A Sickening Policy

, , , , , | Working | December 27, 2017

(We’ve gotten a new administrator at the library who believes that “change for change’s sake” is good for employees and businesses, and so has implemented several policy changes for the sake of making changes. One such change is our time-off policy. Whereas beforehand, time off was dealt with on a case-by-case basis, now the policy is that every time you’re late for work or have to take time off, whether for a sickness or vacation, you get a mark on your record, and if you get three marks in one month you can’t take any more time off for the next 90 days. About a month after this policy goes into effect, I get a phone call at work. It’s a family emergency, and since this admin is the only one in that day, I have to go to him about it.)

Me: “[Admin], my mom just called. She’s having some kind of reaction and she needs me to take her to the hospital now.”

Admin: “Why doesn’t she call an ambulance?”

Me: “She’s not having trouble breathing or anything; she’s just really worried. Plus, ambulance rides are expensive, and we live so far out that I can get home and get her to the hospital in less time than the ambulance can find us. I’ll use my paid time off; I just need to go!”

Admin: “All right. We’ll cover your shift.”

(I thank him, grab my purse, and bolt for the door… only for him to follow it up with:)

Admin: “And by the way, this is another mark on your record. One more; and you won’t be able to take any time off for three months.”

(Policy or no policy, this was just the WRONG thing to say when I was already out of my mind with worry. I got my mom to the hospital, where it turns out she has Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, from which she eventually made a full recovery. When I got back to work I brought up the incident with another admin, and by sheer coincidence the policy was dropped within a week.)

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