General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

You helped me out and now I'm taking it back?

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Disclaimer: this is not something that personally involved me but I was asked by a party to input on.

Anne  is a part time worker at my full time place of employment. Currently A is not working full time but looking for work in her field  as she has recently graduated.  Barb is a full time worker.

Recently Barb was unable to do her full time shift on a Monday and texted Anne  Sun. evening  to see if Anne  could cover for her as Anne has her days free except for her part time scheduled evening/weekend shifts. Anne agreed to cover Barb's shift and then further agreed to cover the next day on not a lot of notice for one more day. So Anne worked 2 days for Barb.

Anne is scheduled to work her regular Sat. shift tomorrow but received a phone call from Barb today saying that she will take her shift tomorrow as she is out of days and needs to make up hours. Anne was a bit taken aback and didn't want to agree as she was looking forward to the 2 days she covered as being some extra cash. Anne eventually agreed to let Barb take the Sat. shift.

Anne sent me a message saying she was mulling it over and felt that it was wrong and that they way Barb approached her she felt a bit bullied by Barb in tone of the conversation she had.

I told Anne she should have not let Barb have the shift. If Barb wanted to switch then it should have been approached that way long before. I recommended to Anne that she email boss and explain how she was uncomfortable with how things worked out.

I truly believe that Barb  had no right to pressure Anne into giving up her regularly scheduled shift just because she covered for 2 days for her?  Am I wrong in my thinking??

Anne really seemed to feel uncomfortable as the lowley "part timer" saying no to Barb

Did you lose money?

Based on this information, it sounds like Barb is out of line.

However, if company policy is that you have to trade shifts (which could make sense in some cases), Anne may be out of luck. Anne should investigate this. If she feels stuck, she simply needs to tell Barb "no" in the future.

"Sorry Barb, but I can't switch shifts with you."

I agree with sweetonsno. Unless there is a company policy about switching shifts, then B can't forcibly change A's plans as a thanks to her. She now, if anything, owes A more than what she originally did.

Ringing up and telling someone that you're taking their shift tomorrow (short notice!) out of the blue would be incredibly rude on its own. I see no reason why, if someone had done you a favour in the past, it made being rude to them like this acceptable.

If A felt pressured into giving B her shift and B was aware that A didn't want to (but pressured her into doing it anyway), that is workplace bullying, which the boss should know about and deal with.

tiggnduff, B was very much out of line. I hope A now realises that similar favours for B will be 'repayed' in this way, and will abstain. The boss definitely needs to know about the fact that B bullied A into giving up her shift, losing A money, under the guise of repaying a favour.

I think Barb overstepped. It's all in the wording. If she had said, "Could you take my shift and I'll take one of yours to make up for it.", that's fine. She didn't though. She asked Anne to take her shifts. If she needed to make up the time, she should have asked Anne if she could have one of her shifts. I think Anne would have been well within her rights to refuse to give Barb her shift, but I an certainly understand that as a part-timer, she probably felt like she had no choice. I too would speak to the supervisor, so that a) Anne knows her rights in the situation and b) so the the supervisor knows what Barb is up to.


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