June 22, 2009

Working on the 4th

Husband and I have had a a 6 year tradition of going camping with both of our families for the fourth of July. We get the same spot, and have a total blast every year. This year will be the 7th time, and we began preparation in January. So when I first started at the Steakhouse, at the beginning of the year, I made sure to let them know that I needed that time off. I remember I was in my first few weeks, standing in the managers cubical. She flipped open her calendar shift book, and penciled me in. She then mentioned something along the lines of "Looks like your the first to ask for that weekend off."
I smiled with excitement.

Friday night as I was handing in my checkout, I decided that since the fourth was just a few weeks away I should check to make sure everything was still good to go.

GH: "Hey spineless manager, I just wanted to verify that I can still get the weekend of the fourth off"

Spineless manager:
(The same one that took my original request, by the way) "Ohhhh. Looks like your the fifth in line. The others must have asked for the time off before you did, sorry"
*Points down at 5 names on the book and mine at the bottom.

Now, maybe at Hooters this wouldn't be a problem because they have 30 waitresses. But my pathetic little steakhouse only has 9.

GH: "I hate to sound like a bitch, but I put in my request in January before anyone else."

Spineless Manager: "Sorry, but I have to go by the book."

I don't know what to do here. Anyone have any advice?


Anonymous said...

Did you put in your January request with the same spineless manager? Or a different one that maybe still works there? I would stand up for yourself because you put it in way in advance like any good employee is supposed to, and it's not your fault your manager is some limp-dick who doesn't keep track of stuff like that.

VelisEtRemis said...

You might want to remind your spineless manager of two things:

1. You put in your request shortly after you were hired in January, and that makes you first; and

2. Your spineless manager "owes you":


brit said...

I would definitely ask to sit down with the spineless manager and explain the situation to him again. Do you fill out paperwork for it? And if you do, is there a date on the paperwork that proves when it was filled out? Definitely check that out. I asked for time off as well, and apparently I'm the 9th out of about 50-60 waitresses and even then my manager gave me "the look." What is wrong with asking for time off? Gosh

SkippyMom said...

Spineless manager doesn't remember this? Do you remember whether or not s/he filled out the book in front of you?

Any documentation is going to go a long way [which I know you know] but I would go to the first person on the list and talk with them. Perhaps someone heard you had it off and can back you up?

Bella said...

just take "the spineless manager" out back and give them a chiropractic adjustment!

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

Sounds like your manager has selective memory. I would see if there is someone who would take your shift for you and if not, I would go back and tell the manager that you did ask for that time off, obviously it has been erased from the books and you have made plans to be out of town that weekend and cannot cancel your plans because you were assured you could have the time off you has asked for.

I would be interested in seeing her book to see if there are any erasure marks where your name was once there.

G.H. said...

For everyone that asked, the manager I asked back in January is the same manager that told me I was shit out of luck. Your right she probably erased my name. As I've mentioned a million times most of the people I work with are family, and I'm still the newest employee, my guess is that she moved some things around to hook up her brother, brothers wife, friend, ect.
Your absolutely right its bull, but I'm worried there is nothing I can do. I talked to her the other night, and I'm prepared to talk to her again, but if she says I have to work, it may be a lost cause.

Husband says I should quit if they don't give me the time off.

VelisEtRemis- Your so right!! I should remind her how badly she screwed me a few weeks ago!!

Mad Jack said...

You know you requested the time off, SM knows you requested the time off. SM decided that priorities should be moved around.

I would name the restaurant and the manager on your blog. I would then either tender my resignation on July 3 or July 4. Or call in sick, if you want to do that. Remember that you might be a member of a protected group.

Good, reliable wait staff is hard to find. Restaurant managers are a dime a dozen, especially bad ones.

Shoot, what you might do is find another job and set your start date after your July 4 vacation.

Anonymous said...

If you have or know someone with a digital camera or a really good-quality camera phone, I recommend taking a picture of the ledger with your name in it next time, as soon as it's written down. Then you have proof that you were first next time! Actually, that's a good thing to do for anything you want to document for later--get it in writing, then snap a picture of it. Try to have the date taken display on the picture. And leave it in the camera, or move it back onto the camera's memory card when it's needed, since spineless managers will be less likely to say "Oh, you just used Photoshop for that" if the picture's still on the camera.

And yeah, totally remind spineless manager that you are OWED!

Anonymous said...

It is a big problem. How is the job situation where you are? Probably looking around isn't a bad idea. Tell her you will work every day till then but you need that weekend off big time like you were first promised. Let us know how it works. Good wishes on that one.

Anonymous said...

Situations like this are always tricky, particularly when you're the "outsider" working in a predominantly family-run business. Unpleasant and unfair though it might be for your plans to messed up for the 4th, I would recommend that you work the shift cheerfully and, in the interim, start quietly looking for a job elsewhere. By not making a scene about the vacation time, you'll be more likely to obtain a better recommendation from him for being a "team player" when you find a job that treats you fairly.

Managers like this can be extremely petty individuals, and you would hate to be bad-mouthed by him to a prospective employer. Plus, by not quitting the job or issuing an ultimatum to your boss of "give me time off or I'm quitting," it will signal to a prospective employer that you are more dependable.

Good luck!

brit said...

Definitely quit. If they can erase your name out of books made for the purpose of proving that you asked for time off in advance, who knows what else they could erase! Hours from your paycheck even. I'd definitely look for another job :o/ good luck!

SkippyMom said...

Mad Jack I don't think [in this case] restaurant managers are a "dime a dozen" when the manager in question is family of the owners and workers.

I wouldn't quit. What she did is wrong and since you can't prove it - well - how easy is it to find a job now where you live?

We live in an area that is [basically] financially insular due to the gov't - but waitress jobs/minimum/non skilled jobs are hard to come by since a lot of other areas have been hit [construction/luxury services]

I just love the dog in your 4th pic' tho.

n c said...

Any new staff around your restaurant? As a new server in mine, I'm desperate to pick up shifts/don't care about working on holidays/want the more experienced servers to be nice to me if I ever need to trade shifts. That would be your best bet at getting off.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you work hard and for what? For a damned vacation that has more meaning than any paycheck or shift of tips that you'll ever make. When your dead and gone and at St Peter's gates, are you gonna say, "Gee, I should have worked more shifts and vacationed less! Hell no...take your vacation, what ever it takes. This life is short, grab up as much joy from it as you can. You'll be glad you did, I promise!