Author Topic: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?  (Read 17525 times)

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Precarious Armada

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #150 on: May 25, 2013, 05:14:36 AM »
TexasRanger, given your difficulties speaking, you may want to have a couple of "Medical Emergency" flashcards with appropriate phrasing that you can use when speaking is difficult.

Eg - "I am having a migraine. I cannot "just take a pill". I need to leave to see my doctor immediately. Not doing so could have life-threatening consequences."

Consult with your doctor, etc, on appropriate phrases. It might also help to have a few "standard customer inquiries" on similar cards. Other e-hellions could come up with suitable phrases.

Blarg and delabela also had some very good points about this.

Also, the classic advice in this situation - document , document, document! Keep it "just the facts, ma'am". eg On xx/xx/xx date, I developed a migrain while at work, starting at xx time, leaving me unable to continue my duties.  BadManager refused to let me see the doctor, just saying "take a pill". My migraine worsened over the next half an hour, and at xx time I had to be taken to the emergency department of xx hospital by ambulance. I was informed by Dr X that the delay in seeking treatment could have been fatal.

Also document your attempts to see manager, HR, etc.

Could other ehellions with work experience help out with phrasing?

Silliness follows - DON"T do this for real!!
Evil Armada thinks that when Bad Manager pulls a "no you can't have that shift off" or "take a pill", act a bit stupid - and cry, in public! "I need to go to the Doctor! If I don't go to the Doctor I could DIE!!! Why are you trying to KIIIILLLL MEEEE??????? Have a big melodramatic breakdown, very publically, in front of a large group of customers.  >:D Like Allee Brosh, in The Party  >:D

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com.au/2010/09/party.html

« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 05:26:37 AM by Precarious Armada »

TexasRanger

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #151 on: May 25, 2013, 11:21:45 AM »
Have a plan for how you can balance things - a willingness to work unpopular shifts, last minute shift or double shifts to make up for time lost due to appointments, for example. Do your best to be clear about logistics - how often do you have doctor's appointments, how much notice do you get, is having to leave in the middle of a shift due to an emergency a regular or rare occurrence?

You want to project an impression of an eager, competent employee who is trying to do their job well, but needs some (minor) accommodation to do that. If you come across as demanding, annoyed, or entitled, it will be a lot less likely that they'll help you.


I think this is actually at the heart of how you need to approach this - it doesn't matter who is irritated by you asking for time off.  The important thing is you need the time off, and you are (I assume) willing to work with them to figure out how to make it work.

A couple points:

1. How long ahead do you when your appointments are scheduled?  As soon as you know, advise the person who does the scheduling, preferably in person and in writing - does your store use email or perhaps text?  If so, you can always send a confirmation email ("just wanted to confirm that we discussed today that I would not be available next Tuesday after 12:00").

2. If you need to discuss with the store manager and he is making it difficult to reach him, either be prepared to wait patiently in his office after your shift, or email. 

3. Have you looked at other solutions, such as trading shifts when you know you have an appointment scheduled (I apologized if you already addressed this and I missed it)?  If you can work it out with your co-workers, then that could be a good solution.

Your situation sounds extremely difficult, and I wish you the best.  It may help if you try to see the ways in which you can be proactive and make things work better.  Many people have issues that they have to work around with employment, of various severity.  In my experience, the more pre-planning that happens, the better.

1. I can know anywhere from a month, to under a week.
2. I'll try that.
3. I try and trade shifts when I can, but sometimes that is not possible. EX: I am a bagger and cannot take cashier shifts.

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kherbert05

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #152 on: May 25, 2013, 11:57:32 AM »

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.
Depends what happened to cause the meeting
Dad goes over on his own - not good
Dad goes over because OP asked him - really not good


Dad is taking care of something because the OP is too ill (pick up car left at work, going by to say OP is in the hospital and can't work) and that turns into a come to deity meeting - I don't have a problem.


