Author Topic: From E-Hell Blog: When The Sale Is Vastly More Important Than Death And Marriage  (Read 9749 times)

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Aeris

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She works in retail and wants three weekends off right before Christmas?  And right before she's quitting at that?  I understand that she had some hard circumstances, but she was probably forcing a lot of her coworkers into making some hard choices of their own to cover for all of her time off.  Bosses have to juggle all of their workers' needs, and if I was the boss, I would probably be more focused on helping the employees who were staying with me rather than the one who'd already given notice she was leaving.  I probably would've agreed in the end as this boss did, but I would expect my employee to at least understand that she was placing the rest of us in hard positions too.

I think you're assuming that she needed the job more than the job needed her during that holiday rush, which does not appear to be the case. Since she's already given notice, she has one foot out the door, and if the manager doesn't want to find himself scrambling for a last minute holiday rush replacement (that likely has no idea what they are doing), it behooves him to treat the leaving employee as gently as possible. He needs her more than she needs him.

Which is exactly what she called his bluff on and won.

Hushabye

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She works in retail and wants three weekends off right before Christmas?  And right before she's quitting at that?  I understand that she had some hard circumstances, but she was probably forcing a lot of her coworkers into making some hard choices of their own to cover for all of her time off.  Bosses have to juggle all of their workers' needs, and if I was the boss, I would probably be more focused on helping the employees who were staying with me rather than the one who'd already given notice she was leaving.  I probably would've agreed in the end as this boss did, but I would expect my employee to at least understand that she was placing the rest of us in hard positions too.

I think you're assuming that she needed the job more than the job needed her during that holiday rush, which does not appear to be the case. Since she's already given notice, she has one foot out the door, and if the manager doesn't want to find himself scrambling for a last minute holiday rush replacement (that likely has no idea what they are doing), it behooves him to treat the leaving employee as gently as possible. He needs her more than she needs him.

Which is exactly what she called his bluff on and won.

I agree.  She was already being extremely generous to give him two months notice that he needed to find someone to replace her, and then he decided to give her the runaround when her grandmother died?  Nice.

KenveeB

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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.

I was mostly referring to how she came in.  As I've said several times, if she'd come in with "I'm very sorry, I have to have this time for Grandma's funeral, here's how I can help" -- basically offered any kind of solution at all, like finding someone who'd be able to cover for her or offering what shifts she could take in exchange, instead of just saying "I'll be gone, tough" -- then I don't think the manager would've reacted the same.  Everyone's acting like "too bad, choose" was the first thing out of his mouth.  The first thing he said was "this isn't fair to everyone else."  He gave her the chance to offer any kind of suggestions or help, and instead she chose to just throw it all back on him.  His response wasn't good, but it also didn't come out of nowhere.

The OP specifically said that she had always been treated very well there, so I'm not going into it with the assumption that this is just a horrible manager who's going to be mean to be mean.  The OP had the chance to frame the entire scenario, so any assumptions that have to be drawn should be in the favor of the person who didn't get to explain his actions.  I'm curious of how many people had already been complaining to the manager and trying to get out of working that day, with various excuses.  Isn't "my grandma died" so common of a fake excuse to get out that we have jokes about how many grandmas a person claims to have?  Depending on how well the manager knew the OP, he might not've known if this was legitimate or not and used "pick one" to see if she was serious about it.

And just one final note -- while she didn't plan her grandma's death, she did plan her other activities, including the wedding and when she was going to quit.  That she gave so much notice shows that she knew what difficulty the store would have filling in for her at that time of year.  She had to know that it would also be hard to cover for her when emergencies come up.  If someone uses up all their vacation time and then has an emergency, it's not their fault that they had the emergency but it is their fault they didn't allow for emergencies, just like spending your money on luxuries and then not being able to afford the sudden car repair bill.  It stinks for you that you had the emergency, yes, but that doesn't make it everyone else's responsibility to cover you when you didn't plan ahead.

shhh its me

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  I think my issue is not nice does not equal rude.

