My boss keeps talking his way into making me work more. He calls me many times on a Sunday when it's a holiday. I have repeatedly told him not to call me after work hours but still he keeps calling me. I got scared when I saw 4 missed calls on my phone.

I am a web developer and I write decent code and I definitely finish on time.I work for a small web development company. The matters can usually be managed the next working day. Urgency is not the issue here, but I feel like my boss wants me to work overtime.

He keeps saying, most companies make their employees work overtime. I only get paid enough to make a living. I do freelance as well, how am I supposed to do my freelance if he keeps calling me on my free time?

Worst of all, I have told him to his face not to call me after work hours as I need my time to be free. I do my best to give him updates before my work time is done. We use clockify and all for him. But he simply checks it whenever he wants to having no regards to other peoples time. His justification? There is no such thing as time to call, meaning he can call whenever he wants. I told him that I needed to not be disturbed on a Sunday and he was like I didn't disturb you on Saturday right?

I love my smartphone, but these days I regret having it. Send a message to client through Skype, Whatsapp, and Google Meet, and all other chat applications. All on my off time duty.

There is no point in telling him straight to the face. He keeps doing it. I feel frustrated to work every day for him. Literally I get headaches. On top of that he is not tech savy. Heck he even does not know what index.html is.

I really could use someone's help in helping me get through this. I am trying to find another job, but corona has made things hard for me to find a new one.

I don't know what to do? I feel like I am taken advantage of the current situation.

  • 2
    To help you, we need a clear question that we can answer. At the moment, this question is more of a rant. What are the goals you have? For example, you could ask how you can communicate with your boss so that they understand. Or, how you can manage to not get contacted at all (In case you don't have a company issued work phone: buy a cheap phone, but the SIM card with the number your work contacts have in there and just turn it off during your freetime. With your real phone, you can have a new number, that only your friends know)
    – Lehue
    Jul 27, 2020 at 10:18
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    This sounds more like a rant than a genuine question. The only thing I can suggest is to mute notifications for his calls and texts outside of working hours. If you don't answer, he'll get your point much more effectively than answering him and telling him not to. Jul 27, 2020 at 10:19
  • 1
    For advice write your location. In some countries there are "times to call". And there are fines for employers who brake those rules. Jul 27, 2020 at 11:53
  • 1
    Is your boss himself under pressure from above? Jul 27, 2020 at 12:24

3 Answers 3


You need to establish your boundaries effectively. I can't argue the point of "most companies make people work overtime" because I don't know what your location is. However, it sounds like you don't buy it because it's not an expectation you have.

You need to have a direct discussion with your manager and indicate very clearly that the unnecessary calls on the weekend are disturbing your time to recharge. You should tell your manager that you'll no longer be picking up the phone on weekends, and that you'll only accept text messages. Those text messages need to surround emergencies.

I agree with @Fattie only a little. Right now, you are actually a part of the problem. Ignoring him is not the answer though. You need to establish a boundary and then keep it. I also agree with @WorkingHard_Guy in that texting back "I'll look into it Monday" is a great way of keeping that boundary.

Don't make up stories about why you couldn't get to or hear the phone. Be blunt. The weekend is for my time. I would decline a call and return the call with a text: "Spending time with my family, please email full description of the problem if it's an emergency."

Keep in mind, for a time everything will become an "emergency". Don't let that get abused. If it's not an actual emergency, do it in the appropriate time and be very up front with your manager that it wasn't an emergency. If the abuse of the phone calls and misuse of emergencies continues you'll really only have two options at that point: Talk to his immediate manager or look for a new job. I would be disturbed by this behavior if one the managers who reports to me acted this way.

  • I agree that it is childish to make up stuff. But it might be entertaining. My gut feeling tells me that OP needs to have a win on his boss, and lying into his face might be the thing to achieve it. Jul 27, 2020 at 13:15
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    @WorkingHard_Guy: I can't agree with that statement or sentiment. Lying is not ok. If the desired goal is to get the manager to respect boundaries it has to come from a place of complete honesty. If the "little white lie" (not matter how funny) is discovered, it completely undermines the effort. Jul 27, 2020 at 13:37

Tough. I understand that totally ignoring him is not an option. This is my idea: Once your working hours are over, don't react to his messages and calls right away, wait a few hours, use the phrase "I will look into this issue more thoroughly on Monday" as much as you can. This way, you are still a good eager employee, but gosh darn it, you muted your phone by accident, you went for a run, you had a chat with your grandma, whatever, you are still giving more than can be expected of you.

With time, maybe he will learn that he can not expect his employees to be productive outside of working hours. I have no idea if this actually works.

  • the phrase "I will look into this issue more thoroughly on Monday" is GREAT language. Well said.
    – Fattie
    Jul 27, 2020 at 12:40

Welcome new user, one personally challenging way to approach this problem:

Are you an "enabler"?




Consider a crusty ancient programmer like myself. Would I ever put up with anything like this? Obviously not.

(It's not that I'd like "laugh at" the boss in question. I just wouldn't even "hear the words", it would be background radio noise!)

What's the difference between crusty-old workers and fresh-new ones? Just experience of course.

Unfortunately, you do have to accept that the problem is "you", not the idiot boss...

The simple undeniable fact is there will always be idiot bosses.

As you move along in your career, there will be idiot clients, idiot agents, idiot board members, etc.

Unfortunately, it is all about how you react to it.

I really could use someone's help in helping me get through this.

Allow me to yell,

Ignore the boss, read up on not being an enabler, and get another job!

I am trying to find another job, but corona has made things hard

I do not accept that. Au contraire, there are even more, if that's possible, remote programmer jobs around, at all levels, currently

It just occurred to me, if someone asked "Are your current clients good or hopeless?" ... I actually would not know. We do the work, take all the money, and go home to families. I don't even notice !! the personalities or styles of clients/colleagues any more. Now, that's old and crusty!

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