So far, it has taken me three months to get permission to be gone five days. In May, I left a note for the previous team leader that I wanted to go on vacation at the end of August. The next day, she tells me she’s seen the note and it looks OK to her but she needs to double-check the vacation schedule. I assume everything’s fine (yes I can still be that naive). She goes on a medical leave for stress, comes back for a couple of weeks and quits. Just prior to her last day (first week in July), she tells me that because the vacation ends two days before Labor Day, I need to have her boss authorize it. He says it’s fine and takes the request (end of the process, right?).
I ran into my (new) team leader in the ladies’ room yesterday. She told me that we needed to talk about my vacation. We work a few hundred yards apart – she waits until now to talk to me? I realize that it’s called a rest room, but that’s just a polite term for what it really is. Once you’re out of high school, who wants to spend more time in there than you have to?
She starts out by telling me that it hasn’t been approved yet. She said she had to approve it (but there wouldn’t be a problem with that), and then her boss would have the option to reverse that approval. I told her that I had already talked to her boss. She said that didn’t matter, SHE had to approve it and would look into it that afternoon. So apparently she signs off, tells him, he thinks about it and says, “Wow, this looks kinda familiar, did I say yes or no when Cat asked?”
I have not taken a vacation in several years. The last time, all I had to do was tell the boss when I wanted to go, when I wanted to come back, and wait for them to say yes or no. At most places, it was just a formality. Who would have thought it would be tougher to give time off to someone who moves boxes and merchandise from place to place than to someone who is responsible for making sure a new client relationship starts out on the right foot? I guess I really am vital to the organization (please do not spit whatever you are drinking at the screen).
I complained about this to a work-friend (sometimes they’re better than real-world friends since you don’t have to spend 10 minutes setting the situation). She says to keep on top of it. One of the other women in the deli has been told that she cannot take a vacation between now and the end of the year because they are under-staffed. They seem to be positive that they will not be adequately staffed at any point during the next four months. (December doesn’t count in retail – no one goes anywhere.) Is it her fault that it’s such a miserable place to work that they can’t keep employees?
I guess I’m probably not being fair. We’ve had people out this summer for a broken rib, heart problems, and shoulder surgery. How can we be sure that no one is going to suffer some horrible accident in the near future and mess up our staffing again? After all, one woman is pregnant, and she’s probably going to want time off too.