Speaking from Experience, Venting, Work

Will management ever learn?



Welcome back blog readers,

In a recent post I mentioned that I was handing in my resignation as my manager was not accommodating my schedule (length of shift/ number of shifts with time off in between) as per my doctor’s note that was requested upon my first shift and the letter I wrote to him last month explaining a second time what I needed.

Having been a former associate of this company two years ago at a different location, I know what the company hopes to achieve. The company would like to have their “Fresh Department” associates cross-trained to work in any position and have open availabilty so they can be scheduled to rotate from opening, midday and closing shifts.

For example, The morning baking shift 5am-1:30pm, stocking shift varies from 7am to 4:30pm, a closing shift can start as early as 1:30pm until the store closes at 10pm.

When I was hired on the job posting was for the baking shift and the closing shift that was advertised as 3:30-10pm. I applied hoping to land the closing shift because I know what my body can handle.

The reality is that most people have other commitments, appointments and prefer a set schedule. Some people, like myself, have limited/restricted movements that prevent them from stocking from the freezer to the sales floor for 8 hours a day, 4 days a week.

At this location we have:

  • One associate that can only work 5am-1:30pm Monday- Friday (she is a single mother with 2 kids)
  • One associate that prefers the morning stocking shift and can work up to 4 days a week
  • One associate that prefers the 3:30pm – 10pm shifts and can only work 3 days a week as long as it’s not the last 3 days followed by the first 3 days making it 6 days in a row.
  •  We have 2 younger high school students that now don’t have open availability, but can work one or two closing shifts during the week (5pm-10pm) and any shift on the weekends.
  • We are still in need of another associate that can also work rotating open to close shifts a few days a week.

I do understand wanting to have all associates to have open availability, but what the company wants versus the availability of those looking for work are two different things. They should stop trying to force their associates to constantly juggle shifts, which tends to be only me at the moment. The company is not permitted to schedule you for a closing shift followed by an opening shift, but it happens. I’ve been a part of the scheduling process at the former location when a new manager took over.  I know that the program alerts you when you’ve done that with a message that says there are not enough hours in between shifts, but it seems the message gets ignored and then forgotten.

Seriously, how hard is it to pull the sheet of paper from the week ending to have with you when you create the next week’s schedule so you know NOT to schedule a “CLOPEN”? As a manager for this company for 7 years, I expect better from him. Of all of the responsibilities of an assistant manager, why is scheduling so complicated?

At least with steady shifts of either 5am-1:30pm, 7am- 3:30pm/8am-4:30pm, 3:30-10pm you can plan your life around that in advance. Granted we do get our schedules 3 weeks in advance, but when your shifts are all over the place it really screws up your sleeping schedule. It’s difficult to go from getting home at 10:20pm, staying up for a few hours before going to bed at 12:30am/1am for two weeks to forcing yourself to go to bed at 7:30pm because you have to wake up at 4am for an opening shift.

I can see that I’ve ranted for far longer than I expected. My point is that I did hand in my resignation, to which my manager didn’t seemed to care nor did he ask to see if there was anything he could do that might change my mind. A few days had passed and I got a text from one of my co-workers asking if it was true and why. She went on to tell me that it’s a shame because I do good work and couldn’t I just ask our manager to give me 3 shifts/week to save them from finding another person. To which I replied that I have brought my concerns to his attention and for 3 months they have gone ignored.

This associate questioned our manager and suggested that he reconsider, give me 3 shorter closing shifts and keep a good employee instead of letting me go and taking his sweet time finding a replacement that will need to be trained. The manager told her that I never came to him with my concerns ( which is complete BS ) and that he would talk with me.

A few days would pass when we were both working before he stepped up and confirmed what the other associate mentioned. He said, ” I heard that if I give you 3 shifts a week that you’d stay, is this true?” I said it’s half true, it’s not just 3 shifts of your choosing, it’s 3 shorter closing shifts with time off in between so that I can properly manage my back to avoid blowing it out. While I can do the opening shift, it’s too long and too many repetitive movements that my doctor’s note clearly states  I can not do, a note you asked for an updated version of upon my first shift (3 months ago).

My manager asked if I would be able to work an occasional 4th day to cover holidays/vacation/someone calling in. On occasion I probably could, I just don’t want to be taken advantage of and I absolutely can’t STOCK. My last day was expected to be September 14th to which I have a stocking shift 8am-4pm, but the morning baker lets me take over and they stock for the rest of their shift. The associates care more about my health than the manager does.

The schedule for the week of the 15th-21st is posted and my manager wanted to know if I wanted that week off. I told him to pencil me in for 3 closing shifts because I know he’s shorthanded now that the kids are back to school. As of right now, he has yet to update the schedule, but I have taken one closing shift from the associate that spoke up on my behalf (she likes the stocking shifts and really didn’t want to close).

Hopefully things will get better, but I’m not holding my breath. Our manager isn’t really running our department, the 3 associates that give a shit are. He never stops by to see what’s going on, to ask how things are going. The only comment I hear is a quick “Hello Hannah” in passing and poof he’s gone. The only time the stocking associate hears from him is when there is an empty space on the shelf and he demands to find something to fill it, nevermind how well the rest of the department looks or offer a “great job” on clearing 2 full skids of product from the freezer by herself.

Enough venting about work on my day off.  I’m going to continue to do the best that I can for as long as my back can handle it. ~ Hannah


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