Last week, I returned from vacation (more about that later, I hope) on Monday. On Tuesday around noon, I received a phone call from my AM job’s supervisor: (paraphrasing) “We lost a clerk. We’re going to need you to work in the main office some, split shifts, opening at 6, and coming back to close.”
“I don’t object to the training, or helping out, but I do have to object to the afternoons. I’m not available. (Thinking: …which you very well know!)”
“You’re going to have to be.”
“How often are we talking?”
“I haven’t made the schedule yet, but it’s looking like 3-4 days a week.”
“That’s impossible, I can’t do that. [insert details of why exactly I can’t do that here]” What I also didn’t say was that driving back and forth to the main office once a day would be bad enough in comparison to working here in my own town, but twice a day was getting ridiculous.
“Well, you’ll have to. We’ll be sending [Main office clerk 1] or [Main office clerk 2] to cover your office while you’re working here.”
I’m starting to get angry now, because it makes no sense and because there’s apparently no wiggle room in this decision, but won’t let it show in my voice. I carefully say, “If you’re going to make me choose between [AM job] and [PM job], I’m going to choose [PM job].”
Silence on the line for a full minute. I started to wonder if he’d hung up on me. Finally, “Well, think about it.”
“Okay. When were you wanting to start this?”
Whaaat. Less than a week’s notice that my schedule of six years was changing permanently, and making a second job impossible. Fucking REALLY. I knew I had no choice in the matter unless he backed down, but I told him I’d call him in a couple of days.
My partner only worked a half day that day, so he was able to come help me get my personal things out of the office, primarily my holiday decorations and my bonsai tree. I knew this was it.
Funny side-tale: I started telling my PM job coworker about the conversation, and got to the part just before I told the supervisor which job I’d choose if forced. Then someone arrived for an appointment and worked with us for nearly an hour. Once she’d left, my coworker took me outside for a cigarette, and exploded, “WELL?!?” It was the best/worst real-life cliffhanger I’ve ever left someone on, completely unintentionally, and amused me greatly.
On Thursday, I called the supervisor back: “Has there been any change to the scheduling plan?”
“Okay, would you prefer my last day to be Friday or Saturday?”