrive home between 530 and 7 most nights. I usually work at home (aka open the laptop and be available for questions/meetings) a couple times a month, but these aren't schedule days either - just whenever I want to and can arrange things in my office.. I enjoy the flexibility and non-routineness of my schedule.
Every afternoon, without fail, my wife asks what time I will be leaving work. As soon as I hear the first part of the question, or even get to a lull in an afternoon conversation where it sounds like she might ask - I'm on edge because I can't answer her question satisfactorily.
If I say "I don't know what time I'll be leaving tonight." she doesn't understand why not. If I say "I'm going to work until X is done or person Y has a chance to look at this then start packing up." she wants to know how long those things will take. If I say "530, give or take" she gets exasperated that my "give or take" can be up to 30 minutes. To say nothing of her reaction if I get stopped talking to a client or someone else while packing up and talk to them for 45 minutes. Both the inconsistency in departure time and my inability to effectively explain what that time will be infuriate her.
She thinks I should be leaving at the same time every day. She's currently unemployed and staying at home with our two children. Prior to this, she was employed by the federal government [set hours of work, no staying late, no working weekends, etc].
My position is that I have a salaried job that requires me to work past 5pm some days; stay until 9pm some days, get up at 2am some days, and work weekends some times. If I try to accommodate and estimate a departure time & miss it or have to call to change it she gets upset; but if I try to be vague or noncommittal about a time she gets upset. Damned if I do and Damned if I don't.
Does any one have any suggestions for managing the situation? Do I need a set departure time every day even if its not what I want? Other ideas or input or try this or anything at all? It's a minor issue, but causes me grief every single day.