Author Topic: From E-Hell Blog: When The Sale Is Vastly More Important Than Death And Marriage  (Read 9739 times)

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Julia S

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A good manager handles the unexpected, that is why they have the title and are earning extra money. If his idea of managing is to make a grieving staff member feel bad, then he shouldn't be a manager.

This x100.

SkyTalon

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From her mentioning being able to work "Black Friday and other Saturdays" and it being "The Biggest Sale of Them All", then it sounds like the requested weekend off is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is a hugely important time in retail. (And when it's a situation where no one can get time off without advance approval because of the Big Sale, then no, you're not likely to be able to just easily pick up another coworker who wants extra hours.  They'd already be scheduled.)

If this is what I think it is. No, it is NOT the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It is a random Saturday in November/October. What's wonderful is that corporate doesn't announce when this sale is until they're good and ready, so people have lost vacations over it simply because when they scheduled their vacation, they had no way to know WHEN the sale would be. Even if you have a two week, prepaid vacation that falls onto that Saturday, it's a Cancel Or Be Fired situation.
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Alida

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Retail, from what I remember, is scheduled on a week to week basis.  The wedding was planned far in advance, it was not as if anyone had to cover on a last minute basis for this, so there were really only two weekends where co-workers might have been called upon to cover any shifts.


KenveeB

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I really don't understand people thinking the boss was OK in his response.

If I had lost a loved ones I would expect a little bit of compassion and understanding from my boss, not made to feel like an inconvenience. If that is his management style, then I daresay he will over time get the staff he deserves.

It is not as if the employee was asking for time off for trivial reasons, they were out of her control.

A good manager handles the unexpected, that is why they have the title and are earning extra money. If his idea of managing is to make a grieving staff member feel bad, then he shouldn't be a manager.


She gave him 2 months notice, which is more than the majority of employees would have done.

If his management option is that they are short staffed for the sale then so be it. You just let the appropriate people know to cover yourself and handle the irate customers.



I don't think that anyone has been saying he was okay in his response, just that a certain degree of frustration was understandable and the OP did contribute to the situation.  Could (and should) he have put things differently?  Absolutely!  Does he deserve to be tossed into the depths of E-hell for it?  Not in my opinion.  His response deserved more of a raised eyebrow than a "jaw dropping at the speed of sound." 

He gets paid to deal with unexpected occurrences, yes.  OP got paid to work her scheduled shifts.  When she couldn't do that, she owed her boss an explanation and trying to help solve the problem, not a flat demand.  He owed her more compassion in responding to the request.  Why does one person have to be completely right?

Twik

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I think the Boss's rudeness lies in the suggestion that she "pick one or the other". It's understandable he's frustrated, but it wasn't a polite suggestion.
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xena2560

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I have worked retail twice, and was verbally abused quite frequently by managers.  One of the employees at one location had a brother drop dead from an aneurysm or similar (this was almost five years ago, so the details are fuzzy).  They threatened to fire her over needing the three day weekend to go to her home state and mourn a young man who passed we before his time. 

The next job i had was even worse.  I was getting verbally berated constantly for everything, and they would never tell me when my shift started or ended.  I would only find out the day before. 

I now shop almost exclusively online or in mom and pop stores when i can.

MasterofSquirrels

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He proceeded to pull up my work file and say, “Well, you took off last Saturday and you want off the next two Saturdays.  How is that fair to anyone else that you work with?”  I pointed out that my great-grandmother had died, and that I was asking off for her funeral the one Saturday and my wedding the following Saturday.  He said, “Well, you can’t have both.  You need to decide which is more important.”  I told him that there was no way for me to choose between my great-grandmother and my wedding, and it was bad enough that I had to bury someone I loved so much so close to the wedding, and either he could approve both days off and keep an otherwise exemplary employee through the coming holiday season, including Black Friday and Saturdays, or he could sign my termination papers right then and there because there was no way I was going to miss the funeral or my wedding for a stupid sale.

    Finally he realized what he was asking me to do, and signed the paper allowing me to have the day off for the funeral.  I continued to work through my planned departure date, but it was never really the same after that.  I was very happy to leave.   1128-08

i take issue with the store manager and what he said to the LW.. the first manager, she has to give the employees a hard time.. it's what they do. she can't give permission for the LW to be off on a huge sale.. as it's her butt on the line at that point.. the LW did the responsable thing.. went to the store manager.. he then told her to "decide which is more important" no. sorry. he does deserve the deepest depths of Ehell for that.

she said she worked the saturday between her GM's death and the funeral.. so she didn't stick it to the employees, in reality, she only needed 2 saturdays off that were unexpected. her wedding, as another PP mentioned, should not have been an issue.


xena2560

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The HR person in the first place I worked, I believe, has a firm place in hell.  Zero sympathy for people.  She was making folks work jobs they were not contracted or prepared for (moving heavy merchandise, etc), so that she could simply not give our set up folks over time, as well.

In the second place, it was a small boutique chain store (upscale clothes for young women), and they had an attitude that their store should be more important than your life.  They tried scheduling me on days I was moving my apartment in an emergency situation, called me on a day off when I had been apartment hunting, and thus unavailable, to inform me having plans on my days off were unacceptable, and they had these days you would be on call, where they rarely gave you work, but you couldn't do anything with the day either.  NEVER AGAIN.

HonorH

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In the second place, it was a small boutique chain store (upscale clothes for young women), and they had an attitude that their store should be more important than your life.  They tried scheduling me on days I was moving my apartment in an emergency situation, called me on a day off when I had been apartment hunting, and thus unavailable, to inform me having plans on my days off were unacceptable, and they had these days you would be on call, where they rarely gave you work, but you couldn't do anything with the day either.  NEVER AGAIN.

