Scheduling Your Own Termination

, , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

The office supply store where I used to work had a high rate of turnover for management. The store manager had horrible luck finding competent people to fill roles and refused to promote from within. One of the managers she hired was absolutely convinced that, as assistant manager, she was exempt from such tasks as helping customers, operating a cash register, or doing anything other than sitting all day long in the front office.

One day we were shorthanded by two or three employees — due to her scheduling failure — and she was the only manager in the store when there were usually two. This meant we were constantly requesting her to pull items from lockup, handle returns, do price overrides, etc., and at some point during the afternoon rush, she vanished.

We were so shorthanded, we couldn’t even spare an employee to try and find the woman, so we managed the best we could while constantly calling for her on the walkie-talkies, the store PA system, and even her personal cell phone. Then, we noticed that one of the store supervisors, who has limited authority in the store but no keys for lockup, was gone, too.

Customers who were waiting for items from lockup were getting angry and leaving. Lines were building up because we had only one cashier and the salesperson was busy assisting people on the floor. The print center was swamped because I was the only person working in that department. We were all repeatedly calling for either the assistant manager or the supervisor.

Finally, there was a lull in business, and the salesperson ran to the back for a stock check, only to find the assistant manager and the supervisor sitting on desk chairs, chatting it up like they were at home instead of on the clock! Furious, he demanded to know why they had left us high and dry out there and caused us to lose business, and what was her reply?

“I turned off my walkie because I got tired of everyone bugging me all the time!”

The employee herded the assistant manager and supervisor back out onto the floor, and the rest of us requested a formal sit-down with the store manager to discuss the incident. This wasn’t the only time she’d pulled a stunt like this one, but it was the last straw. After confirming the event on the security footage and watching the two employees kick back and chat in the warehouse, the manager was let go. Thank goodness.

It’s Not Always Quitters Who Quit

, , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

(I have graduated from high school early, and I’m starting college. I’m barely 16 years old, and my mom is a broke single mother. For my graduation, she buys me a $400 used car, and I apply for financial aid so I can go to college. Part of my financial aid is a work-study job in the college cafeteria. My shift is supposed to be from 6:00 to 10:00 in the morning, but since I have a 10:00 class, the manager moves my shift to 5:45 to 9:45 so I can make it to class on time. Serving breakfast to surly college students is NOT fun, and almost every day, the boss gives me too much to do, so I’m late getting out of work. Now, I am in danger of being dropped from my class for excessive tardiness. I ask my mother for permission to quit my job and look for another one, and she says yes. I go to my boss.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I need to quit this job. It’s interfering with my schoolwork and I need to get good grades.”

Boss: “You really need to stay and finish the job. Otherwise, all your life, you will feel like a quitter. I don’t accept your resignation.”

Me: *is stunned into silence*

(I go home and told my mom what happened. She gives me permission to stop going to work, so I go to class instead. Two days later, my boss calls me.)

Boss: “I’m sorry, but due to your attendance, I’m going to have to let you go.”

Me: “I can’t say I’m sorry about this. I quit two days ago, remember?”

(It took me years to get over feeling ashamed of losing one of my first jobs, but now when I think back on it, I’m proud that I stood up for myself.)

They’re Terrible At Names

, , , , , | Working | January 8, 2018

(My first name is Jamie, which is my given name. People generally call me this, but I often run into issues with the older generations who think it is a nickname. A manager has recently joined the company and has been trying to send me a document via email.)

Manager: “I keep sending you the email. Are you sure you aren’t getting it?”

Me: “I’m certain. Have you been replying to the email I sent you?”

Manager: “No. I don’t think it’s professional doing that.”

Me: “You could copy the email address from it.”

Manager: “No, I’m not that tech savvy. Let me take it down again. ‘James–’”

Me: “Jamie.”

Manager: “Yes, James.”

Me: “No. My name is actually Jamie.”

Manager: “Jamie is a nickname. You must be called James.”

Me: “No, I’m telling you it’s Jamie.”

Manager: “I’ll check with IT.”

(He leaves for half an hour and returns.)

Manager: “They say they won’t change your email address.”

Me: “Why would they even do that?”

Manager: “Because you can’t use your nickname. It confuses people.”

Me: “It is not my nickname. It is my actual name.”

Manager: “They say you need to call them and confirm. I suggest you do it quickly; this email needs to be sent!”

(He left again and I didn’t call IT. I decided to come in with my birth certificate the day after. He refused to believe it and demanded to see the “real” certificate. At this, I just gave up. He continued to try sending emails to me, and moaned when I didn’t receive them. Thankfully he wasn’t actually my manager, being in a different department, and the documents he was sending weren’t important enough for me to fuss over. My actual manager, however, has a sense of humour and finds all of this hilarious, and refuses to do anything until the other manager calls me Jamie at least once. IT can add a James variant to my email, but as it is an addition and not a straight-up change, my manager has to approve it. I don’t think anything is going to change anytime soon.)

A Holiday From Management Should Be Mandatory

, , , , | Working | January 8, 2018

(I have been taken off the schedule for a particular week. I assume this is because I haven’t taken a holiday in quite a while, and have been given a mandatory holiday [without notice, but such a thing is common at my store]. I am shopping on Friday afternoon with my mum, in said store, when a department manager approaches both of us while we roam around. The store’s week end is Saturdays.)

