Author Topic: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!  (Read 6887 times)

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Coley

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2013, 01:22:52 PM »
The first question that entered my mind when I read the OP was, "What is Jane doing on Saturday?" Because if Jane is planning on a day off, given her scheduling errors, I'm not sure she should be. She created this problem, so it's her responsibility to solve it.

Ahhhh if only it were that simple. But managers' plans are the most important and can never be changed - not to work late to finish their own work, not to cover a sickie and absolutely never to cover their own scheduling mistake. (This is just my take on the very small number of managers I have had while working in retail and not meant as a general comment on managers or other posters.) Also in my experience, if an employee is not rostered for a Saturday, they make plans right away. They will not change said plans to work because having a Saturday off is an amazing thing that must be savoured.

Oh, I totally agree. I was speaking in terms of the ideal. As a manager myself, I believe that when someone makes a mistake, that person takes responsibility for the mistake rather than trying to pawn it off on the staff who may not be (or feel) empowered to say no. Some managers will accept the responsibility rather than shirking it. In the situation in the OP, I might ask other staff if they wanted to work the shift -- after all, it might be extra money for them. But if they said they couldn't do it, it would be my responsibility to pick up that slack. I wouldn't keep hounding the staff about it.

I had a boss a number of years ago who pulled the kind of nonsense that's happening in the OP. He had scheduled himself to work on a Saturday. Something better came up, and rather than talking to anyone about it, he simply changed the schedule so I had to work that shift for him. I had plans scheduled that day that I couldn't change. I was shocked when I saw he'd changed the schedule, and I tried to explain to the boss that I couldn't work that day. The boss's reaction? He pulled rank and threatened my job.

cwm

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2013, 02:14:56 PM »
The first question that entered my mind when I read the OP was, "What is Jane doing on Saturday?" Because if Jane is planning on a day off, given her scheduling errors, I'm not sure she should be. She created this problem, so it's her responsibility to solve it.

Ahhhh if only it were that simple. But managers' plans are the most important and can never be changed - not to work late to finish their own work, not to cover a sickie and absolutely never to cover their own scheduling mistake. (This is just my take on the very small number of managers I have had while working in retail and not meant as a general comment on managers or other posters.) Also in my experience, if an employee is not rostered for a Saturday, they make plans right away. They will not change said plans to work because having a Saturday off is an amazing thing that must be savoured.

Oh, I totally agree. I was speaking in terms of the ideal. As a manager myself, I believe that when someone makes a mistake, that person takes responsibility for the mistake rather than trying to pawn it off on the staff who may not be (or feel) empowered to say no. Some managers will accept the responsibility rather than shirking it. In the situation in the OP, I might ask other staff if they wanted to work the shift -- after all, it might be extra money for them. But if they said they couldn't do it, it would be my responsibility to pick up that slack. I wouldn't keep hounding the staff about it.

I had a boss a number of years ago who pulled the kind of nonsense that's happening in the OP. He had scheduled himself to work on a Saturday. Something better came up, and rather than talking to anyone about it, he simply changed the schedule so I had to work that shift for him. I had plans scheduled that day that I couldn't change. I was shocked when I saw he'd changed the schedule, and I tried to explain to the boss that I couldn't work that day. The boss's reaction? He pulled rank and threatened my job.

I had a manager try that on me exactly once. I had started a new job and told them upfront I couldn't close on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays. They knew hiring me that was my availability, and that was fine with them, they had enough closers those days.

Fast forward, new manager, and I'm not one of her "favorites". They had asked for something off, new manager tried to change the schedule so I was closing Tuesday and Thursday that week. I told her I wasn't able to do that and she threatened my job. I went to the store manager, showed her the schedule. Store manager called my manager in and showed her my availability sheet showing that I wasn't available those times and wouldn't be working. My manager asked who would be the second closer then, since I was scheduled? (We needed at least two people at all times.) Store manager looked at her straight in the eyes and said, "Well, you had access to her availability and were given a copy of this sheet when you were hired on as a manager. If you can't find anyone else to schedule, you'll have to cover it." My manager complained that she already had plans those nights because of some big festival in town. Store manager told her that my plans were due to a previous part time job I had as a caretaker for a vulnerable adult and a college class, that they were standing obligations, and the shifts would be covered by My Manager or someone else, or My Manager wouldn't have a job much longer.

My manager didn't last long in that position. (And this is just part of the continuing saga of Cwm can't get into a department with a stable manager. From 2007 to present I've had three jobs (not counting the PT job) and nearly 15 managers. Not counting the time I went without managers in various departments.)