I posted before about how Dad found out I had been in the ER because the university catering company was using peanut oil in violation of our contract with the school. He was going to let me handle it, until the fundraising committee called him and his boss asking for donations 15 min after I had talked to him. He exploded. (So did his boss)


When Sis was university her roommates rushed her to the ER with 105 fever and massive pain. Mom rushed up to be there. Most of sis's professors responded to the roommates calls explaining why sis was going to miss finals, with tell her to get better we'll work out the finals after she is better. One insisted that unless sis was in a coma she had to come and see him. The fact she was in the hospital deleterious and loopy on pain meds did not matter.  Mom went up the chain until she found a sane person who fixed the situation.


A few years back I was hospitalized from the ER. I called in but sis didn't know that. She call my boss to tell him I was in the hospital and loopy from a bad reaction to medication. I had a sub - but that explained the incoherent message I had left about what to do. They were about to call her thinking I had a reaction at home and was unable to get to help.
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miranova

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #153 on: May 25, 2013, 12:11:24 PM »
Sometimes there is a large difference between the way we want things to work in this world and the harsh reality of the way they actually work.  There were pages and pages of people suggesting that the employer simply must cooperate as long as documentation is provided.  Unfortunately, this may not be the case at all.  In many, MANY cases, employers are actually under no obligation to provide time off for medical appointments or even medical emergencies.  We can all agree that this may be heartless or short sighted on their part, but wishing things were different doesn't make them so.  The first thing the OP needs to do is learn and accept the realities of her situation so that she can make informed decisions.  If they don't have to give her time off whenever she requests it, even for medical reasons, then that is the world OP is living in and she needs to approach it knowing that.

That way when her boss tries to tell her she can't leave for a medical emergency, and she knows full well that she can be fired, she has already accepted that mentally and knows she needs to leave anyway because her life is more important than her job.  They can fire her if they wish, but she will still have her life.  That's what she needs to come to terms with emotionally.  If she is still under the impression that they have to excuse her because it's medical, then she will flounder when that doesn't immediately happen and won't know how to react.  It sounds like that's what happened.  Instead OP needs to learn the unfortunate but no less true reality that she may be forced to choose between her life and her job and needs to have the resolve to choose her health in that situation.  In a true medical emergency for me or one of my children, I am leaving work!  If I get fired later, fine.  That's a price I'm willing to pay.  I think OP needs to get to that point instead of trying to change management to be more sympathetic.  People are who they are. 

For the necessary but less life threatening things like medical appointments, asking for time off is where you begin.  If the answer is no, then I recommend what another poster suggested.  Realize that they are allowed to say no, and might only be saying no because they wrongly assume that you could work around it if you tried hard enough.  So politely explain that this the only appointment in the next  X days available and you are willing to come in early/stay later/work a different day etc if they can accommodate you.  There is no harm in trying that before simply refusing to come in that day.

Or, alternatively, look for another job.  I am not even remotely suggesting this is easy, but these are really your only choices.  Better to accept them now than to bang your head against a wall trying to get unsympathetic people to change their core personalities.  Many bosses everywhere play favorites.  I'm not sure I've ever had a job where this wasn't the case, and I don't have any debilitating medical conditions.  So I wouldn't bring that up at all, because it NEVER goes over well.  No one ever sees their own biases, that's why they are biases.  And they will get defensive and see you as a trouble maker.

cass2591

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #154 on: May 25, 2013, 03:38:48 PM »
KHerbert, I specifically asked people not to discuss the dad issue anymore, so I'm perplexed as to why you decided to continue that subtopic anyway.
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blarg314

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #155 on: May 25, 2013, 09:54:03 PM »
Sometimes there is a large difference between the way we want things to work in this world and the harsh reality of the way they actually work.  There were pages and pages of people suggesting that the employer simply must cooperate as long as documentation is provided.  Unfortunately, this may not be the case at all.  In many, MANY cases, employers are actually under no obligation to provide time off for medical appointments or even medical emergencies.  We can all agree that this may be heartless or short sighted on their part, but wishing things were different doesn't make them so.  The first thing the OP needs to do is learn and accept the realities of her situation so that she can make informed decisions.  If they don't have to give her time off whenever she requests it, even for medical reasons, then that is the world OP is living in and she needs to approach it knowing that.


