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I am relocating from Chicago to Brooklyn for a new job. I'm still currently employed in Chicago and won't be moving for another month.

My new boss from Brooklyn is in Chicago for a week and wants to meet for breakfast then take me to a job site (my new company has project sites all across the country, and is currently doing consulting in Chicago). I don't disagree that it would be a good experience, but I really don't want to take my personal paid time off from my current employer to go look at a job site unpaid.

Should I accept his invite for breakfast but tell him I have tight deadlines and need to be back in the office after breakast? I'm almost certain it would appear cheap to ask for compensation for the time on the job site, given I'm not officially his employee yet.

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    Hmm, my initial reaction if I were the new boss would be to have serious doubts over your commitment if you backed out but on thinking about it that's mainly due to working in a country with much better PTO than the US and in an industry where taking a day unpaid wouldn't be an undue hardship. I'm going to add a country tag since it's fairly culture-specific. – Lilienthal Oct 27 '15 at 12:11
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    @Lilienthal So there are countries that let you take off work, at any time, for any reason, as often as you want? How do you know that they did not just return from a 3 week vacation? I find this question to be absolutely not culture specific and your comment to just be a passing jab at the US – jmorc Oct 27 '15 at 17:22
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    @jmorc No, but rather than the standard 10 days PTO for entry to mid-level plus holidays I get to enjoy about 40 days a year + 10 paid holidays and part of those roll over to the next year. That coupled with reasonable policies on taking single days at short notice means that most IT professionals in my region won't ever have trouble taking a (paid) personal day. My comment was intended to justify adding a country tag (and a jab at the US). – Lilienthal Oct 27 '15 at 17:30
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    @jmorc My initial take on this was that it's reasonable to just take a day off for this and it would reflect badly on the OP if he "just didn't want to" as he indicates in his post. I then considered that I only thought that because I have much more PTO available than the average US employee who takes 16 days a year including holidays. The culture around actually taking PTO is also vastly different from my experience. That is why I tagged this question US-specific and now I'm frankly done repeating myself. If you want to continue your personal attacks, please do so in chat. – Lilienthal Oct 28 '15 at 12:48
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    I personally would be wary of a new boss who asks me to do unpaid work before I've even started. Hopefully that's not a common request... – user12985 Oct 29 '15 at 22:27
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Should I accept his invite for breakfast but tell him I have tight deadlines and need to be back in the office after breakast?

That seems like a very reasonable compromise. Most bosses would understand that you still have work to do for your current company, and won't think ill of that suggestion.

If you are of a mind to do so, you could also offer to meet him after work or for dinner, in addition to having breakfast.

If your new boss doesn't understand that you feel an obligation to continue working while still employed by your Chicago company, I'd be worried.

I'm almost certain it would appear cheap to ask for compensation for the time on the job site, given im not officially an employee yet.

Agreed. That would be cheesy.

If you aren't willing to use a personal day for this event, don't ask for compensation from the new company.

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I'd consider spending the vacation day a good investment in bootstrapping the new job. But if your commitments to current employer really don't permit that, saying so shouldn't hurt you sunce it demonstrates dedication.

So there are at least two reasonable solutions.

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Your best option is exactly what you suggested - mention that you have some tight deadlines that week (not just that day; otherwise your new boss will ask you to go to the job site on another day) and just accept the breakfast invite. Your new boss is not being very sensible. He is asking you to essentially work for him before you have even started the new job. Once you start the new job you can probably expect more of this sort of thing from this fellow.

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    I upvote only this answer for Your new boss is not being very sensible.. To @user43312, reconsider your new job before it's too late. You are not on this new boss' payroll yet, he absolutely has no right to ask you to do more than breakfast. Like what this answer says, Once you start the new job you can probably expect more of this sort of thing from this fellow. Be aware. – scaaahu Oct 27 '15 at 13:27
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There's an old saying, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." If you can find the time, go with your boss even if it is for an hour. Make an effort. Do not lie or make a weak excuse.

I realize you're not getting paid for it and I'm sure the free lunch is not ample compensation, but you're building good will. If you are going to be paid a salary, don't expect any over-time. Of course there are limits. Taking up an entire day would be stretching it.

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