I don't even know if it'll happen but I might need to take half day off (more like leaving 1-3 hours early) twice for health reasons, one of which I'll explain later, around a month from now, which is a month and a week after joining. Kind of paranoid to be worried already but man I need this job.

I'm kind of unexperienced and sometimes get lost with work etiquette. How risky is this? Any advice for bringing it up?

And another thing, while I'll try to prevent it, before relocating for this job I was doing a dentist treatment at another city and I'll ask tomorrow and update you guys but I think there could be a possibility that I have to actually go there one last time before transferring the treatment to a dentist in this city. This would be the reason for leaving work a couple hours early. Again I know it might be paranoid but I'm thinking that this comes across as sloppy, careless and bad planning, to have to go to a dentist hours away. How do I bring it up?

What I actually need from the dentist is a document that I apparently need so someone else in this city can go on with the treatment here. I'll try to see if a relative can pick it up or something, if not...

  • 1
    Is there a policy for that kind of thing at your work place? They should be making this clear during the hiring process.
    – user48138
    Mar 24, 2016 at 12:19
  • @AlexandreVaillancourt It's a tech startup, newly created. The good part is that they seem flexible and supportive, but no bureaucracy or policies at all.
    – b2585233
    Mar 24, 2016 at 12:20
  • 6
    Just ask your manager and say you make up the time during the week. It should be fine as healthy employees are productive employees.
    – Ed Heal
    Mar 24, 2016 at 12:21
  • @EdHeal Yeah I guess that'll do. I'm concerned about the dentist thing, it comes across as very sloppy planning on my side I think. I moved within a week and a half of getting an offer though.
    – b2585233
    Mar 24, 2016 at 12:23
  • 1
    Just ask for the afternoon off as holiday. Say it is to wrap up things with relocation. They do not need to know the details.
    – Ed Heal
    Mar 24, 2016 at 12:24

2 Answers 2


Hey boss, I'll need to take a couple of hours off at date X and at date Y. It's not going to be a recurrent event. I have to leave for reason XYZ.

But I'm willing to take the hours during the remainder of the week, so I'll be able to complete the work that is expected from me.


  1. Bring up what you need
  2. Don't lie about it
  3. Show that you'll not be a chore to manage by the rest of the team in the long term
  4. Show that it's not because you're not interested in the work.

But first: ask if there is a policy for days/hours off work for medical reasons. If you're the first to come up with the issue, you certainly won't be the last, and they'll eventually need to create a policy.

  • I'd agree with this. It's best, where possible, to make appointments on evenings/weekends/days off, but where that's not possible the best thing is to just be up front about it. Ask your boss for permission and enquire if they'd prefer you take a half day (or even full day, if your policy doesn't allow half days) annual leave, or whether they'd prefer you to just make up the hours during that week.
    – Jon Story
    Mar 24, 2016 at 13:06
  • The last paragraph is important
    – Kilisi
    Mar 24, 2016 at 13:27
  • For Gods sake if you leave early let people know you're going, so many issues with this.
    – CKM
    Mar 24, 2016 at 20:25

It depends on the job and your responsibilities. Some jobs allow you to "comp time" (work additional hours to compensate for missed hours) while others do not. However, we are all human and have to deal with health and medical appointments.

The best approach is to ask your boss and/or your human resources department about the policy for medical appointments as it applies to your job and role. It is important to keep the questions general such as, "If I need to go to a doctor or a dentist appointment, how do I schedule that and who do I need to notify?" Or, "I relocated but I may have to return for medical appointments. What should I do if that need arises?"

The key here is if you are unsure about how your job will be impacted or the company policy, asking can demonstrate your concern and your ability to set expectations. Asking abruptly or with impertinence can give the impression that you do not care about the impact to the company or your job, and you may be treated in that manner. It's likely, though, that you are not the first person to have a situation like this that needs to be addressed, so make it your goal to gather information about how things work at your new job.

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