A company I once worked for hired a new manager to build their Quality Assurance organization. He told a bunch of us about his last job, where he had also been hired to build his group from scratch. When he arrived, he was told they had already hired one person for him, his librarian.
He started ordering the necessary library materials and left her to her job while hiring the rest of his group.
After a while, people began to complain that the library was not open enough. “I observed this individual’s work habits,” he said, “and then I asked her to talk to me.”
“When I took this job,” she said, “they told me the hours would be flexible.”
“What does that mean to you?” he asked her.
She replied, “I come when I can, and I leave when I must.”
When he told this to us, everyone burst out laughing, except me, I was thinking furiously, I want those hours! That’s the kind of job I want! And I still wish for it…
By the way, the question he asked her was excellent. Most managers would have assumed they knew what flex time meant to her.
(I may blog irregularly for the next few days. I'll be out of town a bit.)