This is key, and why I suggested researching exactly what the OP's legal rights are.  If the employer is not legally required to accommodate her medical issues, and if they aren't willing to do so of their own volition, there really isn't anything the OP can do to force them, no matter who she bring in to argue for her, or what documentation she has. So if this is the case, it is very important to recognize this, accept it, and plan for it.

I'm not in the US, but I do know that eligibility for various rights and benefits  like FMLA can depend on how long you've worked for the company, the number of employees the business has, and how many hours you've worked. So it's really important to know whether it applies, and what it gives you before making demands.

And yeah, it's not necessarily fair, or decent, or nice, but if it 's the reality it's what has to be dealt with.


MurPl1

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #156 on: May 26, 2013, 02:30:36 PM »

The first thing to do is to be very clear what you *legal* rights are in this situation. What are your rights when it comes to claiming sick leave?    Is your employer required to provide "reasonable accommodation" for health issues or disabilities? Does this apply to your case? What sort of documentation do you need to get this, if applicable, and do you have it?  If you are scheduled for a shift, and don't show up due to a doctor's appointment, are they legally allowed to fire you?

This is very important, because it determines how you deal with your boss/HR. If you are asking for something that they are legally required to give you, you go in will full documentation, explaining what you need, in a polite, reasonable fashion, matter of factly.

If you are asking for something that they *aren't* legally required to give  you, then you're going in as a supplicant, and you need to have a strong a position as possible - definitely be polite, because you're asking them to do you a favour.  Have a plan for how you can balance things - a willingness to work unpopular shifts, last minute shift or double shifts to make up for time lost due to appointments, for example. Do your best to be clear about logistics - how often do you have doctor's appointments, how much notice do you get, is having to leave in the middle of a shift due to an emergency a regular or rare occurrence?

You want to project an impression of an eager, competent employee who is trying to do their job well, but needs some (minor) accommodation to do that. If you come across as demanding, annoyed, or entitled, it will be a lot less likely that they'll help you.

If they aren't required to accommodate your needs, and don't want to, then it's hard decision time.  You need to think seriously about what your options are if you can't manage to balance your job and your health. This is a possibility - part time and casual workers in low paying jobs tend not to share a lot of the legal protections accorded to other types of employees, and don't have the ability to tell their boss to shove it and stay employed, particularly in today's economy.

Excellent advice!

If I had an employee in this position, I would be working with in the bounds of what I was legally required to do, and IF POSSIBLE what I could do beyond that.  But my responsibility is to run my work force effectively and staffing is critical.  If I had an employee who was telling me that they were taking off for a doctor's appointment and leaving a shift uncovered, they would not be viewed very highly, nor would they keep their job very long.  However, if they came to me as you recommended above, that changes a lot.

And as a side note, as an employer, I never discuss an employee with anyone other than the employee unless I have prior written permission.  If someone is too sick/injured to contact me themselves, I will take the information and thank the caller, but that's the extent of the conversation.  I will not discuss someone's scheduling or work performance with anyone other than the employee.  Nor will I take phone calls from family members attempting to discuss outside factors (divorce, friends, lifestyle choices). 

Lynda_34

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #157 on: May 26, 2013, 06:06:41 PM »
Can you ask for a set day off in the week from your store manager, let's say Thursday and schedule all your appointments for that day?  That way you don't have to ask for it off and just go.  That's what several of my friends do that have chronic conditions.  And in the rare instance that they can't get a Thursday appointment they will of course ask it off, but that's more like once or twice a year rather once or twice a month.
This is a good idea.

camlan

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #158 on: May 26, 2013, 07:04:18 PM »
Can you ask for a set day off in the week from your store manager, let's say Thursday and schedule all your appointments for that day?  That way you don't have to ask for it off and just go.  That's what several of my friends do that have chronic conditions.  And in the rare instance that they can't get a Thursday appointment they will of course ask it off, but that's more like once or twice a year rather once or twice a month.
This is a good idea.

It would be a great idea, if doctors' offices worked that way.

The OP sees several specialists. In my experience, these doctors can have certain days of the weeks where they see patients and the rest of the week, they don't. The chances that all her doctors have office hours on the same days is slight.

There can be long wait times to get an appointment--sometimes you have to wait two or three months for an appointment. Requiring an appointment only on one specific day of the week could extend your wait time by months.