It wasn't nice to say " you can only have one of these days off , choose one which is more important". You can be blunt and even harsh without being rude. A good boss might have been more delicate.  LW asked for a reasonable exception but it was still an exception saying no to exceptions isn't rude.

LW had every Sunday off , it's possible someone would have traded a Saturday for a Sunday.

VorFemme

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LW might have been unable to work on Saturdays (time with fiance, family, getting ready for wedding in two months, religious affiliation, or a class - we don't KNOW).  Offering to switch shifts might have been possible.........or not. 

I remember in high school, while still living at home I had ONE firm rule from my father (preacher) - I could NOT work Sunday mornings because I would miss church.  When I worked fast food, I ended up working more than a few Sunday night shifts.  My next job in college was a retail store that was closed on Sundays.  This was partly for a larger paycheck, partly to get a more stable schedule, and partly to allow me to KNOW that I would be able to spend Sunday afternoons studying, if I needed the time to catch up.  Or laundry, napping, whatever it was that I needed time to do before class and work schedules started up again on Monday mornings............
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One Goat to Rule Them All

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 If someone uses up all their vacation time and then has an emergency, it's not their fault that they had the emergency but it is their fault they didn't allow for emergencies, just like spending your money on luxuries and then not being able to afford the sudden car repair bill.  It stinks for you that you had the emergency, yes, but that doesn't make it everyone else's responsibility to cover you when you didn't plan ahead.

Whether or not she had vacation time left is irrelevant, they still would have needed someone to cover her shift, and the OP doesn't indicate anywhere that she still expected to get paid.


KenveeB

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 If someone uses up all their vacation time and then has an emergency, it's not their fault that they had the emergency but it is their fault they didn't allow for emergencies, just like spending your money on luxuries and then not being able to afford the sudden car repair bill.  It stinks for you that you had the emergency, yes, but that doesn't make it everyone else's responsibility to cover you when you didn't plan ahead.

Whether or not she had vacation time left is irrelevant, they still would have needed someone to cover her shift, and the OP doesn't indicate anywhere that she still expected to get paid.



And she wasn't paying bills either.  It was an example.  Look, I'm not trying to say that the OP was the bad guy either, just that I could understand why the boss would also be flustered or frustrated and not say things the best way either.  In other threads, people seem to go out of their way to find reasons why a person might not've said things the best way, but this one has been jumping all over the manager when we know nothing but the OP's side of it and there are plenty of rational justifications.

Just because some people on this thread have had bad managers doesn't mean that all managers -- or this manager in particular -- are going to be evil souless people just out to screw someone.  The OP made a point of saying that the company had treated her well in the past.  Honestly, it sounds like the OP had an awful lot of balls in the air and they all started falling at once.  I can feel bad for her while still not thinking it's everyone else's fault for not running forward and catching them.

pierrotlunaire0

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 If someone uses up all their vacation time and then has an emergency, it's not their fault that they had the emergency but it is their fault they didn't allow for emergencies, just like spending your money on luxuries and then not being able to afford the sudden car repair bill.  It stinks for you that you had the emergency, yes, but that doesn't make it everyone else's responsibility to cover you when you didn't plan ahead.

Whether or not she had vacation time left is irrelevant, they still would have needed someone to cover her shift, and the OP doesn't indicate anywhere that she still expected to get paid.



Speaking as a manager, I can say that there should have been a back up emergency plan.  However, the one who needed to have a back up was the manager.  I also have to make sure that I have coverage around holidays, and I have to have a back up plan, even if that plan means I work the counter alongside my clerks.  The OP had given notice, and to any manager worth their salt, you MUST be prepared that the employee will choose to walk ahead of their notice time.  Knowing that she was getting married and knowing that she had already given notice, I would be prepared that she could just not show up, and believe me, it has happened to me.
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siamesecat2965

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 If someone uses up all their vacation time and then has an emergency, it's not their fault that they had the emergency but it is their fault they didn't allow for emergencies, just like spending your money on luxuries and then not being able to afford the sudden car repair bill.  It stinks for you that you had the emergency, yes, but that doesn't make it everyone else's responsibility to cover you when you didn't plan ahead.

