CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


By Shannon Jackson
Special to The Toronto Sun

Q:I am so frustrated! I work the front desk at my company, and am responsible for opening at 8 a.m. So, I work 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when everyone else works 9 to 5. My boss knows that I start an hour before anyone else, but she constantly brings me work to do at about 10 minutes to 4 p.m., keeping me an extra hour without being paid. How do I stop this?

A:Your complaint is not uncommon. The first thing to do is evaluate the urgency of the work being given to you. Try a gentle reminder of your work hours while you assess the timeline of the task, "I am done work at four, and I don't want to start something I cannot finish. Do you need this today, or would you be comfortable with me tackling this first thing tomorrow morning? I get in at 8 a.m., so I could probably have it done before you get here at nine."
Send your job-related questions to Diane Janes at, or mail to Career Connections, The Toronto Sun, 333 King St. E., 4th Floor, Toronto, Ont., M5A 3X5

Losing track of time

It is also possible that your manager loses track of time, and is surprised when she realizes that it is time for you to go home and she hasn't connected with you about top priority tasks.

Try calling or e-mailing her at 3 p.m. each day, offering your support for anything that needs to happen before the end of the day. Again, a gentle reminder that says, "I'll be done in an hour, and I just wanted to check in to see if there is anything you'll be needing from me before I go." That way, if the day has gotten ahead of her, she can delegate earlier, thanks to your time management.

If neither of these suggestions work, and she continues to pass work onto you that cannot be done before you leave, ask for a brief meeting where you explain your frustration and request her support in managing your workday effectively.

(Shannon Jackson is a hiring expert, with more than seven years experience recruiting for Fortune 500 companies across Canada.)

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