Manager: “[My Name], you haven’t been put in the rota for this week.”

Me: “I know.”

Manager: “Well, you need to work, otherwise you won’t fill your quota, and will be written up.”

Me: “But I wasn’t scheduled in to begin with; I thought it was a holiday. Why would I be written up for someone else’s mistake?”

Manager:“Because that’s how it works. You need to work a shift. There’s a note in the office; someone’s contacted you about this today.”

Me: *turning to my mum* “Has anyone called?”

Mum: “No, and I’ve been in the house all day.”

Me: *after checking my phone* “No missed calls. You have both my numbers. No one’s called.”

Manager: “Someone would have called if they haven’t already.”

Me: *checking my phone again* “The store is only open for another hour. You’re saying someone was going to phone me this late? The rota has been up all week. When did you notice the mistake?”

Manager: “It doesn’t matter now. You need to work this week. When can you do it?”

Me: *giving up* “Tomorrow morning, first thing.”

Manager: “First thing?”

Me: “From the second a manager opens those doors.”

Manager: “Tomorrow’s not good. Sunday is better.”

Me: “Sunday is next week. It would defeat the purpose of coming in.”

Manager: “Tomorrow isn’t good.”

Me: “I don’t care. I’m working tomorrow.”

Manager: “Okay.” *walks away, no thanks or goodbye*

(When I get home, I check for any messages. Shocker – there is none. I work the shift, and the following week, we get a lecture from the store manager.)

Store Manager: “Someone decided he would work a shift last week when he had mandatory holidays, meaning he went over his limit for accruing holidays. We’re now being penalised as a store for it.” *looking directly at me* “No one is getting written up for it, but let this be a warning. Do not think you can just come in anytime you feel like it. There will be consequences.”

Me: “I’ll hold my hand up and say it was me who worked last week. But don’t think for a second it that was by choice. [Manager] interrupted me while I was shopping and demanded I work to meet my quota-“

Store Manager: “She said she offered you Sunday-“

Me: “Which would have been a new week, a new quota to meet-“

Store Manager: “She was a bit rushed on Saturday and she didn’t understand the situa-“

Me: “Then what use is she? I assumed it was a holiday, but as no one bothers to tell us or confirm it, I couldn’t have known.”

Store Manager: “All you have to do is knock on the admin office and ask.”

Me: “From who? The only person in there is [Admin Manager] every morning, and she only balances the float and does the payroll. She has no understanding of how the schedule is created.”

Store Manager: “Yes, because it’s my duty to do that.”

Me: “Then leave a note for her or something. If such a little mistake is worthy of a write up, maybe you should put a little more effort into it before we walk or the store goes under.”

Store Manager: “…good point. I’ll look into it. Now everyone sign.”

(He literally did nothing about it, and asking the admin manager was ultimately pointless, as she refused to do anything. I ended up contacting the store manager’s personal number every week to find out about mandatory holidays [until he blocked me]. I got in touch with HR, asking about what could be done, and was told any manager could take on the responsibility, provided they were trained. A senior manager reassigned the responsibilities, and the admin manager was put forward for the schedule, but left beforehand, citing “too much workload.” I stepped forward to replace her and was trained by the senior manager in person. It only took two weeks to understand everything. In protest of my work ethic, two more managers left, who, surprisingly, we didn’t need to replace. The employees working under them did more than the managers ever had, and took a decent pay increase to fulfill the responsibilities, while I took on the rest. Our store ended up being the only store in our cluster to operate with a reduced management [three managers instead of five or six]. I even started taking on the store manager’s duties [or rather the ones he never bothered with]. He eventually claimed praise for improving efficiency, but the senior manager wasn’t impressed with his claim and audit checked us. My name was on everything, and while I should have gotten in trouble for overstepping my authority, the senior manager simply decided to take his place temporarily, demote him and the remaining manager, and promote me to assistant store manager. The employees who were fulfilling the absent manager roles were promoted, and two new managers were brought in. I was finally promoted to store manager, once the senior manager was satisfied with my performance. So, this is how I went from part-time to store manager inside of a year. The old store manager still works here, but he is completely useless. It surprises me how he got to be the manager in the first place.)

A Roster Not Fit For Public (Holiday) Consumption

, , , , , , | Working | January 5, 2018

(I have noticed that our store, which previously didn’t open on Boxing Day, has decided to open that day this year. My manager has scheduled me to work all day. She always does this for other public holidays and takes the day off herself. I don’t usually work on the day of the week that it happens to fall on.)

Me: “I’ve already made plans for Boxing Day, seeing as we normally don’t open and the fact that it’s not my normal rostered day.”

Manager: “It’s already been submitted.”

Me: “You do realise it’s not legal to force someone to work on Boxing Day?”

Manager: “Think of the money you’ll be getting.”

(My normal hourly rate more than doubles on public holidays. The next day I check the roster, and find that I’ve been removed from working that day.)

Me: “You’ve changed the roster.”

Manager: *not very happy* “Yeah, I had to; [National Manager] is forcing all managers to work to cut costs.”

(They are on fixed wage. It didn’t help much, as sales only took in an extra $40 after covering wages for the day.)

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