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So, the other day I mentioned that I might end up fired from my job.
Well, I went to work today and found that thought had become reality. (I wrote this last night, so just back the day up one: today=yesterday).
The story from the beginning goes like this. I have worked at my job for about four years, give or take a few months. I’ve been dependable, on time, and as a rule have not called out unless I had great need. My boss, for the most part, had been good. But over the last few weeks it ran downhill.
Perhaps all parties were over stressed. Perhaps things happened to change them. One such incident is that while on vacation, he called me and asked me to order him a couple pizzas for his friends and pay for it out of the cash draw at work so that he could have the discount the pizza place gave us. I had no issue with him desiring a discount, or even asking me to order for him (it would have been nice if he’d offered to let me have some small something on the order as a gift for aiding him, but I do not begrudge the lack). My issue was he wanted me to pay out of the company drawer with only his promise that he would pay it back. Unfortunately by the time he paid it back I would be gone. That drawer is my responsibility, and in addition to the illegality of his request, would place me in the position of being held responsible for it being short should he fail to pay.
I refused to do so and made him drop off the money. He finished out his vacation and nothing more was said. Yet upon his return, he grew spiteful. When I asked (perhaps too much Pawn Stars has taught me to begin with the demand, knowing you will bargain down) about full time, benefits, and/or a possible raise as this was the fourth week of 40 hour weeks we were doing. He dismissively (and rudely to me) informed me that we were not hiring full time, there would be no benefits, and that I had too many complaints against me to qualify for a raise.
In aside, I will share some of these complaints. A Muslim woman wanted coffee. That I could find we only had three packs left, so I (per company policy) gave her one of them. When she (with hostility) demanded to know if there was more, I in formed her (professionally) that we were out, sadly. She called corporate and called me a racist. I was written up. When housekeeping failed to remove the filled trash bag from a room newly checked in, the angry guest (and his rather…possessed girlfriend) took issue. He brought it down and angrily asked what to do with it. I informed him (per instructed by my aforementioned boss) that there were trashcans at either ends of the halls where full trash bags could be deposited. He complained, I was written up. For following my training and company policy. Another guest complained about having to wait for a “long haired kid” to come fix his keys when they quit working. Our keys are/were magnetic. They zap out in the sun, cellphones, credit cards. We had to fix them all the time. However his statement was considered a complaint against me, rather than our crappy keys. I could continue, but most of these I have no documented proof of. When I asked my boss to produce copies of the aforementioned (and supposedly additional complaints) he failed to do so in a week’s time. Thus, I have no real proof of these complaints against me except for one, in which a local lady apparently got a knot in her panties, said I looked like a gas station attendant (my GF was a gas station attendant. I’ve met a number of them. They’re decent enough folk, hardly something you’d complain about) and said that the two hotels I refered her too (which my aforementioned boss has also mentioned to others when our prices were “too high”) were places “she wouldn’t even let her dogs stay at.”
It culminated on Sunday. I had been told our schedule was to be “back to normal” this week. By my boss. But that it was subject to change. I went with what he told me: “back to normal.” Then Sunday afternoon the Housekeeper (not the manager) informed me she’d see me Monday. Curious, I checked. Turns out my boss, who has always in the past asked me or informed me about changes in the schedule, had not done so, but had instead scheduled me on two days I normally have off. I called him to ask what was up with it. Supposedly (and unknowingly) I woke him up from a nap. He was hostile and short. I informed him there was an issue with this, as I had business stuff that I had to do Monday, seeing realtors and bankers for the business me and R are starting up. He told me that I showed up or I was fired. I hung up in the face of continued hostility. Got the employee handbook and looked over fire-able offenses. I met some. He met just as many. Maybe more. I complied a list of them with examples.
These examples were unheard by the company. But they include harassing at least one guest.
