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I have been at my full time 9 to 5 job for about two years now, and am doing well here. My bosses are very appreciative of the work I do, and I even recently got a promotion. The problem is that I'm kind of tight on money lately, and would like a second (part-time) job.

I found a waitressing job that would let me work nights and weekends, so it wouldn't interfere with my day job. I even asked HR if this would be okay, and they said they have no problem with it. However, the manager of the restaurant wants me to do a few training shifts, and they would each start between 2PM and 3:45PM. This would only be 3-4 days, just for training purposes, and after that I would only work nights and weekends, like I asked for.

I am all out of vacation time for 2016, but would like to get this training out of the way sooner than later. Is there any way I can ask my boss to leave early 2 or 3 days one week? (we normally leave the office around 4:15). If it was just one day, it wouldn't be a problem as I could say I had a doctors appointment or something like that (my boss is very flexible). But a few days in a week is suspicious and I would have to be honest with the reason for me leaving early.

How should I approach my boss about getting this time off? I don't want to lie.

  • Have you asked the manager of the waitressing job if there are any options to train at a different time, or on a weekend? – David K Nov 30 '16 at 17:10
  • 2
    I changed the title because it might have been misconstrued as you were wanting to leave with less than required notice, not just get days/hours off – IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 30 '16 at 17:10
  • Can you offer to come in early or stay late, or work during the lunch hour to make up for the time you spend in training? – Vietnhi Phuvan Nov 30 '16 at 18:02
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In general most employers that are OK with employees working second jobs are OK with the caveat that it is OK as long as that job does not interfere with your primary job with them. The best condition I can think of here is if you had some vacation time/pto that you could use for this time off. Since you do not, then you should look for some other options.

One option might be some temporary flex time. If you normally work 830-5 but the office is open at 5 am and your work can be performed that early perhaps you could get them to agree to allow you to work a few days 5-130 or 6-230. Or maybe you work a few 10-12 hour days to make up for leaving a few hours early other days.

Another option is to approach your manager directly and ask them if you asking for a few hours unpaid off over a few days would be a problem? It could be that your company is willing to be flexible with you, especially if you have never asked for this type of accomodation before. Management is often willing to bend the rules a little for their low maintenance high quality employees.

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I am all out of vacation time for 2016, but would like to get this training out of the way sooner than later. Is there any way I can ask my boss to leave early 2 or 3 days one week?

Sure.

Just ask your boss if you can use a few days of your 2017 vacation time now. You don't even need to indicate a reason for wanting the time off unless you are pressed.

Many companies will do that. Often, if you leave the company before accruing the time you used, you'll have to pay the company back. But it doesn't sound like you are planning to leave any time soon.

If the advance on your vacation time isn't possible, then ask for a few days off unpaid. While this may not be financially realistic for you, it's something to consider.

The final alternative is to ask the restaurant manager if you can train during your normal off-hours (nights and weekends). Many restaurants would be amenable to this solution.

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Three magic words: "important personal business".

This is what you mention when you need the time off. Don't volunteer any other information as to what you are doing, because you will end up in a pissing match where your boss and you are competing to determine how important that time is, and with this one you would probably lose. If your boss asks for more details, just repeat: 'it's personal!' Being an employee doesn't mean you can't exercise healthy boundaries, AND you don't have to lie.

To avoid any disruptions for the business or your paycheck, offer to make up the time. This is probably the best you can do. Otherwise, you will have to figure out if your other job can move the training time.

  • @paparazzi if you were a farmer, it would be pretty dumb to be worried about next year's crop if you couldn't feed yourself today. And in this case, the OP earns vacation time, and a much better strategy would be to not burn up all of the time earned. – Xavier J Nov 30 '16 at 17:32

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