Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Hours

When my children started school, way back in the 20th century, I decided that I would go part-time (roughly 80%) so that I could collect them and be around for those post-school afternoon hours.  I had been a "latch-key kid" myself from an early age, and knew how lonely an empty house can be.

It was a good thing for many years, and I enjoyed getting to know my children better than most fathers get the chance to do.  It was obviously not really necessary once they could get home by themselves, but I enjoyed having a bit of the afternoon to myself, and I was always available as a taxi-service, homework consultant and short-order chef, if needed.  But recently it ocurred to me that, as they were now more likely to be coming home at 3 a.m. than 3 p.m., it might be worth reconsidering the arrangement.

Of course, when you earn as much as me, 20% of salary is such a mighty big chunk of the university's budget that it would have been unwise to ask to return to full-time hours; the consequences to various prestigious, capital-intensive building projects and so on could have been devastating!  Or so it seemed, when I saw the look of panic in my boss's eyes.  So I decided instead to consolidate that 20% of unpaid time into one big chunk, and take one whole day off work every week.

A whole day!  From now on, I will have the luxury of an entire Wednesday to do whatever I want, from staying in bed to ...  Well, we'll see how it goes.  Staying in bed is looking good at the moment.

 It's coming along...  No hurry...


Kent Wiley said...

No golf though, please.

Martin said...

I did the same for about 6 months, when I worked at the university. It proved to be a strong appetiser for the main course of early retirement. Good for you, Mike.

For a moment, I had an awful flashback. I obviously still remember that look of horror...or was it something else?

Mike C. said...


There are few sure things in life, but me not playing golf is one of them.


Well, to be fair, the staff budget is awful tight this year, and I can see why adding 10K or so to it would be a problem... I enjoyed teasing him for a bit, though.