While working a retail job part time in college, I was dealing with a full classload, my upcoming wedding, a move out of state, and my very ill great-grandmother, who had helped to raise me and so of course we were very close. The holiday season was coming up, so I had tried to be a good employee by telling the company 2 MONTHS in advance when my last day on the job would be, which was the Wednesday before Christmas that year (which fell on a Friday), in order to enjoy my graduation, my wedding, and pack for my move, all while trying to spend one weekend day with my ailing great-grandmother. I did this out of loyalty to the job; they had been good to me through the last two years that I had worked for them, and I didn’t want to leave them short-staffed at the holidays.
Being that I was part-time, and in school, I would work usually on Saturdays and spend Sundays with my great-grandmother. I also worked 2 – 3 nights per week as a closer. Everyone was happy, I had a good schedule, was keeping up on my classes, the wedding was coming together (and I promise I was an extremely laid-back bride, you won’t find me on the Bridezilla pages!) and I was able to see my great-grandmother at least once a week, which meant everything to me. Unfortunately she passed away on a Friday afternoon, so I called in to my Saturday shift explaining that I needed to be with my family that day as we made her funeral arrangements. Nothing was said at that time, other than expressions of sympathy since my co-workers knew how close we were.
I had a cousin who was in basic training for the Marines at the time, and was not able to get back in state the following weekend, so we agreed to have the funeral the next weekend, which was the weekend before the wedding. I had already put in for the wedding weekend off, and had it approved, so again, I had no reason to believe that there would be any problems. I worked that Saturday between the one I took off after her death and the one I intended to take off for her funeral, but stopped dead when my immediate manager told me I had to work the day of the funeral. She said that it was “The Biggest Sale Of Them All” and that nobody could have the day off without permission from the store manager. So I made an appointment to see him.
He proceeded to pull up my work file and say, “Well, you took off last Saturday and you want off the next two Saturdays. How is that fair to anyone else that you work with?” I pointed out that my great-grandmother had died, and that I was asking off for her funeral the one Saturday and my wedding the following Saturday. He said, “Well, you can’t have both. You need to decide which is more important.” I told him that there was no way for me to choose between my great-grandmother and my wedding, and it was bad enough that I had to bury someone I loved so much so close to the wedding, and either he could approve both days off and keep an otherwise exemplary employee through the coming holiday season, including Black Friday and Saturdays, or he could sign my termination papers right then and there because there was no way I was going to miss the funeral or my wedding for a stupid sale.
Finally he realized what he was asking me to do, and signed the paper allowing me to have the day off for the funeral. I continued to work through my planned departure date, but it was never really the same after that. I was very happy to leave. 1128-08