Author Topic: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake UPDATE #8  (Read 5237 times)

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missmolly

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BG: I work at a small cinema that runs all week during school holidays and weekends-only the rest of the time. We're just coming to the end of our busy summer holiday period. Because of the nature of the hours, nobody has a set day or time for shifts, we submit our availability in advance and then the rosters are put up about a fortnight or a week before. We don't have to negotiate time off with our supervisor, only mark it off on our availability sheet or give them at least two weeks notice. We can also swap shifts if we have something sudden come up. We can't work too many hours in a given week, forty two hours seems to be the absolute maximum.

We were asked to submit a timesheet before the holidays, and then a new one to cover the weeks ahead just recently. On both timesheets we had to fill in next week from 27/1 - 02/02. I have a week long computer course booked for that week, so on both timesheets I marked myself as unavailable. You can guess what happened next. End BG

On the latest roster I have been scheduled for five shifts that week. When I saw it, I freaked out and immediately texted my manager, alerting him to the fact that I had taken this time off. He texted me back saying that he was sorry, he had gone by the old availability sheet, (the one that I had also marked myself as unavailable on (?)) and that when he was back in the office, he would assist me in finding people to cover the shifts.

So far I've rung around and got 3 of the 5 shifts covered, but there are two that I haven't had any luck with. Either people are unable to cover that shift, or they have too many hours already. I'll be seeing the manager in person over the next two days, so what's the best way to tell him I'm sorry but I can't find anyone else to do these shifts and I certainly can't work them myself.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:32:44 AM by missmolly »
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

dawbs

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 05:00:40 PM »
I'd simply say "I've asked Tom, wingadingdingy and Harry to cover the Friday and Saturday shifts, but they weren't able to.  I'm unavailable, so I hope you are able to get Betty Lou or Frieda to cover them"
And leave it at that.

ddawn23

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 05:04:30 PM »
I'd simply say "I've asked Tom, Dick, and Harry to cover the Friday and Saturday shifts, but they weren't able to.  I'm unavailable, so I hope you are able to get Betty Lou or Frieda to cover them"
And leave it at that.
Pod.  You gave adequate notice that you were not available, and your boss ignored it.  In my eyes the fact that you've been finding people to cover the shifts is you doing your boss a favor.

siamesecat2965

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 08:51:19 AM »
I would simply reiterate that you marked yourself as unavailable during this time, and that you've tried everyone, and were only able to cover x number of shifts out of y. I'd leave it at that, and let him figure out how he's going to manage things. Don't apologize or JADE. He made the error, you did your best to fix it, but as the manager, its now up to him.

MommySloth

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 11:16:19 PM »
Our scheduling manager has done something similar to me a couple times in the past (he's new at it) and I just told him that I'd requested that day off (which he can verify since we have to write the request in a calendar) and he had to deal with it.

dawbs

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 11:50:17 PM »
If you tell him verbally, put it in writing too--and save a copy.

"Per the request I gave you on X date, I'm unavilable to work on Y dates; I have called wingadingdingy, Jane, and spot to cover my shifts and wingadingdingy can do it Tuesday; you will need to find coverage for Wed and Thursday.

Thank you,
Me.

ClaireC79

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 10:20:13 AM »
Is it part of your contract that if you say you are unavailable you will not be rostered to work, or is it that they will try to honour them but the needs of the business come first - the second is the way it is with us (although we all get 99.9% of our requests) unless you take your leave

Mikayla

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 12:47:58 PM »
Is it part of your contract that if you say you are unavailable you will not be rostered to work, or is it that they will try to honour them but the needs of the business come first - the second is the way it is with us (although we all get 99.9% of our requests) unless you take your leave

This is what I was wondering.  I like what PPs have suggested if the only requirement is to give 2 weeks notice, but the OP's wording was that the manager said "he would assist me in finding people to cover the shifts." 

missmolly

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 02:32:09 AM »
Is it part of your contract that if you say you are unavailable you will not be rostered to work, or is it that they will try to honour them but the needs of the business come first - the second is the way it is with us (although we all get 99.9% of our requests) unless you take your leave

This is what I was wondering.  I like what PPs have suggested if the only requirement is to give 2 weeks notice, but the OP's wording was that the manager said "he would assist me in finding people to cover the shifts."

