This Manager Will Break You

| IL, USA | Working | July 19, 2017

(I work in a seafood/sandwich shop. It’s Friday. I’m scheduled for a split shift; I come in and open. I live fairly far away and it doesn’t make much sense for me to get a ride home and back. It’s two and time for me to clock out. It’s been a store record-breaking busy lunch rush and I’m ready to relax for a couple hours. My relief, the assistant manager, comes in and I sigh exhaustedly and go clock out. I lean against the wall in the back and chat with my coworker.)

Coworker: “Break time, huh?”

Me: “Yep, I’m glad [Assistant Manager] showed up. I needed it.”

Assistant Manager: “Hey y’all.” *proceeds to sit down and pull out her phone*

Coworker: “Hey, [Assistant Manager], we got two orders to do.” *said as two more orders print up*

Assistant Manager: *continues to stare at her phone, not a care in the world*

Me: “She knows I’m off, right?”

Coworker: “She should.” *he shrugs and continues to cook for the orders*

Me: *watches as even more orders come in, sighs, and watches as the assistant manager continues to ignore the situation and heads off to get a couple of the orders out to help* “So much for a break”

Coworker: “Giving away free work again?”

Me: “Looks like it.”

(About 15 minutes of steady orders and continued ignorance of the assistant manager, I shrugged and clocked back in. If I had to keep working through my break I might as well get paid for it, right? The assistant manager ended up going to sleep right there until about two hours before closing time.)

1 Thumbs
  • Kristen

    *Takes picture of texting and sleeping coworker, then shows it to boss*

    • Adrian Mckeehan

      Then you get disciplined because you were taking pictures during work hours

      • Erin

        but it wasn’t OP’s work hours

        • Adrian Mckeehan

          True. But there are so many dumb boss’s on this site

          • George Gidley

            Then you leave that job and find somewhere that values you as an employee.

          • Li

            What mythical place is that, then?

          • Abigail Hermione Irwin

            So, what, you just fold and do nothing and continue to be a doormat?

          • Adrian Mckeehan

            I was merely using a worse case scenario. If you go through the boss tag of Not Always Working you will see so many examples of boss’ who will do such a thing. I know tone and meaning are very hard to convey over text.

            I don’t know if the boss is as bad as the AM in this story but I sure hope not. I don’t know if the boss is even like how I joked about but I sure hope not. I really do hope somebody did do what Kristen is suggesting because people like the AM should never even be considered for management.

  • Shelley Ferson

    Why bother? It’s the Assistant Manager’s problem if the orders don’t get filled.

    • Kitty

      Nah, the boss will probably blame all the employees, while the assistant manager is insisting that they, alone, were doing work and everyone else is lazy. And the boss will believe that because, hey, why else would they be the assistant manager, if not for being a good employee? */sarcasm*

      • Shelley Ferson

        I assume you’re saying OP is trying to help out her other decent coworkers then… Because OP can point at the time card and say ‘Not my problem. I wasn’t even scheduled/working at that time.’

        • Even then, the manager will sometimes blame that employee. I worked at a Krispy Kreme where that was very common. “Oh, you were clocked out when those orders got backed up? Why didn’t you clock back in and take care of them?!”

          • Ashley Whitman

            Because of work violations, boss. Shall I talk to HR about you trying to make me work extra, which costs the company more money??

      • Jayne Natalie

        You can’t blame an employee who is off the clock.

        • Prince Gtros

          You can’t rightfully blame an employee who is off the clock. Crappy managers still do it.

  • Matilda

    You do realize that as long as you are there to cover for her, there is no need for her to change right? Let her sink or swim. You should have plently of evidence that she’s the problem.

    • Kaili

      Exactly. When I had a similar job and worked splits, I always left. Sometimes I would just nap in the park with my book, or camp at a coffee shop. It sucked, but so does working for free. It’s almost never appreciated by people like that.