Add in insurance issues, like getting pre-approval, which causes further delays. And the fact that the OP is seeing these doctors because she has medical issues--and doesn't want/can't afford to wait too many months before seeing the appropriate medical personnel.

It's a really good idea, but at least in the US, it would be extremely difficult to do.
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JeanFromBNA

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #159 on: May 28, 2013, 08:27:36 PM »
Sometimes there is a large difference between the way we want things to work in this world and the harsh reality of the way they actually work.  There were pages and pages of people suggesting that the employer simply must cooperate as long as documentation is provided.  Unfortunately, this may not be the case at all.  In many, MANY cases, employers are actually under no obligation to provide time off for medical appointments or even medical emergencies.  We can all agree that this may be heartless or short sighted on their part, but wishing things were different doesn't make them so.  The first thing the OP needs to do is learn and accept the realities of her situation so that she can make informed decisions.  If they don't have to give her time off whenever she requests it, even for medical reasons, then that is the world OP is living in and she needs to approach it knowing that.
(snip)

Miranova, I think that your post was well written and spot on.  I just want to point out that employers are not necessarily heartless or short sighted in not accommodating an employee that needs time off, even for a legitimate reason.  Having an extra employee on-call is not always feasible. Profit margins can be thin to non-existent.  The boss can't always be a backup employee, though s/he's often the go to person when that happens.  When an employee misses work for any reason, as you said in your post, it doesn't change the reality that the work still has to get done, or the position wouldn't be available in the first place.  Schedules suddenly change, the day's work is re-prioritized, and the ripple effect can be considerable. 

I don't know too many employers who wouldn't grant time off for a medical emergency, but an emergency should be an exception, not a recurrence to be factored into the schedule at unpredictable intervals.  I have to think about the rest of my staff as well as the person who requires time off.  As unfair as it sounds to the person who is ill, the most fair option may be to find another person who can make the scheduled shifts and limit the burden to the staff who do show up for work.

Perhaps Texas Ranger could act as the back up person, or take another on-call job that would allow her/him a more flexible schedule, and the option to say no to an offer of work.  I used to juggle several part time, on call jobs, and made a decent living at it. 

JeseC

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #160 on: May 28, 2013, 10:42:47 PM »
Sometimes there is a large difference between the way we want things to work in this world and the harsh reality of the way they actually work.  There were pages and pages of people suggesting that the employer simply must cooperate as long as documentation is provided.  Unfortunately, this may not be the case at all.  In many, MANY cases, employers are actually under no obligation to provide time off for medical appointments or even medical emergencies.  We can all agree that this may be heartless or short sighted on their part, but wishing things were different doesn't make them so.  The first thing the OP needs to do is learn and accept the realities of her situation so that she can make informed decisions.  If they don't have to give her time off whenever she requests it, even for medical reasons, then that is the world OP is living in and she needs to approach it knowing that.
(snip)

Miranova, I think that your post was well written and spot on.  I just want to point out that employers are not necessarily heartless or short sighted in not accommodating an employee that needs time off, even for a legitimate reason.  Having an extra employee on-call is not always feasible. Profit margins can be thin to non-existent.  The boss can't always be a backup employee, though s/he's often the go to person when that happens.  When an employee misses work for any reason, as you said in your post, it doesn't change the reality that the work still has to get done, or the position wouldn't be available in the first place.  Schedules suddenly change, the day's work is re-prioritized, and the ripple effect can be considerable. 

I don't know too many employers who wouldn't grant time off for a medical emergency, but an emergency should be an exception, not a recurrence to be factored into the schedule at unpredictable intervals.  I have to think about the rest of my staff as well as the person who requires time off.  As unfair as it sounds to the person who is ill, the most fair option may be to find another person who can make the scheduled shifts and limit the burden to the staff who do show up for work.

Perhaps Texas Ranger could act as the back up person, or take another on-call job that would allow her/him a more flexible schedule, and the option to say no to an offer of work.  I used to juggle several part time, on call jobs, and made a decent living at it.

