me_llamo_nic (me_llamo_nic) wrote,

Holiday Schedules

This is my work schedule for the week of Thanksgiving. At my second job. I don't know if I ever mentioned on here that I got a second job. I work for a very well-known company. Recently, they received some internet attention for their oh-so-philanthropic canned food drives for their own employees.

Now, this company has certain social media policies so I'll go ahead and put this here. DISCLAIMER: My views do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or any affiliated parties.

I'd like to draw some attention to this schedule though. As this is my second job, it's only part time to make ends meet. Evidently, to them, part time means 40.5 hours in a week. I don't know what was going through the scheduler's mind when they had to override my availability parameters 11 times to put this schedule together. I've seen them edit schedules before (this is a recurring problem) and they literally have to clear a notification every time they override a parameter.

However, let's go beyond that. Even if I were a full-time associate, let's take a look at Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday I'm scheduled for a swing shift from 7am to 4pm and 5pm to 9pm. The early shift has a one hour meal. The "swing" of it could be seen as a second one hour meal, apart from the fact that these shifts almost never end at the time they're scheduled to end and that transportation takes time. 14 hours of work with 2 hours of meal time. 12 hours on the clock. (Though neither of those shifts will end at the time scheduled. The end result would be closer to 12.5 hours.)

Next, let's look at Thursday and Friday, with particular emphasis on the combination of the two. Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. If you've worked out who my employer is, you know that both of these days are big for them. But let's not focus on the heavy traffic (yet); let's focus on the timing of it. 12pm to 4pm, 7pm to 12am, and then again from 5am the next morning to 1pm. That's a 25 hour period with three hours off for a theoretical Thanksgiving Dinner and 5 hours off for some theoretical sleep. Then let's factor in the fact that these shifts almost never end on time (on a good day, and these are big sale days) and the fact that transportation takes time. Even a generous estimate leaves only 2.5 hours for that Thanksgiving Dinner and 4.5 hours for that theoretical sleep...assuming I can immediately hit the bed in my work clothes and fall straight to sleep, then go back at 5am without so much as dragging a comb through my hair.

I understand that an employer is going to want all hands on deck for their big sale days, but this kind of schedule isn't even written for people. This schedule is written for numbers. You're not thinking "I'll schedule Nicholas til 12am and then again at 5am," when you write a schedule like this; you're not thinking about Nicholas at all. This schedule shows thought only for his cashier number, the number of hours, the number of customers in the store, the numbers on the dollar bills from those customers, ... and no thought at all for the person.

Now, in my position, having the first job to fall back on and everything, I intend to fight this. Since I'm supposed to be part time, I'll be fighting 10 of the 11 violations of my availabilty parameters (I'll ease up slightly for Black Friday). They can either change this schedule or lose an associate just in time for the holidays. But not everyone is in that kind of position. Worse still, they released this schedule a week later than they usually release the schedules and I can only assume that's a measure to make it even more difficult for people to change it. It's shady, underhanded, inconsiderate, cruel, and unusual, but they're going to get away with it. They know that most of their employees won't fight back...won't even question their schedules. Even the ones who have a mind to aren't in a position to do anything about it.

Now, this has been a lovely first draft of my resignation and all, but why am I posting it? Why am I telling you all this? Well, to raise awareness, I suppose. But there's also this:

Please, when you're shopping this holiday season, be mindful of the lights above the registers. That cashier probably only has 5 hours to go home and try to sleep before their next shift. If you make them work late, then you're cutting into that time. You might have to stand in line a few extra minutes if you pass up their lane, but they've turned their light out because it's time for them to go home. And if they're committed to their jobs then they still have to spray down the belt and scanner, put up some more bags, and take their box of plastic clothing hangers and unpurchased merchandise up to the service desk and sort it. Think about how you would feel if someone came to your job at the last minute and asked you to keep working. And then someone else lined up behind them. And then someone else behind them. Pay attention to the lights, be considerate, and be patient. Please.
Tags: incoherent babble, rant and ramble

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