As part of our contract, we are not obligated to work particular dates or shifts; if we mark ourselves as unavailable that day, then the manger cannot roster us on or ask us to cover that shift, even if there is a possibility of understaffing. So I was kinda annoyed when he said he would 'help me' given that it his mistake, so it should've been his problem to fix.

Anyhow, UPDATE: I saw the manager and told him that I still couldn't find anyone to cover that shift. He told me he would cover it. So that was fine...however, I have a second job this year that requires me to work weekdays, so naturally I marked all weekdays off. The latest roster has me down for a cleaning shift next Wednesday. (Sigh) so I'm once again going to have to march up to my manager for another chat...

ETA: Since I won't be in the office for quite some time, the best way to contact Manager is by text. This is what I'm thinking of sending:
Hi Manager, I just got the latest roster and I've been rostered on to work on Wednesday. Unfortunately, as I noted in my availability form I am unavailable for most weekdays in February including that date. If you like I can bring in a hard copy of my availability form on my next shift if my original form wasn't emailed correctly
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 02:47:07 AM by missmolly »
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

ddawn23

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake UPDATE #8
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2014, 11:30:12 AM »
I think that text is great.

DaDancingPsych

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake UPDATE #8
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 11:31:11 AM »
I think that text is great.

Agreed. I like that you are NOT offering to fix the mistake.

Knitterly

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2014, 11:47:24 AM »
Is it part of your contract that if you say you are unavailable you will not be rostered to work, or is it that they will try to honour them but the needs of the business come first - the second is the way it is with us (although we all get 99.9% of our requests) unless you take your leave

This is what I was wondering.  I like what PPs have suggested if the only requirement is to give 2 weeks notice, but the OP's wording was that the manager said "he would assist me in finding people to cover the shifts."

As part of our contract, we are not obligated to work particular dates or shifts; if we mark ourselves as unavailable that day, then the manger cannot roster us on or ask us to cover that shift, even if there is a possibility of understaffing. So I was kinda annoyed when he said he would 'help me' given that it his mistake, so it should've been his problem to fix.

Anyhow, UPDATE: I saw the manager and told him that I still couldn't find anyone to cover that shift. He told me he would cover it. So that was fine...however, I have a second job this year that requires me to work weekdays, so naturally I marked all weekdays off. The latest roster has me down for a cleaning shift next Wednesday. (Sigh) so I'm once again going to have to march up to my manager for another chat...

ETA: Since I won't be in the office for quite some time, the best way to contact Manager is by text. This is what I'm thinking of sending:
Hi Manager, I just got the latest roster and I've been rostered on to work on Wednesday. Unfortunately, as I noted in my availability form I am unavailable for most weekdays in February including that date. If you like I can bring in a hard copy of my availability form on my next shift if my original form wasn't emailed correctly

That sounds perfect!

GreenBird

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Re: How to politely tell manager I can't cover his mistake
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2014, 01:15:39 PM »
Quoting missmolly -- "ETA: Since I won't be in the office for quite some time, the best way to contact Manager is by text. This is what I'm thinking of sending:
Hi Manager, I just got the latest roster and I've been rostered on to work on Wednesday. Unfortunately, as I noted in my availability form I am unavailable for most weekdays in February including that date. If you like I can bring in a hard copy of my availability form on my next shift if my original form wasn't emailed correctly"


I'd say "I can bring in a hard copy of my availability form on my next shift if that would be helpful" instead of "if my original form wasn't emailed correctly".  I wouldn't want to open the door to the idea that notice of your schedule wasn't given correctly.  And maybe I'd just go ahead and email him your availability form again 'for his convenience'.