Jess Having Bad Time With CoWorkers. Advice?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Jess loves her job. She works as a receptionist at a funeral home. They seem to love her because she never complains and she is incredibly reliable. Plus she does her work before she reads or crochets or plays on her phone. The other young ladies in her position are giving her a bad time.

    She has trusted them to work for her when she needed to switch days. I warned her that they would not follow through. She is really angry. The manager's daughter BEGGED to work for her this date because she totaled her car. Then she realized it was Halloween (what did she think Oct 31 was??) and late last night sent a text cancelling.

    The office manager told my daughter that she needs to figure out what the schedule will be in the future before she makes her appointments. They make the schedule for a month at a time. Often J's appointments are scheduled 2 or 3 months in advance. Even giving reminders every 2 weeks isn't enough to get the day off for an appointment if the daughter wants the day off. Those months they don't give the schedule until a week or so late so that we don't know in time to kick up a fuss.

    Jess did send an email saying she won't be able to cover for anyone for the next month, and she won't switch days with anyone. She loves the job but may have to quit if this doesn't get fixed. I wonder what they would do then? She is always the one who is asked to go through the files to fix the daughter's incompetence (two of the other staff people including the owner told me this) and she is the only one on the front desk who can spell. They type up funeral books for people they are burying. I bet that looks great.

    I really hope they know how close she is to quitting over this. She says she isn't telepathic and doesn't want to know what is in her office manager's mind in order to figure out the schedule. She is the reliable one so she is the one they dump on. I wondered what work advice you all would have for her.?
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Aww this Ps me off. I have not answers for you I just want you to know, I am listening. I get so annoyed with work place crap line this.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Document document document everything. Jess needs to communicate when her appointments are in writing, and reiterate that she will not be able to work during that time. Get whatever documentation from the doctor, not ffor the office, but for the folder she needs to start keeping. If she is asked verbally to fix mistakes by the manager, she needs to email something like, "Per your instructions, I have corrected the following errors..." Print a copy for the folder. Folder stays in a safe place at home.

    It might seem like just an annoyance, but annoyances can blow up so quickly. My documenting saved my happy butt when a national retail chain I had been a manager for was trying to make me quit. I went out on job related stress, and they not only had to pay my salary, they had to pay for all the psychiatrists and psychologists and doctors they sent me to.

    I was in retail management for ten years. During that time, I saw so many people throw so many others under the proverbial bus to save their own sorry hides. Jess needs to protect herself just in case. You never know.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Re-read your post, and regarding the appointments? CC to the owner when she lets the manager know. Then if the daughter wants the time, Jess is completely within her right to say, "I'm sorry, but you were informed that I needed this date off three months ago. I cannot reschedule my appointment at this late date."
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Tell Jess she is not being mean about this. She must must MUST protect herself here. Psychic ability isn't in her job description, so as long as she is firm and polite and puts everything in writing, she shouldn't have to quit.


    There will be a nice selection of evidence in the case that the office manager tries to make Jess look incompetent and let her go. She can prove the opposite.

    Sorry for the flood! I've been here before. If Jess wants to know anything else, I'll do my best to help her out.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    THANK YOU!!!!

    Of course I am her mother, so advice from me is not worth a plugged nickel! Coming from you, it will mean a lot!

    Printing out the emails is a good idea. She tried just emailing her the office manager, but that didn't seem to do anything. Well, it ensured she was scheduled to work every single day she had an appointment.

    Normally I wouldn't get so upset, but the holidays are coming up. She is the employee with the most seniority in her position (night host meaning working the front desk receptionist at night and on the weekend on the funeral home). Somehow the other 2 girls get priority when they ask for days off. With holidays they get priority because they have kids. Gee, they popped out kids without making sure they had fathers to help with them, or even making sure they were able to provide homes for them. My daughter is responsible enough to prevent that, so she has to work all of the holidays and other scut times? How is that fair? Jess has had to work every single holiday so far.

    My stepmother in law has had her cancer come back. This is likely to be our last Christmas with her. I do not want my daughter to have to miss that due to work because she doesn't have kids. It might make me angry enough to refuse to drive her to work over the holidays. She is not able to walk to work on her knee. I don't want to punish Jess, but if it comes down to work or spending the last Christmas with her grandmother on Hubby's side, work can go kiss my tushie.

    I have told Jess that I will NOT drive her to work to cover shifts that she is not scheduled for. If she is trading shifts with someone, they have to work for her BEFORE she works for them, or else I won't drive her to work. I told Hubby he was not to drive her to work except for shifts printed on her schedule either. His eyes got real big when I said that. He knows not to mess with me when I get this angry.

