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A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 15

, , , , , , | Working | December 20, 2021

During college, I have a part-time job at a daycare. My shift starts at 12:00 pm and work is usually about a thirty- to thirty-five-minute drive from where I live. It is 11:20 am and I am getting ready to head out when I get a call from the front desk.

Receptionist: “Hey, [Coworker #1] had a family emergency and had to leave. We’re short staff and [Coworker #2] and [Coworker #3] need to take their breaks. Can you come in at 11:30, instead?”

Me: “I’m actually just getting ready to leave, but since this is the normal time I leave, I won’t be there until probably 11:50 at the earliest.”

Receptionist: *Pauses* “Well, that doesn’t help us.”

Me: “I’m sorry? I live at least thirty minutes away from work. I won’t be able to get there any earlier.”

Receptionist: “Fine. Just get here as soon as you can.”

I luckily get mostly green lights on my drive, so I arrive at work at 11:45 am and clock in. When I get in, my coworkers look ticked.

Coworker #2: “You know, it’s highly inconvenient that you didn’t help us out and come in earlier. Now we’re late to take our breaks. Just remember this when you need a favor.”

Me: “Are you kidding me? [Receptionist] called me forty minutes before my shift started and my drive is usually at least thirty minutes, sometimes longer. I got here as soon as I could.”

Coworker #2: “Oh, I, uh… She didn’t tell me that. I just assumed you lived closer and refused to come in. Sorry.”

Later, my boss comes in asking to speak with me.

Boss: “[Receptionist] tells me that she called you to come in earlier for your shift when you were needed and you refused. That’s very unprofessional of you and I expect better next time.”

Me: “She called me at 11:20 asking me to be there at 11:30. I live thirty minutes away. There was no way I could get in any earlier. I got here at 11:45 am, earlier than I told her I would be, clocked in, and immediately went to the room afterward.”

Boss: *Pauses* “I’ll have a conversation with [Receptionist]. Sorry about that.”

Lots of things like this happened throughout my time working there. I didn’t stay much longer.

Related:
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 14
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 13
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 12
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 11
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 10

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