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So I work as a janitor and I've had a lot of financial hardships lately, to the point where I had to ask for more hours. However they wound up giving me a split shift that leaves me no time at all to work on my hobbies. All respect to my employers, but Janitor is something you do until you can do something better... and all my free time goes to game development and learning code. On top of that I have an old physical injury that flares up sometimes and the non stop work has made it more annoying than usual, but for various personal reasons and pride I don't want to make an issue out of that. Mostly I want more free time now that the immediate need for more hours has passed and especially since the hours they gave me are less than ideal to put it mildly. They said they'd replace one of my split shifts with somebody soon but nobody wants to be a janitor and it doesn't look like that'll happen any time soon.

I like these people a lot and can't risk hurting my relationship with them. How do I get more time for myself, tactfully?

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    Do you have family who would benefit from you spending more time with them? Parents (or aunts/uncles/grandparents) who are aging and could use someone checking in more, young children (or nieces/nephews) that it is important to you to develop a relationship with? Family is a common and sympathetic reason to offer that does not threaten the employer the way "I want to spend time preparing to leave this place" would. – Lyrl Jan 4 at 15:58
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Thank them for accommodating your financial needs by giving you more work.

Ask for less work and

tell them this

[...]the immediate need for more hours has passed [...]

and this (if they want to keep you on the additional work)

[...] I have an old physical injury that flares up sometimes and the non stop work has made it more annoying than usual[...]

...done

Should they be difficult or let you wait longer to lessen your workload
add this

[...]They said they'd replace one of my split shifts with somebody soon [...]

This is dumb and you should get over yourself (no offense):

[...]I have an old physical injury that flares up[...] but for [...] reasons and pride I don't want to make an issue out of that[...]

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Medical reason is always a more than enough valid reason for asking for fewer hours. Just have a open conversation with your boss stressing your medical reason.

If it would have been me, I would leave out the hobby part.

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    I am hoping the hobbies lead to a career some day though and I'm not comfortable making a bigger deal out of my old injury than I already have. The only reason I work so hard is to support my hobbies, which I am very serious and passionate about. – some_guy632 Jan 4 at 4:46
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    @some_guy632 while hoping to turn your hobbies into a career is something I think is worthwhile and admirable I'd be cautious about specifying that to you current employer "Thanks for being accommodating to me when I had financial difficulties but can I have less hours because I want to focus on getting out of this dump?" might not play as well to the operators of said dump :) – motosubatsu Jan 4 at 11:46
  • Well I think they know I plan on sticking around for awhile and I take my job seriously but surely nobody who runs such a business thinks that people with their whole life ahead of them aren't working on something better? I feel like a year or two of someone's life in return for paying the bills while they better themselves is more than fair at minimum wage. – some_guy632 Jan 5 at 6:58

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