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I work for a subsidiary of a conglomerate US company. There has been a lot of reorganization within my brand and I am now in an executive position. The problem is I am on the west coast while the core is on the east coast. In general, the company is disorganized. The CEO is often late for meetings or doesn't show up, springs last minute meetings on the team, and forgets a lot of things.

My frustration now is that he is asking me to come to the east coast in two weeks for a week without previously bringing this up. I know I work for him/the company but outside of work I have a life and things that require my attention at home. He didn't care to try to find a schedule that works for us both but instead insisted on a time frame. Since I am recently promoted after a round of lay offs, I am picking my battles to speak up about.

How can I handle him in the future, springing last minute cross country trips on me? He has asked me to fly out on a weekend which is considered my regular day off. Is this a matter I can bring to HR or do I just have to deal with it?

Edit: I am a salaried employee in the IT field.

  • Have you reminded the CEO in a written format so that you have written proof. – TheRealLester Jul 7 '18 at 2:46
  • @TheRealLester in my contract there was no specification of hours/dates to be worked, this was all discussed with my previous boss but was also known by the CEO. As I am a salaried IT employee, I am used to working over time in certain cases but not in this manner. – kylokyler Jul 7 '18 at 2:54
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    You could consider seeking for another job – Basile Starynkevitch Jul 7 '18 at 4:29
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    Two weeks notice for a one week business trip seems pretty reasonable to me. That's more lead time than a substantial fraction if not a majority of business trips. Is your desire to avoid business travel entirely? Have you discussed travel at all since you're an executive on the opposite coast from the rest of the leadership? – Justin Cave Jul 7 '18 at 4:29
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    So you were told that you'd be travelling roughly once a quarter when you got the new title. It doesn't sound like this is the latest in a series of business trips that make clear that you're really being asked to travel, say, every month rather than every quarter. Getting two weeks notice of the upcoming trip seems reasonable. It would be very unusual for a business trip to get scheduled around what week would be most convenient for you as opposed to what week is most convenient for the business. – Justin Cave Jul 7 '18 at 20:00
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How can I handle him in the future, springing last minute cross country trips on me? He has asked me to fly out on a weekend which is considered my regular day off. Is this a matter I can bring to HR or do I just have to deal with it?

Most company executives are expected to extend themselves for the company benefit on a fairly regular basis. And most company executives are expected to discuss things directly with top management rather than bringing complaints to HR.

Since you are currently seeking employment elsewhere, you may want to consider if you really want an executive role or not. And if you do want to stay at this level, you should clarify your responsibilities and the expectations of the role before you accept a position at your next company.

For now, you should talk with the CEO and explain that these extra activities are inconvenient for you. Don't start off with "I have a life", as that is only likely to derail the conversation. If the CEO still insists, you could ask to be placed back in your former non-executive role.

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