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Nepotism Doesn’t Always Pay Off

, , , , , | Working | January 10, 2022

I found retirement to be just a little too slow for me. I wanted to travel more but my pension just wouldn’t cut it. So, I took a little part-time job at a small cafe to bring in a little extra cash.

Everyone was really nice, and it wasn’t long until I was pretty much running the place — dealing with suppliers, stock management, sales, cooking the lot. It felt good to be so useful again.

One day:

Owner: “I don’t want to take anything away from you, but I want to give my nephew a chance in the business.”

Me: “That’s your prerogative. What would he be doing?”

Owner: “Well, he would be the store manager.”

Me: “So, doing what I’m doing now?”

Owner: “Yes, but I don’t want you to take it as a statement on anything you are doing. Genuinely, I really appreciate everything you are doing and we still need you in the store. But you know, family.”

Me: “Sure, I get it. I will go back to doing my normal job.”

I am a little put-out, and I don’t fancy being managed by someone less than half my age, but this wasn’t supposed to be anything other than a bit of extra spending money, so I get over it quickly.

Unfortunately, his nephew was wet behind the ears and thought being a good manager was being ruthless and strict.

Me: “Did you get my holiday form?”

Nephew: “Oh, yeah, I will look at it when I get a chance.”

Me: “Okay. Just to remind you, I won’t be here for a week next month.”

Nephew: “Well, I think I will tell you when you’re not here.”

Me: “No, I’m telling you. I gave you plenty of notice to arrange cover.”

Nephew: “We will see.”

A week before I was set to go, he sent me a message that my holiday wasn’t approved. I just ignored it; I’d like to see him try anything. 

On my first day on holiday, I got a call from the owner.

Owner: “I heard you’re not at work today. Are you okay?”

Me: “Yes, I’m on holiday. I did put the form in at least two months ago.”

Owner: “Oh, I wasn’t told. Did [Nephew] know?”

Me: “Yes, I reminded him last month.”

Owner: “Oh, okay, thanks. And enjoy your holiday.”

I did, and when I got back, I found out that the shop had to close for most of the week and the nephew was nowhere to be found. Turns out he wanted a day off at the same time I was off, didn’t try to organise any cover, and then just didn’t open the shop. Food was wasted and customers were angry. I was back running things the next day.