Every Day The Same Old Story

, , , , | Working | July 4, 2018

(I work in one-on-one and small group sessions with our customers. My shifts are based on customer availability, but I try to do as many back-to-back sessions as possible to maximize my productivity while I am there. I would prefer to do longer shifts and fewer days, but someone keeps putting customers on my schedule in a way that I am there every day of the week, sometimes for only an hour or two. There have even been a few days when I was supposed to be off or work at a later time, but I’ve been called in because a customer was available right then. This has been going on for months, and I’m beyond frustrated; I feel like I can’t make plans because when my schedule changes, management expects me to drop everything and get to work. I’ve had multiple conversations with management and left notes on my calendar in case they “forget,” which happens a lot. I’ve finally had enough, and after clearing it with the store manager, I block off our two slowest days of the week: Monday and Thursday. I still have plenty of time in the remaining days to see customers. On this particular day, I arrive to see that someone has opened my days off and scheduled one person on each of these days, meaning I am going to be at work for one hour Monday and one hour Thursday, plus all the hours scheduled the other five days of the week. I’m at the end of my rope, so I hunt down a manager. The assistant manager is the only one on duty.)

Me: “Do you know who has been messing with my schedule?”

Assistant Manager: “What do you mean?”

Me: “We’ve had many conversations about me not being here every day of the week, yet it keeps happening. Now I have to come in for one person on each of the days I blocked off.”

Assistant Manager: “It’s only for a few hours. Is your job really that bad?” *laughs*

Me: “No, but it is inconvenient to have to come in every day. I blocked off two days a week, leaving plenty of time on the other days, but someone unblocked them.”

Assistant Manager: “Why would you block off days? We need you here for the customers.”

Me: “Yes, but if you’ll look at my schedule, I’m already here all of the other days, and there are still times available on those days. Why would I come in for one hour, two days? That’s not even cost-effective.”

Assistant Manager: *standing up as if she’s going to leave* “We need you here.”

Me: *realizing* “Did you schedule those people?”

Assistant Manager: “I did, and if you don’t like it, you can call them and explain that you don’t want to work that day.”

Me: “Seriously? Are you saying this is my fault?”

Assistant Manager: “If you’re not willing to do your job, I can find someone else who will.”

Me: *furious* “Do you work every day? Are you expected to be here all the time?”

Assistant Manager: *unphased* “You’re paid by the hour, so you’re making money with these people. Like I said, I’ll find someone else. You can call [Newly-Scheduled Customers] to see if they’ll switch, but that’s not very professional.”

Me: “Okay.”

(As I turn to leave, the manager catches up with me and steps in my way.)

Assistant Manager: “Those are paying customers you’re about to talk to.”

Me: “I’m not calling anyone.”

Assistant Manager: *getting mad* “Go back to the office and call your people. Now.”

Me: “Tell my replacement they can handle it.”

(The next day, the store manager called to ask why I wasn’t at work. I relayed the conversation, and he told me he would talk with the assistant manager but I still needed to come back. I refused. I stopped by the store as a customer a few days ago. They haven’t replaced me, but they have a new assistant manager!)

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