Coley

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2013, 02:39:58 PM »
Oh, I totally agree. I was speaking in terms of the ideal. As a manager myself, I believe that when someone makes a mistake, that person takes responsibility for the mistake rather than trying to pawn it off on the staff who may not be (or feel) empowered to say no. Some managers will accept the responsibility rather than shirking it. In the situation in the OP, I might ask other staff if they wanted to work the shift -- after all, it might be extra money for them. But if they said they couldn't do it, it would be my responsibility to pick up that slack. I wouldn't keep hounding the staff about it.

I had a boss a number of years ago who pulled the kind of nonsense that's happening in the OP. He had scheduled himself to work on a Saturday. Something better came up, and rather than talking to anyone about it, he simply changed the schedule so I had to work that shift for him. I had plans scheduled that day that I couldn't change. I was shocked when I saw he'd changed the schedule, and I tried to explain to the boss that I couldn't work that day. The boss's reaction? He pulled rank and threatened my job.

I had a manager try that on me exactly once. I had started a new job and told them upfront I couldn't close on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays. They knew hiring me that was my availability, and that was fine with them, they had enough closers those days.

Fast forward, new manager, and I'm not one of her "favorites". They had asked for something off, new manager tried to change the schedule so I was closing Tuesday and Thursday that week. I told her I wasn't able to do that and she threatened my job. I went to the store manager, showed her the schedule. Store manager called my manager in and showed her my availability sheet showing that I wasn't available those times and wouldn't be working. My manager asked who would be the second closer then, since I was scheduled? (We needed at least two people at all times.) Store manager looked at her straight in the eyes and said, "Well, you had access to her availability and were given a copy of this sheet when you were hired on as a manager. If you can't find anyone else to schedule, you'll have to cover it." My manager complained that she already had plans those nights because of some big festival in town. Store manager told her that my plans were due to a previous part time job I had as a caretaker for a vulnerable adult and a college class, that they were standing obligations, and the shifts would be covered by My Manager or someone else, or My Manager wouldn't have a job much longer.

My manager didn't last long in that position. (And this is just part of the continuing saga of Cwm can't get into a department with a stable manager. From 2007 to present I've had three jobs (not counting the PT job) and nearly 15 managers. Not counting the time I went without managers in various departments.)

I'm glad the store manager was sympathetic and supported you. It really bothers me when managers use their positions to manipulate their staff. Managers aren't better or more entitled than their staff. They're supposed to be leaders of the staff.

In my situation, I actually walked out of the job that day. I know that solution isn't the wisest move in most situations, but I happened to have some personal flexibility that allowed me to make that choice. The boss had already threatened me, so what could I expect if I didn't show up for that Saturday shift? I figured I'd be fired. It just wasn't worth it to me to fight that fight.

SplishFish

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2013, 03:23:54 PM »
Seriously? Scheduling someone who's no longer working there?
Does Jane have a boss or manager you could go to? I understand occasionally forgetting someone asked for a day off or not giving the correct number of hours per week, but scheduling someone who has left the business?  :o That's beyond the pale and should be addressed by upper management (if any exists).

As for Saturday, if it makes you feel better, why don't you make some "official" plans with BF? Say to him (not Jane!) "We're going to the new movie that's opening this week" and if your plans change at the last minute to vegging on the couch, who's to know?

Dawse

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!! (Update!)
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2013, 01:20:16 PM »
Thanks for all your advice folks, it is much appreciated  :)

Since my original post and now (about a day and a half) I've probably had the same conversation about nine times. It goes something like this:
Jane: Dawse, is there any way you can work on Saturday night? We need another person/I'm worried Louise just won't show up/no one else can come in etc etc.
Me: Jane, no. I already told you I have plans.
Lather, rinse, repeat. The last time she asked in front of one of my coworkers, who said what I was thinking - '[Expletives], Jane, how many times does she have to say no before you [expletive] listen?'  >:D

As I was leaving today, she tried this: 'Are you sure you can't work on Saturday? I mean, we only really need someone to cover the bar for a couple of hours at dinner time while it's busy, we can manage the closing and the rest...' I just looked at her for a few seconds, then said 'Jane, I told you I have plans on Saturday evening and you just asked me to come in at dinner time. Sorry, no.'

