Author Topic: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?  (Read 21100 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8635
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #75 on: May 22, 2013, 03:41:46 PM »
Quote
I think there have been some response - but the only real answer is that she states her plans and doesn't back down.

"I have an doctor appointment at 3 today" "I'm sorry, I need you to work at 3 today" "I'm afraid that won't be possible"

"I have a headache and I need to leave"  "I can't let you leave, take an aspirin" "I'm afraid that won't be possible"

The boss and crony may never believe the seriousness of the OPs condition.   They may always believe she is exaggerating or faking.  There is only so much the OP can do about that - her first responsibility is to herself and her own health.

I agree with the above.  OP, use that phrase as much as you need to.  That's going to be your answer.  Your health is vital.  And you have to fight to protect it.

The problem is, in some workplaces, this response would get you fired. In many places, absences have to be excused. If a manager said "no, you can't leave," and the employee replied, "Sorry, I have to go," and left, they'd get points or written up. Enough points, enough write ups, and you are fired.

FMLA is a possibility if the OP is working full time. Employers are only required to give FMLA to employees who have worked 1,250 hours in the previous year. They can offer FMLA to part-time employees, but they don't have to.

I'm on the fence about the Dad visit. While I wouldn't want my father visiting my workplace, it does seem as if this visit did some good in opening the top manager's eyes about some of the goings-on in the workplace.

OP, I think you would be best served at this point by scheduling an appointment with the top manager. Don't just go and ask to see him; stop by the office and get his secretary to schedule an appointment with at a future date. During your meeting, tell him that you need this time off, you are willing to give as much notice as possible, and that you are tired of dealing with the attitude from your supervisor. Hint delicately that your next meeting won't be with him, but with HR (I'm assuming this is a large chain store and there's an HR department for the corporation).

Also, contact HR and ask about FMLA. See if you are eligible and if you are, start the paperwork to get it. FMLA can be used for doctor's appointments, or to leave early if you get a migraine. It can be taken hours at a time, or days, or weeks, whatever best serves your medical needs.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #76 on: May 22, 2013, 03:41:57 PM »
It's very possible to deliver the "I'm sorry, but that's not possible" phrase in a way that's not confrontational.  It does depend on the tone and the context in which it's used.  But, if done correctly, it can be a good phrase to use in this case.

It may even need to be buffered a bit with a little more wording.  But I can completely see this phrase as working if used right.

Some of you might be taking that phrase a little more literally than I am and not considering the same tone that I'm hearing in my head.
 
 

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6125
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #77 on: May 22, 2013, 03:46:06 PM »
It's very possible to deliver the "I'm sorry, but that's not possible" phrase in a way that's not confrontational.  It does depend on the tone and the context in which it's used.  But, if done correctly, it can be a good phrase to use in this case.

It may even need to be buffered a bit with a little more wording.  But I can completely see this phrase as working if used right.

Some of you might be taking that phrase a little more literally than I am and not considering the same tone that I'm hearing in my head.

I am probably more literal than most, but to me this phrase is offensive because it is untrue.  I would prefer people to be direct and honest.  "I'm sorry, but I need to leave now."  The "but that's not possible" is simply not true, and repeating the same phrase over and over comes across, to me, like fake sweetness or borderline taunting.  I always envision people saying this phrase with a condescending smirk, as though challenging the listener to challenge them on whether it is, in fact, possible.  Because both people know that it is.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8635
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #78 on: May 22, 2013, 03:49:41 PM »
It's very possible to deliver the "I'm sorry, but that's not possible" phrase in a way that's not confrontational.  It does depend on the tone and the context in which it's used.  But, if done correctly, it can be a good phrase to use in this case.

It may even need to be buffered a bit with a little more wording.  But I can completely see this phrase as working if used right.

Some of you might be taking that phrase a little more literally than I am and not considering the same tone that I'm hearing in my head.

Dotty, my take on some workplaces is that it doesn't matter what words you use or what tone of voice. If your boss has scheduled you to work and you don't show up at that time or you leave early, you get written up, or get points if the workplace uses that system. So however politely you say, "I'm sorry, but coming in Tuesday at 2 isn't possible because I have a doctor's appointment," your supervisor can order you to come in. And if you don't, you are one step closer to being fired--most places like this allow a certain number of write ups or points and then you are automatically unemployed.

It sounds like the OP's immediate supervisor isn't the kind to listen to reason, or nicely worded statements that the OP's health will seriously suffer if she can't get the time off for the appointments.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Moray

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1869
  • My hovercraft is full of eels!
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #79 on: May 22, 2013, 03:53:36 PM »
It's very possible to deliver the "I'm sorry, but that's not possible" phrase in a way that's not confrontational.  It does depend on the tone and the context in which it's used.  But, if done correctly, it can be a good phrase to use in this case.

It may even need to be buffered a bit with a little more wording.  But I can completely see this phrase as working if used right.