    Part of my anger is because in the last 2 weeks the owner of the funeral home has called Jess and told her that she HAD to cover a shift for one coworker at least 2 times. He did not ask, he told her she HAD to come in to work. I know because he was very loud on the phone and I heard him. She had to cancel a doctor's appointment to do it one day. He told her he didn't care about her appointment, she had to come to work. The office manager's daughter had some issue that Jess had to cover a shift for. This includes one day when she had cramps from her period. Seriously. Jess had problems with her knee so bad that day that she was puking from the pain. She has had 7 days in the last 6 weeks that she worked in spite of throwing up from the pain. She keeps a trash can near her and pukes as she works. She doesn't complain, she just does her job. She takes the trash bag of puke with her when she leaves at night so it doesn't stink up the office.

    She has one doctor who is going to discharge her as a patient if she misses any more appointments. She already owes from missed appointments because she got called in to work as we were leaving for an appointment. She is about ready to tell them that she no longer has a cell phone because she couldn't afford due to having to pay so much for missed doctor appointments. They tell her she MUST come in to work because they told someone it was fine to take the day off. Then when she complains about the $400 fee for missed doctor appointments, she is told she should not have come in to work if she was not scheduled!!! What are you supposed to do when your boss calls you and tells you that you MUST come in RIGHT NOW because he needs you?? She is only 22 and this is her first job. She likes the job but doesn't know what the right thing to due is?

    Thanks for the advice!!! It is her first job and she had no idea how to handle all of this. Hugs!!!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Im confused does she HAVE to switch shifts with people? Is it mandatory?
  8. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    She needs to find a new job, pure and simple. She is only 22 and she wont work here for the rest of her life. If the owner and managers are acting like this then they no longer appreciate her and will ALWAYS favor their own child over her. Once she has another job and is about to put in her two week notice she needs to prepare herself for the onslaught. There will be begging, pleading, and threatening and all manner of stupidity being pulled to try and force or guilt her into staying. DONT LET HER FALL FOR IT! She has given the owner the best of both worlds, a good and reliable employee who can cover for other peoples screw ups, and a potential scape goat for when things go wrong because she wont complain and hasn't documented any of this.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My first hand experience is that unless you are indispensible to a company, and this does not include clerical workers, nobody begs you to to stay. It isnt done. Nobody really cares. Been there many times myself. Move this is not a permanant career, probably underpaid work. I hAve always had jobs that are not very high level and even when I was the highest sales person in the office, nobody begged me to quit when I quit over office favortism. Offices are drama and unfair and we have no unions or laws to protect the workers in this country. Best to hope for a better fit next time. Of course their child will always win out. There are no laws that treatment must be fair.

    Bart is a top sales pro and made a lot of money for a Chicago company, but the boss's twins walked into a job above him and started bossing him around in an unpleasant way. The boss, their daddy, stuck up fof his children 100% of the time so Bart got another job.

    There is nothing in this country, unless you are in a union, that makes an employee receive fair treatment. Unless somebody is harassed, and can prove it (and a personal ledger wont be enough) that you are specifically picked on for a documented disability (different disabilities count as valid in various states), race or religion the employer does not have to treat you fairly and can fire you at will.
    I even cosulted a few employment attorneys who told me as much. It shocked me.

    The mindset is that if your employer doesnt like you, it can fire you for any/no reason and if you dont agree with what happens at a job you can quit. Thats about it.

    It is very frustrating and most on this site do not have average jobs...most are at a grade above clerical work (as I worked most of my life)...maybe you are treated better if you are in a union or a very highly educated professional. But that was never my situation and I never had a voice.

    I hope Jess can find something where she is appreciated and there is no boss's daughter or twin sons working there. Some companies are better than others in fairness.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  10. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I agree with what you said whole heartedly SWOT but its been my experience that there is no such thing as indispensable. And unfortunately this behavior is fairly commonplace throughout the workforce, no matter what level you are at. You just have to find the job that is the best fit for you and that you like well enough to be able to put up with the crap that inevitably arises in all office setting. Best thing I've found is to quickly establish where your line is; I will put up with THIS much and not an ounce more kinda thing. I did that with Corrections and while it did hinder me for a long time in getting promoted it did generally minimize the BS enough to make it tolerable.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Jabs, I agree. Howeer if you are at the bottom of the totem pole, your boundaries are often disregarded. A corrections officer is not indespensible, I am sure, but it is harder to replace on e familiar with your job plus willing to do it than a receptionist or a restaurant host or server, therefore even somebody who does a less skilled job very well is easy to replace. It is really a problem for less skilled employees. If a server in the restaurant I work at quits or is fired, another server can be hired and trained in a few days. No sweat to the company.

    by the way, whats a promotion??? :) i have been at the restaurant fof 1 1/2 years and haven't even gotten a raise. Not even a quarter more. I work there as pre retirement amusement, not for the pay. None of my jobs i ever had, even the advertising/sales jobs, could support a family. Most offered no benefits.