"Really?  I didn't see that in my contract.  Tell me, how much do I get paid for the hours I spend on call?"

Sure, that'd probably result in your getting fired, but why would you want to work there, anyway?
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Seraphia

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In the second place, it was a small boutique chain store (upscale clothes for young women), and they had an attitude that their store should be more important than your life.  They tried scheduling me on days I was moving my apartment in an emergency situation, called me on a day off when I had been apartment hunting, and thus unavailable, to inform me having plans on my days off were unacceptable, and they had these days you would be on call, where they rarely gave you work, but you couldn't do anything with the day either.  NEVER AGAIN.

"Really?  I didn't see that in my contract.  Tell me, how much do I get paid for the hours I spend on call?"

Sure, that'd probably result in your getting fired, but why would you want to work there, anyway?

Sadly, the "On Call, despite the fact that you aren't" attitude is very, very common. It's fostered especially in places where frankly, whether you like the work or not, the job is an economic must. I've gotten calls on my days off that I "HAVE HAVE HAVE" to come in NOW, or else. One time, I had opened the store, finished my shift, and took off for my fiance's house (1 1/2 hour drive). My manager called and demanded that I return to close the store, because my co-worker had forgotten to get a set of keys. She only backed down when I pointed out that while I was close to two hours away, she was only thirty minutes out.

I kept my job, but suddenly found a large chunk of my hours had evaporated for a couple weeks.
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xena2560

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That's the problem.  In the retail industry right now, they know they have you.  Also,in right to work states you have far fewer protections.  because they can fire you at any time for any reason (other than the violation of a protected class), you get stuck.  Also, it was a summer job, and i couldn't make the rent without it.  As it stood, i had to quit early and get help from my parents to make the last month work.

pierrotlunaire0

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I have been on both sides of this question, manager and staff.  What makes a difference to me is the fact that she had already given notice.  It has been my experience that once a person gives notice and you try to pressure them, there is a good chance that they will say, "&^%^%$ this, I'm outta here." 

When I have really had a problem, it is with the person who goes through an extended problem period, like the one a PP mentioned above, where a person is off for 6 weeks, then back for 2 days, and then off again.  What makes it so terrible, I can't hire a replacement because the person isn't gone.  I feel terrible for the person, but it does wear you out. 

In the OP, since the wedding had been previously approved, I don't think that should even have been part of the issue.
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xena2560

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I had one good manager, Pierrot, and I get the staffing frustrations. 

What made a difference to me in how I considered a manager was empathy.  In one case, I was losing my apartment and needed to find another THAT week.  I had planned my meetings with my real estate agent with the one day off I was given.  They then tried to call me and tell me I had to come in, and I got h#** for saying no, when I was literally going to be without an apartment in less than two weeks. 

It seems to me as though in most places, they don't want to keep employees, they wanted to beat employees. Just crazy.  I bet you talked to your staff with empathy, and time off is a legitimate concern for a manager.  Don't take the bad experiences personally!

Mammavan3

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The OP wasn't really asking for time off; she was giving her manager the courtesy of informing him beforehand that she would not work that day.  He was an idiot for not realizing that.  She had already given notice and was going to attend the funeral, no matter what he said.  He didn't have the option of saying no; the only result that would have had would be to see her back as she left for good with no notice, and he could have scrambled to find a fill-in, not for two days, but for all of the sale days, Black Friday and the heavy shopping days leading up to the holiday. 

Perhaps had he been a better manager who treated his employees better, finding a substitute wouldn't have been so difficult.

Aeris

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I really don't understand people thinking the boss was OK in his response.

If I had lost a loved ones I would expect a little bit of compassion and understanding from my boss, not made to feel like an inconvenience. If that is his management style, then I daresay he will over time get the staff he deserves.

It is not as if the employee was asking for time off for trivial reasons, they were out of her control.

A good manager handles the unexpected, that is why they have the title and are earning extra money. If his idea of managing is to make a grieving staff member feel bad, then he shouldn't be a manager.


She gave him 2 months notice, which is more than the majority of employees would have done.

If his management option is that they are short staffed for the sale then so be it. You just let the appropriate people know to cover yourself and handle the irate customers.



I don't think that anyone has been saying he was okay in his response, just that a certain degree of frustration was understandable and the OP did contribute to the situation.  Could (and should) he have put things differently?  Absolutely!  Does he deserve to be tossed into the depths of E-hell for it?  Not in my opinion.  His response deserved more of a raised eyebrow than a "jaw dropping at the speed of sound." 

He gets paid to deal with unexpected occurrences, yes.  OP got paid to work her scheduled shifts.  When she couldn't do that, she owed her boss an explanation and trying to help solve the problem, not a flat demand.  He owed her more compassion in responding to the request.  Why does one person have to be completely right?

Okay, first, how did the OP contribute to the situation? By causing her grandmother to die? Or do you mean by getting married and having the time off for her wedding approved far far in advance (likely many months in advance)?

Second, you say she 'owed her boss an explanation'. What could possibly be more clear than "My grandmother died and the funeral is on Saturday the 32 of Octember"? He already had an explanation.

And I fail to see how saying "You have to choose whether attending your grandmother's funeral or your own wedding is more important to you, because you're not getting both weekends off" is something that *doesn't* land you in the depths of ehell.

It's not that I think one person has to be completely right, but the boss was heinous here, not to menion foolish.