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Job question - for me (and a small vent)


dirty ethel rackham
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I have a question about job interviewing and short duration jobs.  I am currently employed part-time at a tea shop.  But, my hours have been cut drastically and I have been removed from the schedule several times without warning.  My availability hasn't changed from when I was hired (and I was clear about when I could work and she hired me knowing what my needs were.)  I am the ONLY one who has had these drastic cuts.  My sales metrics look good, like I am usually in the top half of the store staff.  So, this seems personal.  This morning, my manager asked my availability for a certain period, I told her that I was wide open for that period.  I found out that I was only scheduled for one shift during that 10 day period.  That means only 2 shifts during the busiest season of the year when one of my fellow employees left for 3 weeks in Europe for school.  Yep.  The handwriting is on the wall.  ( I don't understand it.  She is always nice to my face.  She has never had to reprimand me and I am a conscientious employee.) 

 

The bottom line is I need to look for another job.  The hard part is finding one that works for my availability ... I am taking a class next semester and I am still driving dd to her training (and I value that time with her - she will be gone next year.)  But, I still have LOTS of time on my hands.  So, if I do find a job that works for my schedule, how do I explain leaving this other job so soon?  I doubt I can count on a reference from my manager.  If she liked me as an employee, she would have me on the schedule.  Any tips?  

 

I need a part-time job ... partly to pay tuition for school for me and not upset the family budget and partly to get me out of the house during the week.  I am seriously struggling with dd leaving for college and me not having a purpose. I am really broken up about this job not working out.  

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It seems like you like this job. You might try asking your manager about the hours directly. 

 

"I noticed that I've been getting fewer hours lately. I'd really love to be able to work about X hours per week. Is there something wrong with my job performance?" 

 

Something that allows you to open the conversation with her and perhaps find out what's going on (whether it's a simple communication error of some kind, or whether there's some way in which the situation just isn't a good fit.) Try to keep it about meeting needs/not meeting needs of the store rather than personality related (where it's so easy to feel defensive!). It sounds like it would be nice if it could work out--seems worth a conversation at least. If you're concerned that she won't be a good reference, a conversation really can't make that worse--but might be able to help.

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I do like my job.  But now, I'm liking it less and less as I am always worried that I have done something wrong.  Yes, I've made mistakes, because I haven't worked there that long and I'm still learning.  But other people have made mistakes, as well.   

 

I've tried to bring up the schedule issue with my manager, but she just brushes me off and says that it has to do with one person being back from caring for her mom and her schedule fits her needs better, but that doesn't explain all the hours cut.  I'm never scheduled on the same day as my manager.  And when I've tried to schedule a meeting to discuss any performance issues,  she tells me she can't... too busy.  It's the holiday season.  Blah Blah blah. I offered to switch one of my long standing appointments to another day to cover a day that she had a need and she told me not to.  I mentioned that I needed to register for classes next term and are there days that she would rather I keep open and she told me to register for what I needed to do.  There are 4 other staff members out of the 8 that work there who are taking college classes - 3 are full-time college students at the college that is walking distance away.  

 

I was scheduled to work every Sunday until the end of the year ... no other hours.  Well, on Saturday, I was in Urgent Care with a horrible cough and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis and I sent her an email giving her a heads up that I wouldn't be in and asking if I should look for a sub.  I worded it that it was a heads up, not m official "calling in sick."  I called the store but they were really busy.  So, I called in on Sunday (several hours before my shift started), letting the assistant manager know that I was sick and wouldn't be in and asked her if she needed me to find a sub.  I know that email is not the proper way to call in sick.  We have to call and talk to someone at the store.  I followed proper procedure.  She replied to my email on Monday telling me that I couldn't come back to work until I had a doctors note.  I sent her one stating that I was cleared to return to work on Thursday, after the course of antibiotics was done.  She didn't respond to my email (sent others out so I know she was checking) and she took me off the next 3 Sundays.  I know she had to have seen it since she was sending out emails about everyone getting their schedules in for the new year.  

 

There is no lateral transfer.  It is a small company.  Headquarters are 5 states away.  Only 2 other stores are over an hour drive away (and that is no traffic.)  

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When I took the job, the manager said that they didn't run like other retail shops.  She preferred to have the schedule done a month in advance.  We use the app When I Work to show when we are available to work on a regular basis.  And for days off that are outside of the regular availability, we can request those off several weeks in advance.  It is a neat system.  As far as hours getting cut, they are staffing up for the holidays.  On days when they usually had two people, there are three.  On weekends, when there were usually only 3 people, there are 4 and 5 at times.  Just not me.  

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Since she took you off the schedule for the next three weeks, I think that relieves you of any obligation to Feel Bad about finding a new job. Apply to places that you want to work and when you find the right place that fits your schedule, turn in your two weeks notice and walk away. No hard feelings on anyone’s part, I think. You want hours and they aren’t giving them to you is a perfectly fine reason to move on to another job.

 

No drama. No fuss. Two weeks notice (no big deal since you aren’t scheduled anyways) and enjoy the new job!

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