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Give Them A Meeting And They’ll Take A Shift

, , , , | Working | September 27, 2022

I work security for a company that has a contract for twenty-four-hour coverage at a corporate national headquarters. It’s a good gig for a college student; I can work around my schedule (total night owl), I get time during most shifts to work on homework, and it’s pretty good pay. I’m there for several years, and I get promoted. I’m a weekend shift lead and a training officer, so I have some authority and experience.

At the time of this story, there’s trouble brewing between the corporation and the union that represents a chunk of their workers. These are office personnel, not factory workers, but still, there’s the chance of a strike. We’re all curious if that will happen and what that would entail.

Once a month the company has a “mandatory” paid meeting that everyone is supposed to attend, but there’s no penalty for missing it. It’s just a time where everyone can get on the same page about training possibilities, promotions, etc. The semester where there’s worry about the strike, I have to miss the meeting because I have evening classes.

I get pulled aside by one of the shift leads a few days before.

Shift Lead: “You should make sure to be at the upcoming meeting. We’re going to discuss what will happen if there’s a strike, and we want everyone to be there.”

I understand the importance, so I agree; I can miss one class.

Then, my boss hears this and calls me.

Boss: “If you can make time for the meeting, can you take a shift that evening, too?”

I’ll have to miss a second class, but I’m a team player. Why not?

I miss two classes to show up for the very important meeting about the very important strike to cover the shift for someone who does not think it is that important… and spend the meeting in the parking shack outside, checking the IDs of the incoming nighttime cleaners, while everyone else learns what the plan is.

This was twenty years ago, and I’m still sore about it.

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What is the most stupid reason a customer has asked to see your manager?

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