Some of you might be taking that phrase a little more literally than I am and not considering the same tone that I'm hearing in my head.

I am probably more literal than most, but to me this phrase is offensive because it is untrue.  I would prefer people to be direct and honest.  "I'm sorry, but I need to leave now."  The "but that's not possible" is simply not true, and repeating the same phrase over and over comes across, to me, like fake sweetness or borderline taunting.  I always envision people saying this phrase with a condescending smirk, as though challenging the listener to challenge them on whether it is, in fact, possible.  Because both people know that it is.

Yes! The bolded is much better phrasing. Even "It's a medical necessity; what can we do to adjust my schedule?" would be preferrable to using a phrase that is (in this context) at best dismissive and at worst snotty and insubordinate.
Utah

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4187
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #80 on: May 22, 2013, 03:54:04 PM »
Being fired for needing to go to doctors' appointments?

If I were the boss, I would be flexible and we wouldn't be in this situation, but if we were, I would fire the OP for being unprofessional and rude in the "that won't be possible" phrasing.  Not for needing to go to doctor's appointments.

She's not having trouble with the boss, but with a vicious manager and flunky.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6125
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #81 on: May 22, 2013, 03:59:33 PM »
Being fired for needing to go to doctors' appointments?

If I were the boss, I would be flexible and we wouldn't be in this situation, but if we were, I would fire the OP for being unprofessional and rude in the "that won't be possible" phrasing.  Not for needing to go to doctor's appointments.

She's not having trouble with the boss, but with a vicious manager and flunky.

Well, I would consider the managers to be the OP's bosses also, but either way, my point is that I think the OP would be unprofessional and rude to use the "that won't be possible" phrasing.

Moray

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1869
  • My hovercraft is full of eels!
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #82 on: May 22, 2013, 04:04:10 PM »
Being fired for needing to go to doctors' appointments?

If I were the boss, I would be flexible and we wouldn't be in this situation, but if we were, I would fire the OP for being unprofessional and rude in the "that won't be possible" phrasing.  Not for needing to go to doctor's appointments.

She's not having trouble with the boss, but with a vicious manager and flunky.

Yeah, see the thing is that in most retail environments (I certainly know it was the case when I briefly worked as a bagger like the OP), your manager actually does have the power to fire you. You can counter citing wrongful termination, but if you are insubordinate, fail to show up for scheduled shifts for any reason, early quit for any reason(with or without eHell stock phrases), etc., they can and will give you your walking papers.

If the OP doesn't have FMLA set up, she honestly doesn't have any guarantee that she can say "Nope. Not gonna happen." and leave knowing her job is protected in any way.

Of course her health comes first. We're saying that using "That won't be possible" is frankly a dumb way to go about things.

Utah

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4187
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #83 on: May 22, 2013, 04:16:31 PM »
Being fired for needing to go to doctors' appointments?

If I were the boss, I would be flexible and we wouldn't be in this situation, but if we were, I would fire the OP for being unprofessional and rude in the "that won't be possible" phrasing.  Not for needing to go to doctor's appointments.

I agree. I've used that phrase to people who don't have power over me to the degree that a boss does.

I posted earlier today that she needs to immediately try to set an appointment to see the boss, and I agree with the other Ehellion that she needs to e-mail him if possible. As the meeting between her father and her boss showed, the boss acted once he knew what was happening.

She's not having trouble with the boss, but with a vicious manager and flunky.

Well, I would consider the managers to be the OP's bosses also, but either way, my point is that I think the OP would be unprofessional and rude to use the "that won't be possible" phrasing.

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #84 on: May 22, 2013, 04:26:01 PM »
Quote
would be preferrable to using a phrase that is (in this context) at best dismissive and at worst snotty and insubordinate.

Again, if taken literally and in the wrong tone of voice, it's snotty and insubordinate.  But I would suggest the OP not use it in that way.


TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6125
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #85 on: May 22, 2013, 04:36:16 PM »
Quote
would be preferrable to using a phrase that is (in this context) at best dismissive and at worst snotty and insubordinate.

Again, if taken literally and in the wrong tone of voice, it's snotty and insubordinate.  But I would suggest the OP not use it in that way.

And what I am saying is that tone isn't what makes this offensive to me; I find the phrase itself offensive.

Moray

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1869
  • My hovercraft is full of eels!
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #86 on: May 22, 2013, 04:49:07 PM »
Quote
would be preferrable to using a phrase that is (in this context) at best dismissive and at worst snotty and insubordinate.

Again, if taken literally and in the wrong tone of voice, it's snotty and insubordinate.  But I would suggest the OP not use it in that way.

And what I am saying is that tone isn't what makes this offensive to me; I find the phrase itself offensive.

Frankly, even if the tone were "perfect" why risk using a phrase that has such potential for being offensive? The English language is full of may other, more fitting, phrases that wouldn't pose the same risk.

