DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a boss who is a texter. At any time, I may get a text from him with a request or a correction of my work. I’ve gotten texts on picnic dates, while shopping and at the dentist, for starters.
I am hourly, not salaried. I have brought up the need for boundaries repeatedly, but not directly to my boss -- the owner of the small company where I work.
Aside from scheduling, there is nothing I can do about most of the situations he texts me about if I am not at work. Eventually, I started blocking him as I clocked out and unblocking him as I clocked in, so that I’m only actually available during paid hours. But I’m worried about being considered delinquent for not responding. (He always expects a response.) What is your advice?
GENTLE READER: That having virtually obliterated the physical workplace, we are desperately in need of a return to real work hours. Miss Manners suggests: “I am afraid that I am only available each week during the paid hours for which I am contracted. However, I would certainly be happy to discuss more extended, salaried employment if that is what you require.” At which point, if he takes you up on it, you will still have to set parameters. But at least you will have been duly compensated.