What I did find out today is that Louise's notice period is actually up next Tuesday, NOT on Friday as I originally thought - she just wanted Saturday off rather than being entitled to it. Jane hasn't scheduled her for Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, but really that's doing her (Louise) a favour, as Jane would be within her rights to enforce Louise's contract and schedule her until the end of her notice. So really, it's up to Louise to work on Saturday, or find cover herself. (Louise is salaried, as is Jane, but the rest of the employees are hourly paid.) So it's even less my responsibility than usual, so, less than zero.

Jane is already working on Saturday, although she was due to finish at nine rather than close.

Ooooh, and while I was typing this, a coworker just texted me. 'Jane is still going on about Saturday. What does she want us to do, never have a life ever in case we need to be at her beck and call?' Says it all, really.
'I reject your reality and substitute my own!'

Grape

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2013, 01:53:45 PM »
Seriously? Scheduling someone who's no longer working there?
Does Jane have a boss or manager you could go to? I understand occasionally forgetting someone asked for a day off or not giving the correct number of hours per week, but scheduling someone who has left the business?  :o That's beyond the pale and should be addressed by upper management (if any exists).

I've had that happen - by the owner. His horrible scheduling was why I quit that job. He would schedule me for graveyard shift on weekends and the 6 am shift during the week. My last day there, he told me he wanted me to come in the next day. I said "This is my last day, so no, I won't be there." He was pretty uphappy about it, and I'm hoping didn't take it out on one of my former coworkers!

cwm

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2013, 02:45:16 PM »
YAY Dawse for standing strong! It feels great, doesn't it?

DollyPond

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2013, 04:41:49 PM »
Here's a general discussion question:

Why are good managers so hard to come by?

At my job the past 3 managers were complete disasters - whatever they could do wrong, whatever rules they could violate, however incompetent they could be - they were.  Our current manager is passable but not someone you would want to sing their praises.

Is it because people think "Oh, anyone can be a manager - it doesn't take any special skills"?

What say you?

Firecat

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2013, 04:46:12 PM »
Here's a general discussion question:

Why are good managers so hard to come by?

At my job the past 3 managers were complete disasters - whatever they could do wrong, whatever rules they could violate, however incompetent they could be - they were.  Our current manager is passable but not someone you would want to sing their praises.

Is it because people think "Oh, anyone can be a manager - it doesn't take any special skills"?

What say you?

I think it's partly because people often get promoted on their ability to perform the tasks of a worker - like a very good salesperson or engineer being promoted to supervise other salespeople or engineers. But being a good engineer and a good manager are two different skill sets, and people don't really, for the most part, get trained on how to manage people.

Then, too, sometimes the person who gets the promotion is the one who was able to manipulate their way into it...

siamesecat2965

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2013, 06:13:13 PM »
Here's a general discussion question:

Why are good managers so hard to come by?

 

Is it because people think "Oh, anyone can be a manager - it doesn't take any special skills"?

What say you?

I think it's partly because people often get promoted on their ability to perform the tasks of a worker - like a very good salesperson or engineer being promoted to supervise other salespeople or engineers. But being a good engineer and a good manager are two different skill sets, and people don't really, for the most part, get trained on how to manage people.
 

I agree; just because someone is good at one thing, doesn't mean they have the skills to manage. we had that in my PT job. our manager was injured on the job and out for a number of months. In the interim, they posted her job, and two of the asst. managers in my store applied. Neither one had all the skills needed to run the store; one can sell anything to anyone, but her people management skills are lacking. Not that she's mean, but she just can't see beyond the selling to all the other details.

the other, thought she should have it since she had over 30 years experience in retail. but she has no time management skills, started projects at the last minute, etc. She eventually was let go.

thankfully, our manager came back. 

Raintree

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2013, 03:53:35 AM »
Quote
As I was leaving today, she tried this: 'Are you sure you can't work on Saturday?

Gotta love this. "I've said no 15 times already, but come to think of it, I am not so sure at all that I can't work."

Good for you for standing your ground, but I'm angry on your behalf that she would harass you like that. I wonder what would happen if you had said, "No, I've already told you, it won't be possible that evening. Please don't ask me again."

Reminds me of when I was a student and juggling a part time retail job. It was end of term, and I had a study day; I was not scheduled to work, and that was the day I planned to write an entire term paper from start to finish.  It was due the following day. I forgot what the actual depth of it was; I just knew I needed the WHOLE day, uninterrupted, and even then it was going to be a killer late night. The paper should have been started much earlier, but I had been PILED down with other work and couldn't get to it - hence that WHOLE day set aside after some other exams. (Oh and work knew of my limited availability due to school).

