Meeting With The Boss

Yesterday, I had my scheduled conversation with the store manager.  I dumped all the work-related shit that had been bugging me for the last year into his lap.

The catalyst that pushed me to schedule the meeting in the first place was a recent conversation that I had with my assistant manager.  She informed me that I had three absences in the last six months, and one more would result in disciplinary action.  I knew about two.  I challenged the third.

The attendance policy states that if one works more than 50% of their scheduled shift, then leaves prior to their scheduled time, it is considered an incomplete shift rather than a full absence.  I takes three incomplete shifts to equal one full absence, and only full absences are counted for disciplinary purposes.

The event in question was a night that I clocked in at 2158, then clocked out for the night at 0217, without taking lunch.  My logic, confirmed by a coworker who has been with BigBoxRetailer for over seven years, was that since I was scheduled from 2200-0700, with a one hour lunch (a net of eight hours on the clock), as long as I was on the clock for more than four of my eight hours, that fulfilled the 50% requirement.

BigBoxRetailer lives in an alternate universe where 4.3 does not equal >50% of 8.  The idiots who wrote the program that calculates this, and all the managers in my current chain of command that I had spoken to before yesterday, maintain that lunch is included in the calculation.  In other words, had I stayed until 0231, it would have been an incomplete shift.  Since I left at 0217, it is a full unexcused absence.  Total number of hours on the clock versus total number of scheduled work hours are irrelevant, as is when/whether or not lunch is taken.  They claim that the number of hours that the shift spans (9) is the only calculating factor.

I did my best to be presentable for the meeting.  Hell, I even shaved.  And put on a real shirt.  You know, the kind with buttons.  Seriously, I wore a shirt and tie to the meeting.  Boss-Man even commented on my appearance,  so it would appear that at least that part of the plan worked.

Boss-Man upheld the “the way the policy is written includes lunch into the 50% calculation” stance that his flunkies had already thrown at me.  Unbeknownst to Boss-Man, I had a voice recorder in my pocket.  I’ll take the licks for my ignorance this time around, but eventually I’m going to challenge him.

When I have the opportunity, I will take an early lunch, probably 0100-0200, which I do frequently when workload allows.  Then, I’m going to clock out and go home between 0231 and 0259.  This will put my “out” punch after the 4.5 hour/50% point of my scheduled shift, but my total number of hours worked at less than 4 of the scheduled 8.  I will then wait and see how the system codes it.  If it is anything other than an incomplete shift, I’m going to have the pleasure of playing back the recording that I made yesterday, and they will overturn it, even if I have to chase down the CEO himself.  They can’t have it both ways.

While I was bending his ear, I bitched about his management team being moved to new assignments and writing reviews on people they don’t know, without getting feedback from those who do know them.  I also reminded him that he promised to make me full-time last October, and I’m still waiting.  I touched on several other subjects briefly during the ninety minutes that I was there.

He promised to look into the issues that I raised, and to do his best to get me full-time status.  In fairness, full-time transitions are above his pay grade, so all he can do is put in the request.  Time will tell.  Honestly, I don’t expect much to actually happen, but I feel better now that I’ve told him how much his people and their/his interpretations of company policy suck.

When I walked out of the office, I almost walked into one of my former managers, who is now back on day shift.  He and I have a good relationship, and he’s a good, freedom loving, gun guy.  He had just gotten the SCOTUS news regarding ZerØCare, and he was livid.  He didn’t have all the information at that time, just that the individual mandate had been upheld.  We chatted briefly, and my blood pressure jumped at least thirty points, until we got the subject changed.

He said that he will be opening a rec in one of his departments (Sporting Goods) soon, and asked if I would be interested.  It’s a day shift position, so I’d lose my overnight differential, but I’d be under him again, and away from the circus that the back room has become.  It would be less active than what I do now, so my weight would again be a concern, and I’d have to deal with assholes customers all day.  However, since it would be sporting goods, many of the assholes customers would be my people.

I told him that I’m definitely interested, and to please let me know as soon as the rec has been approved so we can discuss the details.  It’s a part-time position, so I don’t know how that would work if Boss-Man manages to get me full-time status, but one step at a time. We parted ways, with both of us still steaming at SCOTUS.  (Now that I have more details, my feelings about the SCOTUS decision are mixed, but that is a rant for another time.)

One of my shooting buddies is the manager of one of the specialty departments in the store.  He and Boss-Man have a good working relationship.  In fact, he spoke to Boss-Man earlier in the week regarding my upcoming appointment, and softened him up a bit.  He also advised me to avoid being the least bit aggressive or confrontational in my approach.  Something about my normally abrasive demeanor probably rubbing him the wrong way.  I have no idea what the hell he could be talking about.

Yesterday evening, after the meeting, he had the opportunity to talk to Boss-Man again.  Here is the text that he sent me following that conversation:

Talked to Boss-Man.  He was impressed with the way you presented yourself.  He told me that he was really going to try and get that status for you.  Good job!!

I guess I did OK at all that respectful, tactful crap. This time.

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