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  1. #1
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    Default Covering shifts for others...

    You ever have that coworker who constantly wants you to either swap shifts or work their shift entirely?

    How do you deal with them? I have agreed to work shifts for my coworkers in the past (plus my own) but it seems to me that the more I do it, the more I'm asked.

    I don't necessarily need the extra money, but I'm just wondering how this would makes me look as an employee.

    Am I a selfish asshole with poor work ethic just because I don't want to take responsibility for another person and could this negatively affect my reputation? Or do I have self-respect for choosing to live my life when I'm unscheduled to work?

    If you were an employer, how would you see this?

    If you were the employee getting requests from coworkers like this, what would you do?

  2. #2
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Ideally would only do it when actually willing and otherwise say something such as "I'd love to help but unfortunately I'm just not up for it this week" or "have got a lot on my plate right now" or "feeling overwhelmed recently"...

    That kind of an excuse is vague enough but true enough, and nobody can legitimately fault you for those.
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  3. #3
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ü™ View Post
    You ever have that coworker who constantly wants you to either swap shifts or work their shift entirely?

    How do you deal with them? I have agreed to work shifts for my coworkers in the past (plus my own) but it seems to me that the more I do it, the more I'm asked.

    I don't necessarily need the extra money, but I'm just wondering how this would makes me look as an employee.

    Am I a selfish asshole with poor work ethic just because I don't want to take responsibility for another person and could this negatively affect my reputation?
    Nope.. especially if you're consistently present for YOUR shifts, & have in the past swapped with others.

    Or do I have self-respect for choosing to live my life when I'm unscheduled to work?
    ^

    If you were an employer, how would you see this?
    I was a hiring manager yrs ago [albeit for a shit convenience store, hah] - but this sort of thing was never frowned upon by me or other people in higher positions. Often the hiring manager is the one who writes down the schedule for the week - we're well aware of when we wanted you to work. As long as you're there for those hours, no one really thinks your 'work ethic' is poor, just because you have a life outside your job & can't/don't want to say YES! everytime someone calls you to offer extra hours/cover a shift.

    If you were the employee getting requests from coworkers like this, what would you do?
    I have in the past had trouble telling people no.. and I ended up running myself into the ground working 60+ hours a week (fuck that noise). After that instance, I made it a point to just never be available to say yes to anyone for extra hours (I didn't need the money). Just mentioned other commitments I had, such as taking classes (I might have embellished my schedule a bit to get a few persistent people off my back). Ideally it would've been nice to remain totally honest with people, but at the time I wanted to avoid taxing myself; having to deal with their babyish resentment & conflict if I were to say, "no, I need that time to myself. Find someone else." Dealing with it that way kept things neutral. I'm not saying that's what you should do, but it certainly kept me sane & able to take care of my own shit. Ultimately, telling a coworker simply, "No, I'm unavailable," ought to be enough. You do not owe them an explanation as to why not. The only person at your job you ever owe an explanation to is your employer, and that's really only when you're missing your own shift, for whatever reason.

    I'll also add here: as a rule, I do not make friends with coworkers/hang out with them outside of work. Good fences make good neighbors, etc.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
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    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

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  4. #4
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    If anything it'll make you look like a bit of a doormat if you can't say 'no'.

  5. #5
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    If anything it'll make you look like a bit of a doormat if you can't say 'no'.
    ^That too.

    Also, if your employer asks you to cover a shift, & you say "no," (but you don't actually have anything else goin' on)... & the manager is actually really hard-up for the help, that day- they may even negotiate with you. As in, they may tack on additional pay (aside from the regular rate) for that particular shift.

    If your boss is ever doing that, again you never are obligated to agree to it, but if you did in that scenario, it'd earn you some extra $, as well as some degree of gratitude from your boss. If they're willing to throw EXTRA money at you.. they're probably desperate at that point for someone to come in. If you're not that hard-up for the extra money, you could even go as far as telling them afterwards that it was okay, you don't need that little extra. But only if you truly do not need it. Make it look like a modest favor without actually depriving yourself of an opportunity, if that makes sense. By no means make that a regular occurrence, though. It's totally ok to say no to an unscheduled shift your boss calls you in for if you're unavailable, and it's absolutely ok to take extra pay when it's offered.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  6. #6
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    And don't forget, the whole point of your employer hiring more than one person in the first place was so that one person didn't do the work of two or more people.

  7. #7
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    ^ Precisely.

    You are not obligated by anything in your employment to take other people's shifts. If the employer approaches you DIRECTLY, it usually is because they need the extra help. If it is a co-worker, I would talk to your employer about it and see how they feel about it.

    Usually, communication is key for most things at work.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    I don't know how your payment works, and this is somewhat tangential to your problem, as I'm more of an independent contractor than an employee, but when people drop off and don't show up to work and I get an emergency call I tend to charge extra. Maybe an increased rate or a couple hours added on. Nobody seems to think this is unfair.

    In your case I don't think that'd be appropriate unless you volunteer up front with your boss if there is some circumstance where nobody else can work and they are in a big crunch.

    Otherwise it varies by boss to boss how much they think they own you. I can't really say if your boss will be understanding or not if you're not being a 'team player'. Horrible, unfair, lazy, petty bosses DO exist, but I think most 'reasonable' people won't take issue with you not taking on extra work.

    As an aside it's pretty ridiculous that people have to put on the 'I'm so busy" routine to just get personal space. IMO if you're getting your share of work done then wanting time off to sit around and pick out belly button lint while you watch tv is a legitimate (if not entirely appealing) way to spend YOUR time. But indeed, you'll get less resentment if you're acting as miserable as everyone else.
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  9. #9
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    I think just saying "Sorry. I've already got something planned this week", or maybe just "Sorry. I can't today." I don't think you even need to give explanations.
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  10. #10
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    I'm usually more than willing to swap shifts. I work a pretty regular schedule and having a day off that I don't normally have is kind of fun sometimes. Its almost like playing hooky without losing hours. I don't set my alarm on days off so I usually wake up late and say "oh shit!" and rush around til I remember I don't have to be there! My opinion is decidedly different when I'm working the swapped shift. Also, I seldom ask to swap and won't "cover" shifts (only swap) unless its a true emergency.
    I'm never wrong, I'm just sometimes less right

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