He claimed the schedule had been up for 6 days. I asked the NL attendant, who said she couldn’t confirm when the scheduled had gone up. My boss had worked Saturday and seen me. He claims that the other Front Desk person could confirm the scheduled up for that time. The other FD man is a good man, but is petrified of staying in the AM’s good graces because he knows her granddaughter, and this means staying in my boss’s good graces. I hardly would consider him an unbiased or reliable source.
Monday morning I got in touch with the head of employee relations at the company. He informed me that I had in fact met the requirements for “calling out” and thus could not be fired by my boss as a “no call, no show” and that my boss would in fact need “two no call, no shows” before he could fire me. I didn’t go into work, as I had the business stuff to take care of and could not, nor did I wish to return to an openly hostile work environment.
Turns out, my boss had already begone the processes of firing me even at that time.
I come in today and am told not to clock in. I wait for about ten minutes before being called after my boss. He informs me he fired me as a “no call, no show” and because I had failed to come to a “counseling session.” Said counseling session was never mentioned, and had to do with a complaint written in from a guest a couple weeks ago who had to wait twenty minutes for me to come down and check them in. I remembered them, because I had the phone and they supposedly called it, but the phone never rang. After they were checked in (quickly, which apparently was taken as rudely) I tested the hand held phone I was carrying with me. It worked. Repeatedly.
The counseling session I never showed up for, and never knew about? Was scheduled for Monday. I was informed that my boss didn’t consider my call to him as “calling out” or an “invalid reason” for calling out, and thus it didn’t count. Despite the fact that the gentleman from HR told me it did. My boss used these two things to fire me.
The Regional something or other (the boss over my boss’s boss) was there and was supposed to call me later today. I insisted on seeing him in person. He was, in fact, supposed to call me yesterday and talk to me then. Apparently, however, he heard of my complaints to HR and went straight to my boss. A rather fishy matter, in my view. He also allowed my boss to be in the room as he spoke to me (again, something I felt was fishy). What happened after is something I can only consider rail-roading. Complaints that were brought up about in the past, I tried to respond too. In turn, I was informed that the “customer’s perception” was all that mattered, irregardless of the truth of the matter. The one time I was rude to the Area Manager was brought up, as well as the fact that I apologized and explained that my attitude had been for the welfare of my boss. Apparently apologies do not matter these days, despite the fact that it was accepted by the AM and since then we have gotten along pretty well, actually. My responses were dismissed as “minutia” in the face of his “meat and potatoes.” His highly biased “meat and potatoes.”
I did, however, manage to turn that logic around when he was going on about how “so you felt threatened and harassed by your boss” in a way that made it sound like I was making shit up. I shot back with the “if the perceptions of the ‘wronged’ party is what we go by as the basis of reality.”
In the end, I managed to talk them back to the point where they had to give me my job back. When asked, however, I shot them down. I said I did not feel as if it was a safe work environment. In the end, I left, and my boss must now face the fact that he fired someone who worked there for four years and fill two positions, instead of the one left vacant by the girl who just quit.
I pray for those who might fill those positions, and for those left behind. Already he was working to fire one of the only two full time employees. I can only imagine how long the second will last once he has outed the first. They are good people, they do not deserve what he is doing.
Where does this leave me? Working towards finding more work. Free to help R open our shop. Proud that I stood up for myself. Panicked, that I have lost a job in this terrible economy. But he and the company were using this economy to treat their workers like shit, to demand more work for less reward. To set impossible standards that could not be fulfilled with ease, and to provide no aid in gaining it. When people complained I was rude, I was told “don’t be rude” but never taught how to be perceived as “not rude.”
A three minute conversation, on the other hand, with the Labor board of my state has lead me with the numbers of the State Human Rights commission, OSHA, and Labor Standards. All in Three Minutes of talking. And that wasn’t even mentioning most of the stuff I have to mention about that place. Tomorrow I call them. Depending on what they say and do, I start on whatever other phases of a response.
Thoughts? Sorry for making you all read a giant post. I’m a big angry.