Author Topic: Same issue treated differently  (Read 5722 times)

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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2013, 01:10:58 PM »
I recently had a related conversation with an employee, who said, "But I have been allowed to do it in the past!"  Well, policy does change, and that was my initial thought on reading the OP.  Policies change, and sometimes you end up on the wrong side of the demarcation line.  My gut feeling is that it has nothing to do with you per se.
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DottyG

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2013, 02:16:03 PM »
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if I went into my bank and my teller had construction paper and markers and glue and glitter spread around her station (and a paper doily and some Hello Kitty stickers?) I would seriously wonder if I had somehow wandered in on Take Your Kids to Work day, and this was someone's 4th grader doing a craft.  Because really?  A bank is handling people's money; this requires your full attention and professionalism.  If you want to make pretty Valentine's for your boyfriend, do it at your own kitchen table on your own time.  It has zero place in any workplace, but especially a bank.  I would be seriously displeased, and both the teller and the manager would be getting an earful.

I so much agree with this.

Reading a book or studying.....maybe.  I can see how that might be ok if you're discreet and put it away when the customer comes in the door.  But arts and crafts time?  I'd be looking for another bank that day.  That's so unprofessional that it boggles my mind.  That's not the kind of bank I'd want dealing with my money.


DavidH

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2013, 02:50:25 PM »
I think your best bet would be to go to your supervisor before the issue comes up again and ask her to clarify the policy and what you are allowed to do during down time at your teller window and at the drive through.  I wouldn't mention the valentine at all. 

I think having a double standard is rude, but nothing good will come from presenting this in a confrontational way.

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bah12

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2013, 02:51:52 PM »
As a manager, I have to say that while things may seem unequal, it doesn't necessarily mean they are.  Your manager may have said something to the crafter, or your situation may have been viewed as more of a security risk, you could have gotten complaints by customers or other coworkers, etc.

There are a lot of factors that go into how someone is reprimanded or even if they are...and performance, history, etc all play into that.

That being said, I think you did the right thing by complying.  And I do think that if you are curious about the seemingly unequal treatment, you can professionally ask about it:

"Manager, I was wondering if you clarify the rules of what we can and can't do during our work downtime.  I notice coworkers engaging in a variety of activities but am not clear on what is and isn't permitted.  I don't want to inadvertantly break the rules agian, so I'd appreciate some clarity."  (Don't mention the crafter, or the crafting activity...this isn't about her, it's about the rules."

LazyDaisy

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2013, 03:40:12 PM »
It could be that your boss did have a word quietly with the other worker away from where you would overhear. That is actually how managers should handle reprimands. It could be that the worker asked privately for permission or other reasons that you may not be privy to. If you do want to pursue this, I would ask your boss to clarify the rules and gently bring up that you have seen other workers with non-work related tasks at their window and thought that it was OK to do. It could also just be unfair treatment and that's the way of things sometimes. My guess is that the manager figured co worker's Valentine's Day card was a one-off incident since it only comes once a year but studying from your textbook could be a continual distraction and your manager was heading that off before it became a habit.

I don't think that logic is really correct though.  True, Valentine's Day is just one day, but then she could bring in her Mother's Day project, one for Father's Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, party invitations, etc etc.

I do, however, think your advice to go to the boss and ask her for clarification of the rules was spot on.

I think my logic that this was a one-off holds up based on the scenario in the OP. The OP makes no mention that coworker has done this craft activity before and we just came out of the Christmas holiday season a little bit ago, so there is no evidence to believe it will happen again. I imagine a Valentine card, even one that requires cutting, gluing and markers (no mention of glitter or Hello Kitty stickers in the OP) would take no more than an hour (my thought is more like 20 minutes so she could have even been on break). I guess I'm picturing cutting out a few hearts and photos and writing a message. The manager didn't react like it was a mess or really elaborate and distracting from her job.

