On A Mission To Create A Fair Policy

, , , , , , | Working | July 12, 2018

(Two employees of the store I manage happen to request vacation time over the same dates. We can’t operate with both out of the store at the same time. While usually we give preference to the employee with seniority, this is unofficial. This time, the vacation time is given to the less senior employee. After a complaint, I go to ask the assistant store manager who handles scheduling why.)

Assistant Manager: “Well, you know [Employee #1] is a member of my church. She is going on a mission trip to spread the word of God, and it just seemed so much more important than a plain old vacation. [Employee #2] can just reschedule.”

Me: “I wish you had come to me first, because that’s absolutely not what I would have told you to do. I’m going to make seniority the official policy to stop that from happening.”

Assistant Manager: “You can’t do that! We need discretion for vacation approvals!”

(We each end up writing an email to our district manager to plead our case, and he calls a meeting to hash out a policy.)

District Manager: “Okay, so it looks like your argument is that we should look at the details of the vacation request and give it to who you personally feel has the more legitimate need?”

Assistant Manager: “Yes, but I’m so mad right now! [Employee #1] claimed she was going on a mission trip, but instead, she went to Vegas! The pictures were all over Facebook! I can’t believe she would do that to me!”

Me: “Which is exactly why a simple policy with no personal prejudices would mean less hurt feelings.”

(The policy went into effect corporate-wide a few months ago.)

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