      When I later became a boss, I would make people leave and find somewhere to relax. If I had lazy staff that frequently called off (if I couldn’t get rid of them – Australia, no “right to work”) if there was no one who was on my casual roster who could come in, I wouldn’t strong arm someone to come in one of their precious off days. We’d just run short. You’d be surprised at the peer pressure to be on time from happy but frustrated staff who had to work harder, when the lazy bum would come back to a shift. Made a lot more difference than just a “mean manager” griping at them. Happy staff = Happy customers!

  • minipopcorn

    So, did you report her? You shouldn’t have clocked back in, that could get you in trouble.

  • Matt Westwood


    • Cathrope

      *walks over OP with muddy shoes* Hey, OP! Clean that mud up!

  • Ditto

    Why didn’t you just leave?

    • nejg_1988

      Exactly, every time I had I break I would try to leave the premises, even if I was just sitting across the street at the bus stop enjoying the sunshine.

    • WC

      I would tend to also want to just sit in the breakroom and relax between shifts, if I were in this position.

      But I have to agree: If they treat you like this, the first step is to leave the premises on break so that they can’t do it any more.

      Of course, the whole ‘split shift’ thing wouldn’t fly with me in the first place, so it’d be pretty unlikely for them to have many opportunities for it. I’ve made exceptions in odd circumstances, but I would be really upset if the schedule was written that way.

      • Ditto

        See, were I just on break I – say 15 mins or a half hour – I’d just sit in the break room, but a split-shift to me implies that there’s several hours between the two parts of the work day. I wouldn’t hang around for that, personally.

  • Amalauren

    You and your co-worker seriously need to get a backbone, OP.

    • chickenface

      I don’t understand all these stories where the whole thing could’ve been avoided if the OP had just said no. Not even rudely, just simply NOT jumping in to do something that wasn’t for them to do. “I am off until 5, I’ve got some errands to run” would be fine. Hopefully OP was young/inexperienced and as since learned their lesson, but the way this was phrased, I doubt that.

      • Samantha Phastine

        Depends on the workplace — I’ve had places where my colleagues were so awful to work with, I’d have no problems leaving the store and never even coming back — and screw them if they were short-staffed.

        Others (most) workplaces encourage a camaraderie between employees (team spirit) so that the workers feel guilty about not helping when the store is busy or if you’re late. This way, you don’t just get hit from your management, you get pressure from the other workers — it’s exceptionally effective. It’s easy to say on the internet ‘Oh, I wouldn’t do that’ — just as it’s easy to claim that you’d openly defy a different social norm, such as facing the wrong way in a crowded elevator (Try it — see how uncomfortable you feel before the next floor)

  • Max

    OK, I’m not saying the assistant manager isn’t being a pain here, but like, I’m pretty sure not responding and falling asleep on your feet during daytime isn’t something a healthy person does…

    • godzillahomer

      the not responding was because she was ignoring them to goof off on her phone; the falling asleep, maybe that could be a health issue

      • Mechwarrior

        Health issue or not, it’s not the OP’s job to cover for her while she’s supposed to be working.

        • godzillahomer

          yup, they just enable her bad behavior

      • Max

        Eh. Maybe I’m just really bad at concentrating but if I were busy goofing off on my phone and someone kept butting in, I would respond, just to tell them to go away.

        Of course, I’m not a complete a***hole, so I wouldn’t do it when I’m supposed to be doing something else.

      • Nope, the story would have given some hint of a problem if this was health related. Maybe AM partied all night, doesn’t matter.

        • godzillahomer

          if she partied all night, it’s her own fault for being irresponsible and partying the day before work

    • Leah

      The story explicitly stated she was sitting down, not standing. And she wasn’t responding because she was looking at her phone and ignoring everyone else. I don’t see any suggestion of a health problem here.

  • robindaybird

    Yeah, should’ve reported the manager, and if it’s like most sandwich shops, leave the premises and hang out in a nearby shop or something to discourage this behavior.

  • There a word for this – major enabler. Yeah that’s two words, but can you blame me?
    If OP wanted the hours then great. If problems followed because of it, a brief explanation of the sleeping AM should suffice.