Something that I find rather odd in the OP is that ILoveMyCello seems to think that putting her book away when asked to was "taking the high road" like she was entitled to read her textbook but deigned to put it away. Does that mean the OP thinks putting her book away was some sort of noble deed? She wasn't doing her manager a favor by not arguing. OP should spend less time worrying about what other people are doing and comparing herself to them -- that would be closer to taking the high road.
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Hillia

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2013, 03:48:58 PM »
OP, haven't you posted in the past about problems with your supervisor gossiping with and about coworkers and pulling similar stunts?  It sounds like this woman plays favorites and you are not one of them.  It is not fair, it's not right, but sometimes it's the way it is.  You may have to decide whether you can just roll your eyes internally and ignore the middle school antics for the sake of a job that suits your needs right now, or you can start looking for another position.

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oceanus

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2013, 04:45:16 PM »
As a customer, I would have more of a problem seeing an employee reading a book (or “studying”) than I would seeing an employee making a Valentine.

An employee reading a book usually means they don’t have enough work to do, usually for extended periods of time.  The same applies to personal calls, surfing the internet, and reading magazines and newspapers.  It doesn't matter if they are studying for a physics exam or reading a romance novel.  They have too much free time on their hands.

OTOH an employee making a Valentine might be working on a decoration for the office – similar to a holiday display.  This is not something they spend a lot of time on, and certainly not every day,

DottyG

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2013, 04:51:29 PM »
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It doesn't matter if they are studying for a physics exam or reading a romance novel.  They have too much free time on their hands.

You may be right there.

However, I'm more willing to give a pass to a student who's using their time wisely to study than to someone who's doing arts and crafts - even if it is "for the decoration of the bank."

My money is a serious thing to me.  And the lack of professionalism that doing crafts projects shows doesn't put confidence in me that they're doing the right thing with my finances.  Whether that's true or not is beside the point - they could be an excellent bank who takes their customers' money seriously.  But that's not the appearance they're giving.

Someone studying a book, while still possibly indicating they need more to do, doesn't give me the unprofessional feeling.  That's a more serious endeavor than cutting and pasting in my mind.

Whether they have "enough to do" or not is not my problem as the customer.  That's strictly between them and their boss.  If their boss chooses to pay them $X for only 4 hours of actual work, that's not my business.  However, the feeling they give me with what they do with that extra time is my business.  Because that's what I'm basing my decision on where to put my money.

Girlie

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2013, 05:03:26 PM »
As a customer, I would have more of a problem seeing an employee reading a book (or “studying”) than I would seeing an employee making a Valentine.

An employee reading a book usually means they don’t have enough work to do, usually for extended periods of time.  The same applies to personal calls, surfing the internet, and reading magazines and newspapers.  It doesn't matter if they are studying for a physics exam or reading a romance novel.  They have too much free time on their hands.

OTOH an employee making a Valentine might be working on a decoration for the office – similar to a holiday display.  This is not something they spend a lot of time on, and certainly not every day,

But surely that is with the realization that some jobs really do have a great deal of downtime? What exactly is the employee to do in that situation? Sometimes, there really isn't "always something to do."

As an example: I used to work the overnight shift in a grocery store on weekends. I had an extensive list of things that needed to be done, and I prided myself on going above and beyond the callings of my job. I cleaned, took care of trash, restocked the front shelves - everything. Problem was, I also became very efficient. Which meant that in an eight hour shift, five of those hours left me with nothing to do except entertain myself and wait on the very, very few customers that we had.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2013, 05:55:18 PM »
As a customer, I would have more of a problem seeing an employee reading a book (or “studying”) than I would seeing an employee making a Valentine.

An employee reading a book usually means they don’t have enough work to do, usually for extended periods of time.  The same applies to personal calls, surfing the internet, and reading magazines and newspapers.  It doesn't matter if they are studying for a physics exam or reading a romance novel.  They have too much free time on their hands.

