After Hours

One thing I learned as a low-level administrator is that I need to stop sending emails after 5 pm and on weekends. People think that if I’m bothering them outside of working hours, there must be some gigantic disaster in progress and get alarmed.

18 thoughts on “After Hours”

  1. On behalf of all your underlings and the rest of the academic world, I thank you.
    My husband goes apoplectic over one low-level admin’s weekend and late-evening emails. They contain nothing of urgency and I understand the admin sends them at those times because he probably uses daytime for something more intellectually demanding, but it is an intrusion into personal time is real and should be avoided.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What’s the deal? I get work emails at weird hours sometimes but it’s no big deal as I react to them (or not) when I get around to it… maybe this is the old American mindset of ‘your time is not your own, it belongs to your employer’…. seems so weird now.

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    1. It’s that people see an email from an administrator who is faculty not staff and think they had better open it because the building may have exploded or something. I think it’s also important to assert authority by appearing to have other things to do on weekends, and also to model self-care and work-life balance by not being on e-mail on weekends.

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      1. “people see an email from an administrator who is faculty not staff and think they had better open it ”

        I guess that’s the thing, where Clarissa is from (and where I live) people just don’t think that way….. email is a ‘respond when you can’ thing rather than a RIGHT NOW!!!!!! thing.

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        1. That is how I’ve decided to treat it. But the president has sent us a message saying we have to respond to all messages within 24 hours. I can’t work with so much extraneous communication, that is, e-mail turns out to be my main job.

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      2. I agree! I felt terrible when I unthinkingly emailed my secretary on a Sunday. I thought she’d open the email on Monday but she thought it was necessary to start doing whatever I was asking on a weekend. I felt like an abusive employer.

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        1. You could probably use your email software’s scheduling feature to write the email when you think of it and have it sent during business hours.

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  3. One thing I learned as a low-level administrator…

    This usage means you are no longer an administrator. It should be “One thing I have learned as a low-level administrator…”

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  4. “People think that if I’m bothering them outside of working hours, there must be some gigantic disaster in progress and get alarmed.”

    Or, more importantly for preserving your sanity, they conclude that you don’t value your life outside of your administrative job and are therefore on call 24/7 to fix all their really super, super important and urgent pants-on-fire work grievances and issues.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hard learned. And, also true for communicating with those above you on the administrative ladder – doesn’t help your cause if they conclude that your life is so pathetic that you need to email them outside of office hours for anything but truly urgent matters.

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