Cue the phone, which I really shouldn't have answered:

Boss: "Hi, can you work today?"
Me: "No, I'm sorry, but I am working on a paper and I must get it done today."
Boss: "Well Sam called in sick, and it's SO busy. I know it's short notice but we REALLY need you."
Me: "Sorry, I can't help you. This paper is going to take me the whole day. As it is, it's going to take me late into the night."
Boss: "Well if you could just come in for half a shift, 4 hours, that would be better than nothing. We really really need you."
Me: "Working even a 4 hour shift would make it impossible for me to complete this paper. I really cannot work today. Why don't you try Susan?"
Boss: "Susan can't get child care on such short notice. We could let you off by 5 and you'd still have this evening to write your paper."
Me: "No. This isn't just some little homework assignment. The paper needs more than just an evening."
Boss: "Are you suuuuuuure? We're so short staffed."

Sorry but that child care thing really burned my butt. All a person with kids had to say was "I can't get child care" and they were left alone (and rightly so). MY reasons were always picked apart, and assumed to be unimportant.  Anyway, I did stay home to do the paper, and even having the whole day, I was still up until 4 AM formatting, editing, fixing, etc.

Aquamarine

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2013, 05:06:02 PM »
DO NOT CAVE ON THIS!

All caving in will do is teach this person that they have to nag you ______ long to get what they want.  Don't even think of going there, it will set a very unpleasant (for you) precedent with your boss.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

LadyClaire

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2013, 08:42:44 PM »
My boss/office does this to me all the time and it's a slippery slope. It started by asking me to cover an hour on my day off, then when it developed into 2 hours and then boss decided she wasn't going to come in at all and asked me to do some complicated procedures I wasn't comfortable with so she could go to a sports game. We communicate by text so I sent her one back saying, "I need to leave. I took care of everything scheduled except ____ and ____. I am not able to do [complicated task scheduled by her but not written down]." I told the receptionist I had to leave and to contact our boss if anything came up. Even worse, I wasn't going to be paid for doing any of the extras I gave up my day for.

I used to feel bad about saying no, but some people will just take advantage of any perceived good nature. I've also come to realize that reaping the bigger rewards of being an upper staff member or business owner means you may have to put in some extra work and expecting the same devotion from your employees is incredibly unrealistic.

Yep.

My husband has always been the go-to guy when they're short staffed at work, need someone to stay late, need someone to swap shifts and so on. I'd tell him to stop doing it, and he'd insist that he'd be able to call in favors (like when he needed a shift swap or something) in return one day. Except those favors never really happened, and he was getting more and more frustrated because he'd come in to work expecting to be 9-5, only to have them say oh, whoops, we messed up on the schedule, can you stay until 9:00 p.m. tonight?

I told him it was partially his own fault, because he established himself as being the one they could call, who would never turn them down or complain about covering. He is getting better about saying "no" these days.

Library Dragon

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Re: Boss attempts a guilt trip... help!!
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2013, 10:01:08 PM »
Here's a general discussion question:

Why are good managers so hard to come by?

At my job the past 3 managers were complete disasters - whatever they could do wrong, whatever rules they could violate, however incompetent they could be - they were.  Our current manager is passable but not someone you would want to sing their praises.

Is it because people think "Oh, anyone can be a manager - it doesn't take any special skills"?

What say you?

From personal experience often managers are too threatened or controlling to truly mentor people and give them appropriate levels of authority to allow them to grow into managerial positions. 

Our previous director was like that.  I was the assistant director, but I was constantly told that I wasn't ready to be truly mentored.  Whenever I had a big success she found a way to keep me from celebrating it by finding fault with everything else I did.  I won't say I forced her retirement, but when I decided to leave for another system at lower pay rather than constantly be abused it caused her to declare her plans.  ("Oh, Library Board, I plan to retire in 3 months.") 

I was offered the position and able to take a "sabbatical" to the other system (which saved my sanity).  When I came back I discovered that I had in fact been doing all the administrative work (except one item) for her.  So, I had been doing my job and her job (no wonder I was worn out).

Fortunately, I've had some good managers that I could use as examples.  The biggest challenge over the past few years is to convince people that they have authority/responsibility in some areas and that I want them to use their good judgement without running to me for permission.  Some couldn't handle it and retired.  Others are blossoming and it's good to see. 

If I get hit by a bus tomorrow I want the library to function well.  That's a better legacy than everyone running saying, "We don't know how to do anything."

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