No Means No, Manager!

, , , , | Working | January 13, 2021

I am working at the front desk at a furniture store. I often end up doing whatever the h*** managers don’t want to do; this is a family-owned operation. When I started with this job, I was an idiot and made the mistake of saying yes whenever my manager asked me to work extra hours because I had bills to pay after having been jobless for about a month and a half. Of course, my manager(s) took that to mean that they could make me work whenever they didn’t want to come in.

Fast forward about a year, and my manager is going to be out of town. By this point, I’m in a mini-argument with her every week about being able to take my REGULAR days off; she keeps trying to come up with reasons she needs me to open the store or come in during the middle of the day, etc. It’s a whole bunch of bulls*** and I should have reported them. Anyway, she’s going to be out of town and she pulls me into the back to have this conversation.

Manager: “Okay, while I’m gone, I need you in every day.”

Me: “No.”

Manager: “But [Salesperson #1] doesn’t have a key so you need to show up to let him in, and [Salesperson #2] won’t open the store.”

They really cater to whatever the salespeople want because they “make the store money.” [Salesperson #2] literally works for like four and a half hours a day, two days a week, and doesn’t do anything except sit when there aren’t customers in the store. [Salesperson #1] is an a**, but at least he’s willing to help rearrange things or clean and dust displays.

Me: “I’m not coming in on my days off.”

Manager: “I need you to open the store.”

Me: “[Delivery Guy #1] can do it; he’s already said he would.”

Manager: “No, you need to come in and help me out.”

Me: “I’m not coming in on my days off.”

Manager: “Please?”

Me: “No. Next week is actually my birthday and I’m not coming in.”

I am lucky enough that my birthday falls on my actual day off this year.

Manager: “Well, can you just come in until like five or six and then go to your party?”

The store is only open until eight. By this point in the job, I am pretty much trying to get fired because I am so tired of everything. And I really don’t want to come in on my birthday, let alone my day off. The only reason I haven’t quit is that I can’t afford to leave without having another job already lined up. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t have fired me without me literally setting something on fire.

Me: “No. I’m not coming in on my birthday and I really don’t want to come in on my days off.”

Manager: “I need you to open the store while I’m gone.”

Me: “[Warehouse Manager] can do it.”

Manager: “He’s taking care of something else for me while I’m gone.”

The warehouse manager is in the store every day, but he literally stays in the back office and sleeps. He only comes out if something needs to be fixed or I am unable to go to the warehouse to receive deliveries.

Me: “I’m not coming in on my birthday.”

We ended up going back and forth for a while longer and I (stupidly) ended up caving. I did walk out at like twelve, but still. The rest of those two weeks was ridiculous. I ended up clocking something like 100+ hours for that period because I wasn’t ever able to take lunches and she was making me stay all day. Then, to top it off, I only actually got paid for something like eighty-five hours because “accounting will automatically take an hour for lunch no matter what” and [Manager] “didn’t pay overtime.”

I seriously should have reported them; there were so many violations and just plain bad business practices! When I left, I was so glad to get out of there that I ran as fast as I could and never looked back. I will admit to laughing my a** off when I saw that they’d gone out of business about a year later.

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