You actually wanted your day off?

The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior - 7

Today we are talking about scheduling for the benefit of all of you looking to make a successful shift to Boss.  Theresa White, a financial professional with Capitol Financial Partners that also works with The College Funding Coach is sharing an experience.  While she works with families that are interested in finding a better way to retain more of their hard-earned money by funding college without stopping their growth curve now, she had a history of working in the financial area of a traditionally male dominated industry in her past profession. Yes...we being a little vague but you get it.  

Have you ever had someone pull a scheduling switch at the 11th hour on you? Theresa graciously shares a very personal moment to help us learn to be better bosses!


As Theresa is out enjoying an event she had been looking forward to on her day off, her phone rings. She would not necessarily have answered it because she had been drinking (Don't judge!  It was a VIP golf event...everyone was having drinks.) but her guest was trying to be helpful so he grabbed her phone, hit answer and handed it over to her.

Her boss then asks if she can come in right away to cover for a sales manager (who was currently on property).  He proceeds to let her know that a different sales manager had been let go and they did not want the currently on site manager to have to work too many days next week. "He needs to have his day off." 

Ummmm, Theresa thinks..what about my day off? But first she tells him. "I can't. I have been drinking."  Her boss then insists that she come in because the on site Sales Manager wants to take advantage of attending the same golf event.  Throughout the back and forth, Theresa is pointing out that in addition to the Sales department not being her department (she was the head of the Financial Department), again...she was had already been drinking so she could not come in. Theresa stayed and had a great time.

The next day when Theresa showed up for her regular schedule, she was fired for insubordination. Because she had refused to come in on her day off after she had been drinking, they considered her insubordinate. (I know...I called him the same name in my head when I heard this too.) Theresa feels strongly that this was a good ole' boys club situation that they were surprised did not go their way. The Sales Manager wanted HER day off as his own.

Boss Action!

Today’s lesson: It is not your employees job to clean up other staff messes..unless it is their written responsibility, expressly communicated ahead of time AND scheduled without prejudice!

First, she honestly and responsibly admitted she was in no shape to represent the company! A Boss recognizes when they have one other - sober- employee on site already and would happily thank the staff member for being so forthcoming. Not too mention KEEPING HER OFF THE ROADS! Did this dude really think it was better for her to start driving a car to come to the office? Good to see he prioritized the sales manager over Theresa's and the public's safety! (Yes. Those are my eyes rolling in my head that you can hear.)

Second, this was not an "in the moment" crisis.  He could easily let the sales manager on site work that day and start making scheduling arrangements and telephone calls for changes to be in effect starting the next day.

I understand that some small businesses run very tightly with a small numbers of employees. That makes sense. But as a Boss, a good Boss, you need to understand that those calls for work outside of their regular schedule or responsibilities are requests.  They could choose to say no. They could even choose to quit. 

If you have a business model that requires specific hours to absolutely be covered with staffing ( i.e. retail, customer service, etc.) and you have issues with turnover or sick time coverage, you may want to build an "on call" schedule.  These can be set up to allow access to their "off" time. Keep in mind that this will require compensation and communication to convert to within existing roles. For some businesses, this peace of mind is well worth it.

Employees should be allowed, heck, let's go crazy and say ENCOURAGED to live and enjoy their life outside of your company. A great Boss will remember that you are calling an employee to ask them to support the company's mission, reputation and customers. Just because those items are your priority consider that they are seldom an employee's priority.  

Scale On Purpose

Talmar Anderson