I think this also depends on what exactly was going on with the other employees and their time off.  If, as TexasRanger said, holidays for things like days on the beach are being routinely granted, then it's not a profit margin issue.  I'm not sure how often the actual emergencies are happening, rather that she needs to get to appointments that the employer knows about in advance and just doesn't want to deal with.

humbleonion

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #161 on: May 29, 2013, 01:11:00 AM »
TexasRanger, what's your plan for doctors' visits & medical emergencies when you're working as an EMT?

Lynn2000

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #162 on: May 29, 2013, 10:53:28 AM »

The first thing to do is to be very clear what you *legal* rights are in this situation. What are your rights when it comes to claiming sick leave?    Is your employer required to provide "reasonable accommodation" for health issues or disabilities? Does this apply to your case? What sort of documentation do you need to get this, if applicable, and do you have it?  If you are scheduled for a shift, and don't show up due to a doctor's appointment, are they legally allowed to fire you?

This is very important, because it determines how you deal with your boss/HR. If you are asking for something that they are legally required to give you, you go in will full documentation, explaining what you need, in a polite, reasonable fashion, matter of factly.

If you are asking for something that they *aren't* legally required to give  you, then you're going in as a supplicant, and you need to have a strong a position as possible - definitely be polite, because you're asking them to do you a favour.  Have a plan for how you can balance things - a willingness to work unpopular shifts, last minute shift or double shifts to make up for time lost due to appointments, for example. Do your best to be clear about logistics - how often do you have doctor's appointments, how much notice do you get, is having to leave in the middle of a shift due to an emergency a regular or rare occurrence?

You want to project an impression of an eager, competent employee who is trying to do their job well, but needs some (minor) accommodation to do that. If you come across as demanding, annoyed, or entitled, it will be a lot less likely that they'll help you.

If they aren't required to accommodate your needs, and don't want to, then it's hard decision time.  You need to think seriously about what your options are if you can't manage to balance your job and your health. This is a possibility - part time and casual workers in low paying jobs tend not to share a lot of the legal protections accorded to other types of employees, and don't have the ability to tell their boss to shove it and stay employed, particularly in today's economy.

POD to this. Also miranova has some good points. Someone said, "Don't compare yourself to other employees, compare yourself to company policy." I know it can be terribly frustrating to look around and see that other people are, or appear to be, getting accommodations or accolades that are denied to you. It's very unlikely that pointing this out to anyone is going to change anything, though. I think the professional thing to do is focus on what the company must, or can, do for you, and what you are willing to do in return.

As a person I would be sympathetic to someone else's medical needs, but as an employer it would be troubling to have an employee who was, functionally, unreliable. If the employee was good when they did work (as your performance reviews attest) and they were willing to suggest and implement solutions (like unpopular or last-minute shifts), I would feel like I could be a lot more accommodating without compromising my business, and all the other employees who depend on me.
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shhh its me

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #163 on: May 29, 2013, 12:49:52 PM »
 I also wanted to suggest you politely inquire when making appointments " Is there an opening on Wednesday or Thursday by any chance? Those days are much easier for me to get off work.", "No" or "no but we do have an opening Wednesday in 2 weeks" , "Then sure Monday is fine."/"wednesday in 2 weeks will be great.".     Many offices just start with their own preferred jumping off point when making appointments.  Try to note which days are available for office hours at all the different offices perhaps you find out all the offices have either Wednesday morning or Thursday afternoons in common.

Hmmmmm

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Re: I polite way to get the seriousness of this across?
« Reply #164 on: May 29, 2013, 01:25:51 PM »
I also wanted to suggest you politely inquire when making appointments " Is there an opening on Wednesday or Thursday by any chance? Those days are much easier for me to get off work.", "No" or "no but we do have an opening Wednesday in 2 weeks" , "Then sure Monday is fine."/"wednesday in 2 weeks will be great.".     Many offices just start with their own preferred jumping off point when making appointments.  Try to note which days are available for office hours at all the different offices perhaps you find out all the offices have either Wednesday morning or Thursday afternoons in common.
This is a good idea too. Also, when selecting a specialist see if you can find one who dies have office hours on your standard days off. When referred by another doctor, the practice will try to get you in with the first available in most cases. But ask if another physician at that practice has hours more compatible.