T Nation

Work Issue


OK here is my issue, I would like some opinions on it. I decided last weekend that I would take this one off and go to the beach for 4 days. Now I work 7 days a week, totalling about 60 hours in the week, and my last full day off was over a month ago. I train people in the morning monday thru friday, and I manage the club on weekends. I told the boss last weekend that I would need Sunday and Monday off, he said Monday is no problem but I had to find someone to cover Sunday. Nobody wants to work Sunday, and now he said since I can't find someone to cover it, I have to work. I have already paid for a hotel room and activities at the beach. What should my recourse be?

My health/dental is private, so the company has no influence. I have my own IRA, so the company has no influence there either. I have two other offers from other companies that are standing offers, I can show up on Tuesday and begin working the following Monday. I do like the job, and the people, but I believe that I am entitled 1 day off if I ask. Any advice/opinions welcome.


You're not their slave. Act like a man.


No, HE(your boss) has to find somebody to cover Sunday. Tough in the service industry though. Good luck, and have fun at the beach. You going to Ocean City?


Normally, one gets approval for time off before one pays for one's vacation.


Seacrets. Yes Ocean City.

I have been told in the past whenever I needed a day off ask and I would recieve. I didn't feel the need to wait and miss out on the good hotel when time had previously been promised.


Common sense.

Plus, a week warning isn't really a lot of time for the boss to get someone to cover. My wife has to request vacation time at least 4 months in advance. You should have gotten someone to cover before you approached your boss.


That's true. Hard to give advice. You know your boss and how he's likely to react. We really don't. Do you have any sick or personal days? If you can take one without getting fired I would. I don't think this is something worth getting fired over though. A week is not that much notice from an employer's perspective.


The boss is responsible for getting someone to cover. If he can't find someone, he should do it himself.

You said you'd been told before to ask and it wouldn't be a problem - hold them to that. If they throw a fit, walk.


That's not necessarily true. I have friends who are managers in service industries. Generally, the schedule is posted at least a month in advance. Employees can switch days if they want to, but it is their responsibility to find someone to cover for the days that they selected to work. This isn't an ethical or moral issue, it's just a matter of convention... and if the convention is that one has to find someone to cover one's own shifts, that's what one ought to do.

If you prefer a job that is more flexible on such matters, and you can find one, you should take that job!

You don't have to be filled with righteous indignation to leave your job... a better offer is more than sufficient. Ask yourself if you want to take one of those other jobs. If the answer is yes, then there you go. No "recourse" involved.


I take it you are on salary? If you are hourly, they don't have a leg to stand on; by federal law, you cannot be forced to work overtime. I know the last thing you probably want to do is go to extremes like this, but sometimes it's all you have.

I used to work for a large health club chain in the early 90's and worked the 60 hour, 7-day week you describe. The problem is once you prove you are a reliable, always-there employee, they come to expect it of you, and they make you feel like you owe them when you want to take a day off once in a GREAT while. Meanwhile, you see others you work with doing just enough to get by and bitch and moan and get their way. I hate to think that nice guys really do finish last, but this isn't helping disprove the cliche.

Factor this in with a boss who 1)doesn't have the backbone to make another employee take up the slack for your 1 freakin day off (and thus, it suddenly becomes your job to find someone to cover; bullshit! he gets paid the big bucks for a reason!), and/or 2) refuses to come in and work it himself. Even if your boss is on salary, a good boss should be willing eat 1 extra day in a blue moon to retain and keep happy a reliable employee (which I always did when I had to manage people) that works every single weekend so he doesn't have to.

Plus, this is the thanks you get for being honest and genuine enough to alert your employer ahead of time (1 week should be plenty of time to cover 1 day, I don't care what anybody says). You could have just as easily called in sick those two days and given them NO notice (and gotten paid, too if you had sick days coming), but you took the high road, so here you are. I would bring this point up to your boss when you gently, but firmly tell him you are taking Sunday off. If he starts threatening your job, tell him you are going to miss working with him, shake his hand, and walk.

I wish I had had the courage to do this when I was a 19 year old punk who thought working at a health club was the best thing since sliced bread. I was quite the doormat back then; don't make the same mistake.


The only thing is that he told you before that he'd give you the day off if you ever asked. You should remind him of that. And tell him you already made placed relying on his prior assurances.