Finally Independent From Them

| Working | July 25, 2014

(I suffer a concussion at work. I have a splitting headache and vision problems, but didn’t really think it was bad until two days later. That’s when I answer every question by telling the person how to call Mexico City in Spanish. I ask to be able to get off early and my boss gives me permission. After the ensuing weekend, I get called into the manager’s office. The union representative who’s there to make sure I’m treated fairly is there.)

Manager: “Have a seat. We need to talk about your attendance.”

Me: “Sure. What’s going on?”

Manager: “You left work early the other day. This is completely unacceptable.”

Me: “I asked [Boss] for permission because I was sick.”

Manager: “It’s still not acceptable. You committed to working your full shift and damaged the reputation of the company by not living up to your promises.”

Me: “Excuse me. Because there was a fault in your chairs in the break room, I got launched head first into a brick wall. I have a concussion. I was too mentally disoriented to tell which language I was speaking at the time. Would you have preferred that I stay around to confuse everyone more?”

Manager: “The union is here to witness that this is your final warning. If you ever call in sick again, that’s grounds for termination.”

Me: “Even if my boss—”

Manager: “You WILL BE FIRED if you are this lazy again. This is an at-will work state and we’re doing you a courtesy by giving you a second chance instead of terminating you immediately.”

(Three work days later, I wake up vomiting excessively. It was a two-hour commute on bus to get to work, so I called to let them know I need to ask my boss about getting the day off or coming in later. The manager got on the phone instead.)

Manager: “You knew what this would mean if you were ever sick again. It’s been nice working with you, but you’re done here.”

(He hung up immediately. Two days later, the same manager calls me up at home.)

Manager: “I know you called in sick for the last three days, but I need to make sure you’re going to be covering your shift tomorrow.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Manager: “It’s the 4th of July and one of our busiest days. We can’t afford to have you out sick. Are you feeling well enough to come in?”

Me: “You fired me when I called in sick.”

(There was a long pause.)

Manager: “I think that was a misunderstanding.”

Me: “You told me that I had been terminated for calling in sick excessively. What part of that was a misunderstanding?”

Manager: “I’m not unreasonable. Even though you quit, I’ll let you have your job back if you work on the 4th of July.”

Me: “No.”

Manager: “I didn’t fire you. I just—”

Me: “For six weeks, you have scheduled me on split shifts so that I didn’t have time to get home and back between my shifts and got off of work too late to get home at all. While working for you, I’ve been sleeping in the armchairs in the break room and bringing changes of clothes for the week. I’m paying rent for an apartment that I’ve only been to once in two weeks. I brought this up several times a week since the day it started and was told that you yourself had made sure I would stop being scheduled at unreasonable hours. I’m not working another day for you and your sense of ethics.”

(Needless to say, I didn’t ask for a reference.)

1 Thumbs
1,960