Author Topic: So is this normal?  (Read 7309 times)

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lellah

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So is this normal?
« on: June 02, 2013, 05:14:10 PM »
My brother is a junior accountant at a large firm.  He's been there over a year but is the junior-most employee.  His company held an elaborate workday lunch at a posh restaurant to celebrate their anniversary and invited the whole staff and many important clients.  My brother was told the company was hiring someone from the answering service to stay at the reception desk during the lunch.  The day of the luncheon one of the bosses told him that they'd decided hiring a temp would cost too much and asked him to stay at the reception desk during the lunch so that the reception staff could attend the lunch.  The lunch was four hours long!  He was the only person in the office and was unable to eat lunch during that time. 

So. Is that a normal thing to ask a junior employee to do? 

NyaChan

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 05:20:50 PM »
Yes.  It sucks, but I've seen this done before - though not for 4 hours and no lunch for the person left behind  >:(  My mom's old company used to do monthly company-wide luncheons but they didn't want to leave the phones unattended.  So one person would grab their food first and then come back down to watch the front desk. Never the managers or anyone important of course, usually the receptionist or a contract worker.

Shoo

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 05:36:59 PM »
In my experience, it is not normal for a member of the professional staff to cover the reception desk for the admin staff during something like this.  I find this very strange. 

artk2002

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 05:38:02 PM »
Does it happen? Yes. Is it usual? Only in companies that don't care about treating their employees fairly.
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*inviteseller

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2013, 07:19:29 PM »
If he was the only one uninvited and made to stay behind, I would tell him to start sending out resumes.  Yes, we have seen the stories on here of people being excluded from company festivities and those people were always treated like dirt.

veronaz

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2013, 07:30:12 PM »
It would cost too much to get a temp but they went to a posh restaurant?  Something wrong there.

I think your brother is being treated shabbily.  Heís been there a year as a jr accountant, yet he has to cover the phones for clerical staff and isnít even provided a lunch.  He needs to get some resumes out.


GSNW

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2013, 08:20:06 PM »
I guess if the bosses had said, "Hey Frank, you're the least senior person here and we need someone to over the phones for x hours on date y," I would be a LITTLE less annoyed on his behalf.  What they did was exceedingly rude and discourteous, and I would hate to work in a place with that sort of culture.  I mean, he's not even in reception, for crying out loud.  Seriously, jerks.

something.new.every.day

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2013, 08:47:52 PM »
They can splash out for a posh lunch and allow the entire office to lose 4 hours of productivity, but can't pay $80 or so for a temp. receptionist? Or change the voice mail to say "our office is closed until 3pm today for a special event"? That's ridiculous.

ETA: Did they thank your brother for "taking one for the team" or even bring him back anything?


cicero

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2013, 10:47:38 PM »
So they actually invited him first and later on uninvited him? Sheesh...

I've never seen that ( though granted I work for a non profit so we don't have the. fancy lunches). That doesn't sound like a nice way to treat a professional employee.

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sammycat

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 12:35:18 AM »
I agree, with pp that the brother was treated very badly and I'd start putting out feelers for a new position.

Never the managers or anyone important of course, usually the receptionist or a contract worker.

So receptionists aren't important parts of an organisation?

NyaChan

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 12:40:04 AM »
At this company, no.  It was a family-owned company, and the receptionist had an employment arrangement that had been grandfathered in by the retired patriarch of the family.  She didn't actually work most of the time.  She sat at the desk, occasionally answered the phone if no one else would, and then picked up her paycheck. They couldn't fire her because of her relationship with the old president (connection of his wife, not a romantic entanglement). 

PastryGoddess

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 10:48:08 AM »
I agree, with pp that the brother was treated very badly and I'd start putting out feelers for a new position.

Never the managers or anyone important of course, usually the receptionist or a contract worker.

So receptionists aren't important parts of an organisation?

I think you are finding offense where none was meant. 

Twik

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 11:21:22 AM »
I agree, with pp that the brother was treated very badly and I'd start putting out feelers for a new position.

Never the managers or anyone important of course, usually the receptionist or a contract worker.

So receptionists aren't important parts of an organisation?

I think you are finding offense where none was meant.
I agree. I think it's clear "important" in this context means "high ranking person," not "actually useful in running the organization".
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TurtleDove

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 11:39:48 AM »
So. Is that a normal thing to ask a junior employee to do?
A junior employee, sure.  An accountant?  A professional?  No.  I am a lawyer and I would be offended to be asked to cover the front desk, both because it is not in my job description and because I would have no idea how to do the job! 

Redneck Gravy

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Re: So is this normal?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 01:50:52 PM »
I agree with sammycat - no it's not normal and I would be thinking long and hard about my employment with this firm. 

Maybe not jump right up and quit but I would sure be much more aware of how others are treated, not just myself either.