Working The Dead Shift

| Working | November 11, 2013

(I’m a waitress at a local diner that has new owners. I’ve worked there for nearly three years, for the previous owners, without any issue. It is a few weeks after the new owners take over, and my best friend passes away suddenly. I call work to tell them I won’t be in the next day, as I have to take care of things until her family can arrive from out of state.)

Owner: “Wait, so you’re not coming in tonight?”

Me: “No. I mean, not tonight. I don’t work tonight. I work tomorrow, at 11. I won’t be in, though; I’m sorry. [Coworker] said she’d cover for me, though.”

Owner: “You can’t just miss your shift. You need a doctor’s note.”

Me: “I’m not sick. My best friend just died.”

(I’m clearly upset, and have been crying for hours.)

Owner: “Oh. Well, I’m sorry, but if you’re going to miss work, I’m going to have to write you up.”

Me: “What?”

Owner: “Yeah. I mean, you’re not really giving me any notice, here. I need at least three days.”

Me: “So… your policy is that I have to give you notice three days before someone dies?”

Owner: “Yes!”

(I found another job soon after. Some time later, I learned that the owners had to shut down because they’d run off all of their good help and loyal customers with their crazy ways!)

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