How Dare You Use Your Time Off As You See Fit?!

, , , , , | Working | July 2, 2018

(I’m visiting some family and we’re at a café when I get a call from work. I’m a salesman and tech in a national electronic store in the Ottawa region.)

Me: “Hello.”

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], I know you have tonight off, but I’m in a pickle. I need you to come in right now.”

Me: “I’d love to, but I can’t be—”

Manager: “No, no, you don’t get it. I’m alone; it’s packed.”

Me: “The evening shift can’t cover by coming in earlier?”

Manager: “They should have started at one pm today. No one showed up, and the day staff all left without me realizing what was happening. I only have my last guy for another hour, and no one’s answering their phone.”

Me: “Okay, wow. I understand but—”

Manager: “No buts—”

Me: “No, I’m serious, I can’t—”

Manager: “No, I’m serious. I’m even offering you overtime for this.”

Me: “Erm… Thanks for the offer; it’s not that I don’t want to, bu—”

Manager: “I said no buts, d*** it!

Me: *sigh* “I have some conditions, then.”

Manager: “As in?”

Me: “You pay for the time I’ll be travelling—”

(All my relatives have stopped talking and are now listening while eating or drinking, realizing I might ditch them right there and then. Since we came in with only my car, I would have to bring back my mom, too.)

Manager: “Fine, no problem. You’re on the clock from right now.”

Me: “Perfect, and I will arrive somewhere around 7:30 pm, an hour and a half before close.”

Manager: *not really listening as he seems busy* “Okay… Yeah, super! See you in half an hour.”

Me: “NO! I said see you in three hours!”

Manager: “What, you just said… It’s barely past four o’clock! What gives?”

Me: “Well, if you could let me explain, as I’ve been trying to do since the beginning: I’m in Montréal, and with the current traffic conditions of the rush hour, it will take me over three hours to make the normally two-and-half-hour-drive from here, not to mention I need to drop by my house to get my uniform. You won’t see me until an hour and half before close.”

Manager: *long pause* “Are you kidding?”

Me: “No, I’m not.”

Manager: “D*** it! I’ll have to… Wait! Why are you in Montréal?”

Me: “Why am I in Montréal?” *cue weird looks from my relatives*

Manager: “Yes! Why are you in Montréal?”

Me: “It’s my day off.”

Manager: “I know that, but why aren’t you in Ottawa?”

Me: “Er, I mean, I’m visiting… I’m with…” *realizing he’s trying to make me justify why I’m not home and available to his beck and call* “You know what? No, I won’t tell you why. It’s none of your business, and frankly I’m appalled you’re even trying to make me justify my reasons for not being available, so I’m not coming in anymore.”

Manager: “But—”

Me: “No buts! Text me if you need help contacting some of our colleagues.”

(I hang up.)

Mom: “Did your boss really ask you why you were using your free time as you see fit?”

Me: “Yup! He’s getting an earful next time we work together.”

(It didn’t come to an earful, as he apologized first. My boss was so frustrated to realize almost three hours after they were supposed to clock in that all the other colleagues were no-show-no-calling, all at the same time. He blew a fuse being alone in the entire store for the evening, hence his attitude with me during the phone call. I was able to find him another manager from another store that evening that could help him after his regular shift, and he brought another employee with him. Word got around about this event, and all the managers of the district didn’t want to give them the pleasure of claiming employment insurance benefits by firing them. So, the faulty colleagues left the company by themselves shortly after, because not a single store would give them enough hours, knowing what happened.)

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