Compassion Is Dying

, , , , , | Working | March 14, 2018

(I have worked retail with this company for two years, and during the holiday season it’s all hands on deck. We have blackout dates we aren’t allowed to request off. In October, I am promoted to a new position which includes full-time. Sadly, two months later, at the beginning of December, my grandfather passes away. The funeral is in Illinois, so I let my department manager know I’ll need bereavement for the three days to travel the four hours down, attend the wake and funeral, and travel back.)

Department Manager: “Now’s not really a good time.”

Me: *unable to reign in my sarcasm, due to my shock* “I’m sorry my grandpa picked an inconvenient time to die!”

(She waves it off with a halfhearted apology. The next day, she and the store manager pull me out of my department to talk.)

Store Manager: “So, [My Name], I looked at the policies, and you actually only get bereavement if you’ve been full-time for 90 days. You haven’t been, yet, but we’re going to work with you. We can give you one day, even though it’s blackout.”

Me: *very relieved* “Oh, thank you so much!”

(I figured it wasn’t ideal, but I took off at four in the morning to be sure to get there in time for the wake. I left the funeral and cleanup around 7:00 pm, to get in around 11:00 pm, to prepare for work the next morning. Later, when I was looking at policies for something different, I found I had been lied to. The bereavement policy referred to “full-time employees who have completed 90 days of employment,” NOT “full-time for 90 days.” As I had been working there two years, this meant I was more than eligible for the bereavement. I don’t ever think I’ll quite forgive her for not allowing me the time I needed and was entitled to, giving me the most stressful funeral, just to cut down on time I was away during the holidays.)

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