Whether or not she had vacation time left is irrelevant, they still would have needed someone to cover her shift, and the OP doesn't indicate anywhere that she still expected to get paid.



Speaking as a manager, I can say that there should have been a back up emergency plan.  However, the one who needed to have a back up was the manager.  I also have to make sure that I have coverage around holidays, and I have to have a back up plan, even if that plan means I work the counter alongside my clerks.  The OP had given notice, and to any manager worth their salt, you MUST be prepared that the employee will choose to walk ahead of their notice time.  Knowing that she was getting married and knowing that she had already given notice, I would be prepared that she could just not show up, and believe me, it has happened to me.

Unfortunately, many places don't think like you do!  I work part-time in retail, and my mom lives 8 hours away.  she is my ONLY immediate family, and is not really able to travel to me for holidays.  So if I don't go to her, we both spend them alone.  That being said, even though technically, no one can take off for extended periods of time during the month of December, I am always given time at Christmas so I can spend it with my mom.  In return, I work other holidays, weekends, and pretty much any other time they need me.  They appreciate this, and we both have worked out a compromise.

The year my dad passed way, at CHristmas, I was gone for 2 weeks, when he got worse, and after.  I kept them updated as to when I was coming back, and I had no issues.  And I am eternally grateful for their understanding during that time.  Which is why I am willing to work whenever they need me, in an emergency
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baglady

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Deaths are unscheduled, and non-negotiable. If an employee needs time off because a loved one has died, s/he should get it. Period. The only thing s/he should be hearing from the boss is, "Oh, I'm so sorry. Take as much time as you need, and let me know when you're able to come back."

Boss and co-workers can whine and moan to their heart's content about the difficulty of covering for the bereaved person ... *to themselves.* Or maybe their spouses. But an employee should *never* be pressured, guilt-tripped, disciplined or (heaven forbid) fired for missing work because of a *death.*

BTDT. My senior year in college, I worked full time and had a full course load. My father died on a Monday. I got the call from my mom that night, called my boss to give her a heads-up, and drove home Tuesday morning. When I got there, my mom and siblings had made the wake and funeral arrangements (without me, but that's a story for another thread), and I was told the funeral would be Friday. I panicked, because my boss had told me I could have the day before, the day of and the day after the funeral off. But in that time, place and religious tradition, there were two days of wake, then the funeral. Day before and day after wasn't going to work.

I called her and told her that, and the first words out of her mouth were: "Well, I hope you realize what this is doing to my schedule." I was too flustered to give the non-Ehell approved response that I wish, 30 years later, I could have given. I simply told her it was out of my hands. I wasn't fired or disciplined, but I lost a lot of respect for her after that.

When she decided to replace me a few months later (and didn't *tell* me; I had to see it on the calendar: "Rick A___ starts today"!), I can't say it ruined my day.

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Mediancat

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When my mom passed on, I was fortunate to have the supervisor I did. She passed on two days before Presidents' day and company polcy allows for three days's off for immediate relatives. She (the supervisor) took it upon herself to tell me not to bother coming in Friday, either; that it was taken care of and I didn't need to worry about it. And it was.

I couldn't work in one of the places that treats your genuine emergency as merely an inconvenience to them. I'd be dead of stress within a year.

Rob
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 02:16:43 PM by Mediancat »
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MissRose

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The letter writer gave them enough notice she was leaving due to life changing events which is both courteous & professional.

Deaths in a family you don't know when they will happen even if someone is very old and/or very ill/injured.

I was glad at my work place, we get 3 days bereavement for deaths in a family, and I was not given a hard time about using them.  I simply came into work the day before many family were due in town, filled out the leave form, emailed my supervisor, and never got harrassed one time by any manager.

Except for the co-worker from hell (now an ex one) who said she was gonna be screwed ::) because I had to have the weekend off for all the funeral things (Mass, burial, wake, visitation, and family gatherings).