Why the attachment to this one particular phrase? Why assign it such special importance?
Utah

Marguette

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 351
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #87 on: May 22, 2013, 04:50:00 PM »
I think different people are considering her age differently. There seem to be quite a few people who seem to consider 23 as one step above a child and still in need of a parent's help. I consider it as well above the age of living and working on her own, able to vote, drink, and serve in the military, and it doesn't do her any favors to treat her as a child. If she was 33 or 43 or 53, would you still excuse her father interfering? From the OP, she never brought up this problem with anyone else -- not a superior, not HR -- before having Daddy come in for a "come to deity meeting". And she seemed quite proud of having Daddy interfere. I think that's an attitude that needs to be nipped in the bud immediately if she wants to have a professional career. If she had been trying to address this and not having any luck, then I would be much more sympathetic to having someone else intercede on her behalf.

POD, especially the bolded.  I don't work in this type of field, but in my field I cannot imagine having an employee's parent intervene on their behalf.  This would cause me serious concern about the employee's maturity level and ability to handle the job independently.

On the other hand, her death or disability due to failure to complete her treatment because she was prevented from attending medical appointments would also impair her ability to handle her job.

She needs to ask her physicians or other health professionals involved in her treatment to provide her with the documentation that she can show her supervisor—or anyone else involved in the chain of command who needs it proved to them—that she cannot miss her appointments, and they can’t be scheduled outside her working hours.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 05:01:20 PM by Marguette »

Moray

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1869
  • My hovercraft is full of eels!
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #88 on: May 22, 2013, 04:54:37 PM »
I think different people are considering her age differently. There seem to be quite a few people who seem to consider 23 as one step above a child and still in need of a parent's help. I consider it as well above the age of living and working on her own, able to vote, drink, and serve in the military, and it doesn't do her any favors to treat her as a child. If she was 33 or 43 or 53, would you still excuse her father interfering? From the OP, she never brought up this problem with anyone else -- not a superior, not HR -- before having Daddy come in for a "come to deity meeting". And she seemed quite proud of having Daddy interfere. I think that's an attitude that needs to be nipped in the bud immediately if she wants to have a professional career. If she had been trying to address this and not having any luck, then I would be much more sympathetic to having someone else intercede on her behalf.

POD, especially the bolded.  I don't work in this type of field, but in my field I cannot imagine having an employee's parent intervene on their behalf.  This would cause me serious concern about the employee's maturity level and ability to handle the job independently.

On the other hand, her death or disability due to failure to complete her treatment because she was prevented from attending medical appointments would also impair her ability to handle her job.

Her physicians or other health professionals involved in her treatment need to be asked to provide her with the documentation that she can show her supervisor—or anyone else involved in the chain of command who needs it proved to them—that she cannot miss her appointments, and they can’t be scheduled outside her working hours.

Prevented? What on earth do you mean "prevented"? The surly manager and underling aren't ying her down and throwing her in the stockroom under a pile of bananas. The best they can do is say: "I do not authorize your leaving" or "This is grounds for a write-up/termination".
Utah

Marguette

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 351
Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #89 on: May 22, 2013, 05:06:40 PM »
I think different people are considering her age differently. There seem to be quite a few people who seem to consider 23 as one step above a child and still in need of a parent's help. I consider it as well above the age of living and working on her own, able to vote, drink, and serve in the military, and it doesn't do her any favors to treat her as a child. If she was 33 or 43 or 53, would you still excuse her father interfering? From the OP, she never brought up this problem with anyone else -- not a superior, not HR -- before having Daddy come in for a "come to deity meeting". And she seemed quite proud of having Daddy interfere. I think that's an attitude that needs to be nipped in the bud immediately if she wants to have a professional career. If she had been trying to address this and not having any luck, then I would be much more sympathetic to having someone else intercede on her behalf.

POD, especially the bolded.  I don't work in this type of field, but in my field I cannot imagine having an employee's parent intervene on their behalf.  This would cause me serious concern about the employee's maturity level and ability to handle the job independently.

On the other hand, her death or disability due to failure to complete her treatment because she was prevented from attending medical appointments would also impair her ability to handle her job.

Her physicians or other health professionals involved in her treatment need to be asked to provide her with the documentation that she can show her supervisor—or anyone else involved in the chain of command who needs it proved to them—that she cannot miss her appointments, and they can’t be scheduled outside her working hours.

Prevented? What on earth do you mean "prevented"? The surly manager and underling aren't ying her down and throwing her in the stockroom under a pile of bananas. The best they can do is say: "I do not authorize your leaving" or "This is grounds for a write-up/termination".

(Sorry I did a bit of editing after you quoted me.)

Good point. As you mention, one of the possibilities is that they go “This is grounds for termination.” I would hope that proper documentation from OP’s health care professionals would reduce that probability. (Danger: legal territory ahoy!) I don’t recall OP mentioning that she has gone this route.