    If the AM denies it, the OP can say – so if the extra hours are a problem, AM should have not let me clock in.

    • TheBigBadWolf

      Yes, I can blame you.

  • Flami

    Just physically leave the building and go run errands for two hours or whatever FREE TIME you get between shifts. OP. Work piling up on your BREAK is not your responsibility.

    • Kitty

      I recall having a job – I forget which one it was – but I am pretty sure I was told that ‘while [you] are on [your] break, you are to not be in the store’. Not even in the back. They wanted their employees out when it was their break time. No need to see you again until your break is over.

      • Flami

        And that’s the sensible way to go about it!

        • Jackie Fauxe

          I think it depends on where the store is–if someone without their own car has no where else to go for their break, no matter the weather, then that would be a terrible plan.

          If we’re talking a store in a mall, however, then a policy like that could work.

          • Flami

            Yeah, location could be an issue, and now that I think about it, weather could be an issue as well. You can’t just go to the park and read in the middle of autumn or winter!

          • Novelista

            The only split I’ve ever had also coincided with working at the mall, so I went to the food court, got something to eat, read for a while (I’m sure) and then went back. (The office/stockroom was too small to have a break in, anyway.)

        • Cathrope

          I worked at a grocery store with that policy when I was in highschool.

          • Flami

            That’s good!

          • Cathrope

            Your sarcasm is showing again.

          • Flami

            Good. I like being sarcastic.

      • IHadAMew

        I wish I had a job like that. If I go out on my break, it’s met with a shocked look and “Oh, you’re going out???” because everyone almost always gets called back into work 5 minutes into their break. There’ll always be something where only one person can do it, and the customer will always say “I don’t care if he’s on his break, I want this done RIGHT NOW or I’ll complain to head office!”

        • Darth Hideous

          I had a reaction like that from a boss because I left immediately when my shift was over. “Everybody else sticks around for a while after their shift. Why don’t you?” she said. My response was essentially (though more diplomatic I don’t remember my exact words), “And so do I when I need to finish a task. People stick around to chit chat. I spend 8.5+ hours with you guys every day. That’s plenty for me. I’ve got stuff to do, I’m not inclined to spend another half hour here just socializing.”

  • Stephanie

    Aaaand then you get in trouble for working too many hours in a day forcing them to pay you more than they planned/overtime if you qualify. I used to run into that at one job where they would schedule people to close alone, and despite the fact there was so much to do that two people could barely get it done in the time alotted, wouldn’t allow for any extra time for a solo closer. Several times I asked “do you want it done right, or do you want it done fast?” and got a lot of dither dather in response. The two times I got yelled at about it were the time they told me to watch a training video while I closed and didn’t understand why I took longer (because I couldn’t very well watch a video and vacuum at the same time!) and the time that the assistant manager and I were running an event together and she said she had to leave a few minutes early and would I be able to finish the closing by myself? Sure, except she then let the event run long and the customers weren’t even gone when she ditched out, meaning I was stuck with ALL the cleanup by myself, not just the last couple of minutes.

    • Vulpis

      Been there, doing that. No hours for a second closer, and get complained at because of how long it takes to close properly. I’ll be glad when local campus is back in session and they suddenly find more hours.

  • Yeah this is why I try to leave on my breaks. Also why I clock out when I’m scheduled unless I’m asked to stay late (and I apologetically refuse to stay late if I can’t get a new end time). I don’t work for free and I don’t work when not scheduled.

  • Kitty

    Then you say “F*** this job” and start yelling at the assistant manager (preferably with as many coworkers in the vicinity for the sake of having witnesses) to f***ing do their job and that you are off work and you’re f***ing sure the boss ain’t f***ing paying her for being on her phone during work hours.

    Disciplinary work will follow, I’m sure, but that’s what the coworkers are for. Witnesses to tell you that, yeah, the asst. manager was on their phone and not working.

