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The Full-on part-time job 2010-109.1

10 June 2010



“You forgot the money!” For the second time in two months, Prue had been about to walk away from the ATM machine, too tired and distracted to pick up the notes it had issued. It was another reminder that she must do something about a work situation that had started so promisingly, yet within a year had become a nightmare of over-commitment and impossible targets. A year earlier she had gotten a job as a senior policy analyst in the newly-established Boards and Other Bodies (BOB) team at the Canzalian Ministry of Administrative Affairs (CMAA). While she had negotiated a flexible working arrangement, allowing her to work four days a week and one of those days from home, and to take study leave for her post-graduate study, increasing demands made this arrangement less and less viable. While her relationship with her manager was tested at times, the pair took a water-under-the-bridge approach that meant, when Prue wanted to express her ambitions of becoming his second in command, she had trouble doing so without antagonising him. At last, there was to be a new appointment to the team. But was it too late for her to fulfil her career ambitions or even regain some work-life balance?

This case study prompts discussion of the human resources dilemma that can arise when a senior staff member wants to work flexible hours. It has been from material originally prepared for a postgraduate Human Resource Management assignment and draws on an actual situation which has been generalised, with names changed.

Published Date: 10 June 2010
Author Institution: Victoria University of Wellington
Content Length: 3
Product Type: Case with teaching note, Primary resources, Short story