It’s Not Going To Be Her Dog-Day Afternoon

, , , , | Working | October 24, 2018

(I work in a pet store. Per corporate policy, I am permitted to bring my dog to work, provided I accept full responsibility for his actions in the store. We have a new store manager who likes to ignore rules that do not benefit her and enforce rules that none of us have ever heard about, nor can they be proven when we ask where she found them. This day, my dog and I arrive about 15 minutes before my shift starts.)

Me: “Hello, [Store Manager]! How are you today?”

Store Manager: “Oh, [Dog]! You are so handsome! Do you want to come spend some time with your Auntie [Store Manager]?”

Me: “Sorry, doesn’t he have to stay with me?”

Store Manager: *snaps* “I wasn’t asking you, was I? Go work the top stock.”

Me: “Well, I’m not on the clock yet so—”

Store Manager: “Just give him to me. He can hang out in the office with me while you work.”

Me: “Um… No.”

Store Manager: “Excuse me?”

Me: “[Dog] stays with me.”

Store Manager: “He can come with me.”

Me: “Again. No. Corporate policy states I am solely responsible for him.”

Store Manager: “You’ve got quite an attitude today, [My Name]. Come see me when you clock in.”

(In the remaining time before I clock in, I call our corporate support line and report the store manager, relaying our conversation and how she tried to convince me to give her my dog. My case is documented and I am given an extension number to call to reach a specific person if she tries to penalize me. Sure enough, after I clock in and go to see her, she has a formal write-up filled out.)

Store Manager: “You need to learn to respect your superiors. You won’t last long in retail if you don’t.”

Me: “Respect is paramount.”

Store Manager: “Good. Now, sign your write up.”

Me: “No.”

Store Manager: “Again with the attitude! This is unacceptable!”

Me: “You are absolutely right.”

(I call corporate again, dialing the extension I was given for the manager. The entire time my store manager is telling me she should fire me on the spot for being such an insolent brat. Then, the corporate manager on the other end picks up.)

Corporate Manager: “[Corporate Manager].”

Me: “Yes, [Corporate Manager], this is [My Name]. You asked me to call directly in regards to [Store Manager]?”

Store Manager: “What the h*** do you think you’re doing? Hang up that phone right now!”

Me: “May I put you on speaker phone, [Corporate Manager]?”

Corporate Manager: “Yes, please do.” *now on speaker phone* “[Store Manager], you are aware that if an employee brings their pet to work, they are the only ones to handle that pet. Correct?”

Store Manager: “S-sir?”

Corporate Manager: “So, you also know it is a violation of policy to tell [My Name] to give you her dog, not only because she would no longer be in charge, but because she was not on the clock?”

Store Manager: “But I just wanted—”

Corporate Manager: “[Store Manager], I will be calling your store momentarily. [My Name], I assume you’ve clocked in. Please go about your duties. Thank you, and have a good evening.”

Me: “Thank you, [Corporate Manager].”

(I left the office immediately. The store manager did not come out for over half an hour. When she did emerge, she looked quite angry. We have a non-retaliation policy in our company, so if she does try to get back at me, we can go through this whole routine all over again.)

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