  • Cally

    I would have yelled loudly at the boss that I was going on my break and see you soon as I’m out of here until it’s over. LOUDLY. Then leave.
    I’m lucky my entire shift is paid so if it gets busy I can go and help then finish my break, it’s unusual to be called but at least I didn’t have to worry about working off the clock.

  • James Jiao

    You will be a terrible parent..

  • Cally

    Nothing to see here, just a double post due to the coal hopper on my laptop emptying.

  • Marianne

    Nope. You are not obligated to work. Either sit there and do nothing or go somewhere else.

  • Steve Mitchell

    This is why employees have no rights in America, there’s always someone weak willed enough to work for free.

  • cypher20

    Are you kidding me? By clocking in and working you’re only enabling the bad behavior, I would have walked straight out. Just say you’re going home even if you don’t.

  • KashyaCharsi

    I would have just walked away after a moderately loud “goodbye”. If nothing else, the assistant manager will notice when the angry mob of customers gets him.

  • Deadpool

    This is where having the balls to confront your assi-man would come in handy.

  • TheMjohann

    Welp. Here is an example to learn from. Do not do what OP did. If it is your break you walk out. Preferably somewhere near but not so close that someone can chase you down and beg you to drop your break. This also apply when you clock out for the day. Run, run like the wind!

  • Lord Circe

    Dang. I wouldn’t have touched an order before clocking in. I’m not going to be giving away my break. If Corporate gets upset that I’m not taking my legally mandated break, I’ll just point at the lazy ass, and say they better hire someone who isn’t narcoleptic.

  • Caron Trout

    Leave the area! That’s the only way you are going to get a break.

  • RhovanionGirl

    I kind of feel sorry for you but you’re letting her walk all over you. Say something and stand up for yourself.

  • Leah

    You were off-shift. You should have just physically left so the assistant manager had no option but to get back to work herself. Not saying you had to go home, but surely there was somewhere walking distance you could go and chill instead of right there at work? Like a cafe or park or mall? Or just go for a walk around the block so the assistant manager realises you’re not actually there. Or at least SAID to the assistant manager, “hey you know I’m off right? I’m not working again until X o’clock”.

  • Akamar

    Report her.

  • Blake Barrett

    Is there no where else nearby you could have spent your break? Or at least part of your break?

  • Anónima

    You OP, are what people call an enabler. Just letting assistant manager act like that, so you have no right to complain.
    Learn the lesson, and simply don’t do anything or leave, even if just sitting on the cafe next door.

  • Alexvanzanten

    Wow to worthy NAW in the same story, seriouslyy OP report that kind of stuff

  • clemdane

    It doesn’t make sense to hang around the work area when you’re on a two hour break when you know it’s the kind of place where you can easily get sucked back into working again. You must have seen this from the first time you were.relieved by ass’t manager. Why not get clear away from there to ensure it never happens?

  • Angela Kershner

    Do not work when you’re not on the clock. If you get injured during that time, you are very unlikely to be able to get worker’s comp. I don’t care how much you care about customers, how much of a team player you are, whatever.
    Do. Not. Work. Off. The. Clock.

  • Raltizal

    Wow, that’s when you leave for the 2-3 hours break you have between shifts. Even to just sit in a library or watch a movie or something. It sucks leaving your coworker to deal with everything, but it’s not your job to help them. It is literally the assistant manager and managers job to help your coworkers when short or to get shifts covered. Instead you’re covering a shift for the assistant manager without permission. (not that that’s the fault, just saying it’s on them to decide who works, not you, if you’re off you’re off)

  • If I had a split shift I would NOT be sticking around unless I wanted some extra hours. I’d go and run some errands or even just chill out. Maybe go see a movie or go shopping.
    I used to work next to the beach. I had picnics there all the time. Buy a few sandwiches and chips and coke and chill out.

  • Abigail Hermione Irwin

    This is also why, if it’s at all possible, it’s a good idea to LEAVE THE SITE when it’s your break.

  • denim

    I’d’ve left anyway. Then again, I’m unemployed, so don’t model yourself after me!