When Day Off Becomes Last Day

, , , , | Working | November 16, 2019

(I have not had a day without something work-related happening in weeks. If I’m not at work, my store manager calls at least once a day to ask a question or tell me about something at the store. I’m not even a manager — I barely make $10 an hour as a floor associate — so most of the things she calls about have nothing to do with me. She has called me when the register systems will be updating overnight, she’s called when our inventory doesn’t line up, and she even called to tell me one of the registers was off by $100 and she wondered if I thought a certain coworker would have taken it. Every one of these conversations was above my pay grade, which she knows. I am supposed to have three days off in a row but, as usual, my days are interrupted by my store manager calling. On the second day, I’m in the middle of a call with my mother when my phone beeps to tell me someone is on the other line. I see it’s work and decide I’ll call back after my current call. The beeping stops for a moment before resuming. Again, work is calling. This time, I send the call straight to voicemail. Another minute passes and the store ID shows up AGAIN. I apologize to my mother and switch calls.)

Me: *annoyed* “Hello?”

SM: “[My Name], what are you doing?”

Me: “I was on the phone with my mom. What did you want?”

SM: “Oh, [Customer] will be in shortly.”

Me: “…and?”

SM: “She wants to talk to you.”

Me: “I’m not working today.”

SM: “I know, but I just thought that since she asked for you by name, you could swing by and find out what she needs.”

Me: “You didn’t ask her?”

SM: “No. But she’ll be here in about an hour, so if you could be here I–”

Me: “It’s my day off.”

SM: “Yes, I know, but [Customer] asked for you specifically.”

Me: “And I will be happy to help her when I’m scheduled. I’m not driving half an hour to help one customer and then turn around and go home.”

SM: “But… But she asked for you. I told her you’d be here.”

Me: “She can come in during my next shift.”

SM: *angry* “Your job is to help customers, [My Name].”

Me: “When I’m on the clock. Which I’m not. And I’m not coming in for, what, 20 minutes of work?”

SM: “Yes, that’s all I need! Maybe half an hour.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t justify coming in for that short period of time. “

SM: *gritting her teeth* “[Customer] asked for you by name.”

Me: “Then you should have told her I was unavailable.”

SM: *growls* “Fine.” *Hangs up*

(Frustrated, I call my mother back. I tell her what happened and that, adding in all the other annoying things my manager does, I want to quit. My mother tells me she doesn’t think I should, but if I feel that strongly, it’s my choice. My next shift, the store manager calls me into the office, where she and the assistant manager are waiting. My two-week notice is folded in my back pocket.)

Me: “You called?”

SM: “[My Name], have a seat. We need to discuss your conduct regarding [Customer] the other day.”

Me: “Okay.”

SM: “It is your job to assist customers.”

Me: “Yes.”

SM: “You should have come in.”

Me: “No.”

SM: “I– What?”

Me: “No. I am sorry, but I work to make money. Coming in for the little time you wanted me to help [Customer] would have cost me money.”

SM: “Well, when I told [Customer] you weren’t in, she left. So you cost us money.”

Me: “You told her I would be here, on my day off, before you asked me?”

SM: “Your availability states that you can come in.”

Me: “Not for 20 minutes! That’s ridiculous!”

SM: “[My Name], I’m afraid you’ve left me no choice.” *slides a paper toward me* “Read over this and sign.”

Me: “What is it?”

SM: “It’s a writeup for not coming in.”

Me: *laughing* “On my day off?”

SM: “When you were requested.”

Me: *seriously* “On my day off.”

SM: “Let’s not escalate this.”

Me: “Do you have a pen?”

SM: “Yes!”

(I read over the writeup and see that it says I refused to come in AND refused to assist a customer who asked for me by name. Coincidentally, this writeup leaves out the part where I was supposed to have the day off and that I was requested for less than an hour of work, roughly an hour before I was asked to be there.)

Me: *pull out my notice* “This was my two-week notice. But… I quit. Now.”

(I crossed out the last day of employment, wrote the current date, and added that my store manager tried to write me up for not coming in on my day off. I took a picture of the final product and the writeup before leaving the store. A few days later, the assistant manager called and apologized for the way things went down. I told her it wasn’t her fault at all, and I don’t hold anything against her or the company itself, I just refused to work for the store manager.)

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