This Not Working Is Just Not Working

, | Shawnee Mission, KS, USA | Working | April 21, 2017

(A coworker and I are the same age, and when she started working we generally got along. Sometimes I would even give her part of my tips if she didn’t make a lot. Since then she has become a royal pain and altogether terrible worker. I’ve seen her steal tips out of the jar, both on her working days and her days off. I’ve seen her call in and then show up at the shop to make herself and her friends free food and drinks. I’ve opened the shop the day after she has closed and come in to a mess that takes nearly three hours to clean up. She would be scheduled for two days a week and call in one. She has failed to show up several times, and her excuse for her absence was basically “Well, if I had known I needed to show up I would have.” We are short staffed, meaning shifts usually consist of one employee at a time. It also means my coworker probably won’t be fired, seeing as we need people. My coworker in question is on work suspension for excessively calling in, after months of incidents, and as a result is only allowed to work eight hours a week. It is the day before I am scheduled to open the shop at 5:30 am. I live half an hour away, so to get there on time I need to wake up around 4:30. My coworker texts me at 10:45 pm. this night, waking me up.)

Coworker: “Hey, I have a church thing tomorrow. Could you work for me from 2:00-6:00?”

Me: “If I really have to, I guess, but I’m opening tomorrow also.”

Coworker: “[Manager] says it’s fine. Thanks so much!”

(I decide not to argue because I’m not very busy the next day anyway. I go in for my morning shift and get off at 11:00 am. My manager has the shift from 9:00-2:00. Instead of wasting gas to go home for an hour and a half, I decide to sleep in my car until 2:00. I go back in until my other, much more likeable coworker comes in at 6:00. She sees me and immediately gets angry, as this is not the first time it has happened.)

Good Coworker: “Go home. I’ll deal with her. Do not take another shift of hers, got it?”

Me: “I wasn’t planning to.”

(The next day, my good coworker forwards me what is apparently the reply of our manager to what I assume was a long, merciless rant about the bad coworker.)

Manager: “I understand your concerns, but [Coworker] has a tough home life. I wouldn’t be surprised if she messes up here and there. I’ll talk to her about it, but there’s not much I can do, since we need workers. Most of the customers like her anyway. Cut her some slack.”

(I, in turn, sent a lengthy email of the above along with this manager’s reply to my supervisor, who seems to be unaware of the situation. Her solution was to increase her suspension to four hours a week. Losing it, I told her that four hours is all the coworker works anyway. I was fired for talking back.)

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