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Unfiltered Story #57198

Unfiltered | June 9, 2017

(This happened in a small agriculture company. Recently a full time + staff member started mat leave, and one week in her replacenent quit. Rather than hiring another set of hands, the boss opted to spread the workload over remaining staff – all of whom were working full time plus hours, heading into the busiest season of the year. In order to make sure everything got done, half of the staff ended up accumulating a lot of banked time, which doesn’t look so good at the end of the fiscal year.)

Boss: We need to change the bank time policy. Too many people have too many hours.

Manager: I agree people have too many, but it was under abnormal circumstances as this was our busiest season yet and we were quite short staffed.

Boss: Well we need to change the policy to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Manager: I don’t think the policy is the problem. We had a full time staff member leave and their replacement left too. The work was spread out, so that’s why so many people have those hours. If that hadn’t happened most people would have half or a quarter of the hours have now.

Boss: You don’t understand. We need to change the policy because people are accumulating too many hours for their own personal gain. Not you, or [other manager], but some people are banking time just because they can.

Manager: I don’t see that. Everybody who banked that much time this season did it because there was work to be done. We work with plants, if we don’t complete the tasks on time they will die.

Boss:That’s not the problem. The problem is people don’t know when is appropriate to bank time and not. If they worked in a field for example, it would be fine to stay late one day to finish all the work so they don’t have to go to that field the next day. But what happened here is not OK.

Manager: It looks the same to me. I hear your concern, but from what I have seen from these people absolutely zero hours were banked for personal gain. The work had to be done, these were the people available. They would have rather been at home.

Boss:Then you should hire someone.

Manager: That has always been handled by [mat leave staff member], additionaly how would we have trained them? It was unfamiliar work for everybody and we were too busy for anybody to be trained in other areas without causing significant delays. We DID hire [replacement] – they quit.

Boss:Well we need to change the policy so this never happens again.

(We ended up “defining” rather than changing the policy – because the problem was actually the boss had refused to hire a replacement for the mat leave staff member until 2 months before her due date. The new hire unfortunately did not suit, so they swithed to a second replacement with only 3 weeks left of training time. So maybe if they had hired a replacement when the pregnancy was announced at 4-5 months, the issue with banked hours being collected by such “greedy selfish employees” would have never surfaced. It was real fun for the managers to explain to their hard working staff that the extra hours they had put in were totally unappreciated, despite the fact that if they hadn’t done it the revenue for the company would have been so atrocious it could have resulted in a series of layoffs or worse.)

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