OTOH an employee making a Valentine might be working on a decoration for the office – similar to a holiday display.  This is not something they spend a lot of time on, and certainly not every day,

But surely that is with the realization that some jobs really do have a great deal of downtime? What exactly is the employee to do in that situation? Sometimes, there really isn't "always something to do."

As an example: I used to work the overnight shift in a grocery store on weekends. I had an extensive list of things that needed to be done, and I prided myself on going above and beyond the callings of my job. I cleaned, took care of trash, restocked the front shelves - everything. Problem was, I also became very efficient. Which meant that in an eight hour shift, five of those hours left me with nothing to do except entertain myself and wait on the very, very few customers that we had.

Not only the bolded, but why is that the customer's concern?  (Serious question, not snarky...I don't understand why the customer should be concerned with how much work an employee has to do.)
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oceanus

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2013, 05:57:48 PM »
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My money is a serious thing to me.

So is mine, and I think that applies to most people.

I understand most people aren't frantically working up a sweat all day, every day.  There are slow periods in many jobs.

However, some of my money goes towards salaries. 

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I don't understand why the customer should be concerned with how much work an employee has to do.

I don't want to help pay an employee for 40 hours if they are only working 20 hours on a regular basis.

Whether a bank, store, insurance company, or whatever, customers and their money keep the place in business.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 06:01:42 PM by oceanus »

DottyG

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2013, 06:14:30 PM »
I still think that's an issue between an employee and the person who hires/pays them.  Yes, it's my money that keeps them in business, but I'm not in charge of the agreement they have with the person who hires them as to what they will do all day.

My boss pays me according to what he sees fit to pay considering my work.  If I'm not worth what he's willing to pay, things change.  But that's between me and my boss - not a 3rd person.

I used to work in a retail shop (summer in-between college semesters) that had quite a bit of downtime.  It was a specialty shop.  And when there weren't customers in there, I did all I could do - I made sure the store was clean, I rearranged merchandise to get some of the stuff in the back up front, so it got noticed and possibly bought, I made sure the storeroom was clean.  I did everything I could think of to do.  But, even with all of that (and even as the only employee in the store), there ended up being a lot of downtime.  So I read.  I tried to read some of the books we had on the subject relating to the store (so I could be knowledgeable about our product and things like that).  But, when all else failed, I read my own books.  And put them aside the second a potential customer came in.  My boss - the owner of the shop - deemed it worthwhile to have me there despite the fact that there was downtime in which I didn't have anything to do in the shop.  It allowed her to leave and do things for herself.  In fact, I was given a key to the place, and there were weeks where I wouldn't see her at all; I was, seriously, the only person running the shop.  It was no one else's business what she paid me or if I had enough to do; it was solely hers and my business alone.  Even if the customers' money was financing my paycheck.
 
 
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 06:20:42 PM by DottyG »

nuit93

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2013, 07:16:04 PM »
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My money is a serious thing to me.

So is mine, and I think that applies to most people.

I understand most people aren't frantically working up a sweat all day, every day.  There are slow periods in many jobs.

However, some of my money goes towards salaries. 
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I don't understand why the customer should be concerned with how much work an employee has to do.

I don't want to help pay an employee for 40 hours if they are only working 20 hours on a regular basis.

Whether a bank, store, insurance company, or whatever, customers and their money keep the place in business.

That still doesn't give you the right to dictate how the bank should schedule their employees.

oceanus

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2013, 07:23:41 PM »
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That still doesn't give you the right to dictate how the bank should schedule their employees

nuit93, please show me exactly where and how I was "dictating" anything.

nuit93

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Re: Same issue treated differently
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2013, 07:26:21 PM »
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That still doesn't give you the right to dictate how the bank should schedule their employees

nuit93, please show me exactly where and how I was "dictating" anything.

Perhaps I misinterpreted, but where you had stated "I don't want to help pay an employee for 40 hours if they are only working 20 hours on a regular basis" sounded to me like an attempt to influence/dictate how they operate.