    I am fortunate that I always defined myself as a mother and a kind person....that my jobs never defined my self esteem. If so, I would have felt pretty worthless. There is a definite hierarchy at every workplace. Job title aside, Bosses Kid is always at a higher level than others, even if the kid ily drlivers pizza. Workplaces are not fair and dont have to be. I tried it all...bottom line, there are few regulations about how employers need to treat employees in the U.S. i hear it is much better in other countries.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  12. She should communicate what she needs to happen. Stop answering the phone when they call. Resign if they continue to be poor employers.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yes. That is all you can do. Find another place.
  14. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    And many times my boundaries were disregarded. I kicked up enough of a fuss that they learned it was easier to pay attention to them. I was just fortunate that I never had to threaten to quit over it. Came close once or twice but never had to actually do it. And that's the thing, you HAVE to be willing to do that if it comes right down to it. Otherwise, its no different than a parent threatening consequences for certain actions and then not following through if those actions take place. Unfortunately, a boss who will behave like this is probably someone who was, and or, is a Difficult Child.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Jabs, i did too.

    I got fired.

    I would always stick up for myself. At my job level nobody worried about how I would stand up for me. They just said good bye.

    It is way different at the lower level job chain. I wont keep arguing the point, but it is. I have seen the difference in how low salaried, unskilled workers are treated as opposed to their better paid, better educated counterparts who are harder to replace. That is all I have to say about it...the "dime a dozen" workers are treated as such.
    That is why I wanted my kids to get careers. It matters. A lot. There is no real stability in unskilled office work, restaurant work, grocery store jobs, housekeeping work, fast food etc...and basically the pay sucks
    This is all I have to say. To me, it is obvious.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    To be honest, I don't know if she has to switch shifts. Some of this nonsense came about because the office manager's husband was in hospice and died. He was the stepfather of the manager's daughter,. She used the death to get time off to go party. She was open about this to the other receptionists but not to the owner or her mother (the manager). Some of the switched shifts happened because the owner felt sorry for her and would call to see if Jess would cover her shift. The owner would call and say that Jess would HAVE to cover the shift. If she said she could not, she was told she HAD to. She did not feel able to refuse, but later was told that it was her choice to take the shift. How it is your choice when you are told you have to do it?

    This funeral home hires both directly and through an agency but they seem to have a really hard time finding people. Before my daughter was hired, they had been trying to find a person for the position for three months. They are bending over backward for the manager's daughter. The new girl may not last long. She is a heavy party girl and hates working weekends. Then it will be difficult for weeks/months until they can find someone else.

    Honestly, I think they would bend over backward for Jess if she was less reliable and said no more often. She has not tried it. She has tried to be cooperative and to work hard and do what was asked of her even if it was ridiculous. I think they would tolerate a lot more because a few weeks back Jess lost her voice. The most important part of her job is answering the phone. When I called and told the owner that she had no voice and could not even speak loud enough to call him and see what he wanted to do, he was really worried about her. He said to get well soon and not worry about work that night, that he would figure something out. So I think they would put up with a lot.

    It is a family owned business. I have found that you have to figure out how to work the family. That is what I always had to do when I worked for family owned businesses when I worked for them. I often had to work with the spoiled brats of the family but found a way to work around them. The manager and her husband socialized with the owner. He sees the daughter as a sort of granddaughter. I think Jessica needs to figure out how to either work her way through with logic or cookies, or start looking for a new job. The new job will be a challenge because she is limited with her health issues as to what she can do. But hey, she was looking for a job when she found this one. I also think she can document each time they tell her she MUST come in and then she needs to take that to the agency she works for. Especially if she has to miss a doctor's appointment or something else for them. Her employment agency has rules and will make her employer stick to them. They are not very strict rules, but it is something.
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...Even with a union, it's not a guarantee you'll be treated well. I just stepped into the union steward position where I work... It's going to be ugly when time for negotiations happen.

    I agree that she should not tie herself in knots for them... I did that and, well, it got me nowhere. So if she is fired for being told she MUST come in when she isn't scheduled? That should go to the agency.

    Hugs - for all of you. Working for a living sucks rocks.