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The Manager Sounds Like A Broken Record-ing

, , , , , , , | Working | February 12, 2020

(This story occurs when I live abroad and work at a restaurant with a VERY abrasive manager. It’s the night before I have a relatively easy shift, but I’ve been given some terribly sad news from back home. In between crying in the night, stressing out over how I can’t get home quickly as I’ve just paid a large sum of bills for the month, I’ve barely gotten much sleep. However, again I’m reminded that I have an easy shift ahead of me tomorrow. I fall asleep eventually at around 5:00 am but wake at 8:00 am. I’m exhausted, dreary, and still stressed out. My mobile phone rings about half an hour later after I wake up. It’s from my abrasive manager’s manager.)

Manager #2: “Hey, [My Name], can you start earlier today? Like, within the hour?”

(I’ve always had respect for [Manager #2] as she sees people’s emotions, unlike my manager. But, despite her asking me to work essentially a double shift after last night’s news, I decide to decline.)

Me: “I’m sorry, [Manager #2]. I can’t today.”

Manager #2: “Oh… all right, thank you.” *click*

(I go to make myself a coffee and to try at least calm myself down a bit. For what it’s worth, I told my abrasive manager the evening before about what had happened. And of course, true to his form, he rolled out the usual “don’t forget you’re working tomorrow” spiel, as if I needed to be reminded. Not five minutes later, the phone rings again. This time it’s from my manager.)

Me: “Hello?”

Manager #1: “Buddy. You have to work earlier today.”

Me: “Sorry, [Manager #1]. I’ve already told [Manager #2]—”

Manager #1: “I do not f****** care what you told [Manager #2]. You come to work, buddy. Everyone has problems in this world; you’re just going to have to deal with it, understand?

(My patience with this manager has already grown exceptionally thin up to this point. This is normally the conversation that occurs with any of his staff if they try to put up any resistance to working more hours just because he said so. Under any normal circumstance, I would fold and just accept; hey, it’s more money. But because this time he’s shown no regard whatsoever for how much stress, anguish, and emotion I have right now, I decide to put my foot down for good.)

Me: “No.”

Manager #1: “What?! No, you come into work.”

Me: “No. Law states that an employer cannot force their employees—”

Manager #1: “I do not f****** care—”

(Tired of being cut off whenever I try to make my point, I just continue to explain to my manager that he cannot force me to work longer hours if it’s not already been agreed to on the rota, which it hasn’t. I also suggest to the manager that what he is doing is illegal, but I’m still met with the same response. But most importantly, I do NOT back down. Eventually, he goes silent.)

Manager #1: “Buddy. You listen to me now. You can either come in within the next hour and work all day, or you leave [Restaurant] for good. You have five minutes to decide.” *click*

(My stress, anguish, and emotions are all swapped out with seething anger at this point. Knowing my manager will do whatever it takes to force me into work earlier, I decide to cover my tracks as best as possible. I screen grab the rota as it appears on our restaurant’s website, I use an app on my phone that records the previous telephone conversation just in case I need to prove that he did, in fact, suggest I’d be fired if I didn’t come in early, and I also get in touch with a union rep whilst I wait for the manager to call back. Ten minutes on the dot later, he does.)

Manager #1: “So, when are you coming today, buddy?”

Me: “I’m not.”

Manager #1: “Excuse me?”

Me: “If firing me means you get your own way and I get the day off to deal with my very serious personal issues properly, then be my guest.”

Manager #1: “So, then, you have to work thirty days and then you go.”

Me: “Actually, you made no reference to that in the previous conversation.”

Manager #1: “Do you think I f****** care? Listen, you will—”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t think you fully understand what I’m trying to explain to you. I will not be coming in today. You know that I have a very serious personal matter that needs to be addressed but still, you decided the best course of action was to give me an ultimatum to either work longer or be fired. No referral at all to the 30-days notice period there. Oh, and I should also let you know a few things. First, that phone conversation has been recorded and this one will be, too. Second, I have time-stamped and screen-grabbed the rota for today’s shift just in case you want to change it. Finally, all this evidence will be submitted to my union rep once we are done here.”

Manager #1: “You are not allowed to record me. It’s illegal.”

Me: “Law states that as long as one person in a phone call is aware of the recording taking place then it is, in fact, legal. Good day, [Manager].” *click*

(I didn’t actually follow through with threatening union involvement. As much of a pig he was, my manager had a family who depended on his paycheck to get by. This still didn’t stop him from calling me all day that week, telling me to come in. I was even asked by [Manager #2] what I wanted from them in order to make the issue go away. But I refused to give in; the damage was already done with those phone calls and to return to working there would have essentially been an admittance of defeat for me.)

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