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No Time Like The Present To Work On Your Listening Skills

, , , | Working | October 7, 2020

A popular supermarket chain is opening a new store only a few minutes from my house, and I decide to take the opportunity to apply for my first job. I am in my final year of school at the time and, with a couple of friends, am planning a trip to Japan at the end of the year to celebrate. As it turns out, I am due to leave only a few weeks after the new store is due to open, and therefore, a few weeks after I would begin work, should I get the job. During my interview, I mention this to the two interviewers, one of whom is my would-be manager and therefore in charge of making the rosters. She says it’ll be no problem and makes a note of it.

A few weeks later, I find out I’ve got the job and am told I need to come in for some training. At the end of the training, we’re given a form to fill out about what hours we’re available to work. At the bottom of the page is a field that asks if there’s any upcoming dates upon which I won’t be available to work. Even though I’ve already told the manager the dates I’ll be away, I write them down on the sheet just to be sure. A couple of weeks later, I begin work, and a couple of weeks after that, the rosters for the weeks I’ll be away come out.

Me: “Excuse me.”

Manager: “What’s up?”

Me: “I’ve just noticed that I’m rostered on in two weeks. I’m going to be away then.”

Manager: “You are? Why?”

Me: “I’m going to Japan for a few weeks.”

Manager: “Oh, yeah, I remember you telling me about that. Don’t worry about it. I’ll sort it out. Thanks for letting me know.”

I think no more about it, and a few weeks later, I head to Japan with my friends. About a week and a half into the trip, I receive a phone call from work.

Me: “Hello?”

Manager: “[My Name], it’s [Manager] from work.”

Me: “Hi.”

Manager: “I’m just calling because you’ve not been into work all week, and I need to know if you’re going to be in today.”

Me: “Um, I’m actually in Japan, so no, I won’t be in today.”

Manager: “What? How long are you away for?”

Me: “Until the end of next week.”

Manager: “Well, I’ve actually rostered you down for all that time. You can’t just take time off work whenever you want. You have to make sure you tell me when you’re going away in advance, so I know not to roster you on. Now I have to fill all your shifts for the next two weeks.”

Me: “Oh, um, sorry about that, but I did tell—”

Manager: “When did you say you’re going to be back?”

Me: “[Date].”

Manager: “Thanks. I guess I’ll see you then.”

A few weeks later, I got back to work just in time for a period of employee review, where the managers sat down with all the new staff in their departments and gave them feedback on how they’d been doing so far and where they could improve. Apparently, I’d been doing quite well, except my manager had had to mark me down a bit for not giving her enough notice that I was going away. I guess telling her three times wasn’t enough. Luckily, she was gone by the next time I needed time off work.

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