Thursday, September 11, 2008

Your time is not your own [part 2]

Let's now say you are a part timer. Most of you time will be made up of flex shifts (as opposed to coverage shifts). A flex shift is basically an "if you are needed" shift. I had one associate that was scheduled for 0 coverage hours a week (something that happens if your PRS isn't $120). She only worked if she was needed. The following is something that happened to one of my associates.

It is Sunday and as usual, you are on flex from 3-6pm (common flex shifts are 3-4 hours long which makes it quite hard to rack up hours even when called in). Your family is having a big yearly family BBQ at a park that you would really love to attend but as usual you don't think you will be able to.

Feeling hopeful, you call work earlier than necessary. Appointments for the evening look okay. There is a 4pm and 5pm appointment, so you won't be needed if it stays the same.

As required, you call in two hours before your shift at 1pm. The appointments haven't changed. You are excited and tell all your family members that they will get to see you at the BBQ.

At 2:50 you get a call saying that a second 5pm appointment was made through the 1-800 number and you are needed. If you don't go in, not only will your job be in jeopardy, but you will leave you co-worker with the task of photographing two sittings simultaneously all by herself, something that is not possible. Looks like your family will have to see you next year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Go to the preview browser and look up "Flex Shift".

It states that you are scheduled to work those hours unless you are notified 24 hours in advance that you are NOT needed.

If, within 24 hours, they "change their minds" you ARE NOT required to work.

It's as simple as calling the customer and telling them "I'm sorry, we only have on person in the studio today and two appointments at such-and-such time, can I reschedule you for [half-an-hour later] and we'll give you a free collage for your trouble?"

This happens to me all the time (not having someone to help me with a double booking) because my studio can't keep employees. (One quit a week before Christmas over FACEBOOK another found a different job and called in sick - to her co-worker and not me, her manager - over the weekend but said she would be in for her Monday shift... I fired her before she could quit. The last one didn't want to do her job - the easiest part: ENHANCING - and flipped a lid anytime I mentioned a SOC.

If it's not corporate throwing away money on paper advertising, updating our signage every two weeks, changing collections once a month, jacking up prices of everything without giving raises to employees, and demanding a conf. call EVERY DAY during season then it's employees who don't show up, don't care, can't pick up a vacuum at the end of the evening, love shooting off the background, throw a fit anytime you try to correct their mistakes, fail to do cash control every evening - despite daily reminders, can't build a rapport with customers (one interviewee didn't even know what the word "rapport" meant...) or any of the other thousands of problems people who don't know what a CUSTOMER SERVICE job is can cause that you wind up having to fix later.

This will be my third year with the company... were it not for my customers I would leave. I'm getting paid $11 an hour to be on call 24/7, miss my son's baptism because I have to work after someone just decided to NOT show up, gain weight every Christmas season because I skip breakfast and lunch and I'm so starved in the evening I gorge, can't pump breastmilk for my newborn because the customer comes first, and cry in the storage room of Sears because a customer called me a "c--t" after I refused to take her in before a person who had an appointment before her.

I had a customer once ask me why I couldn't take a fifteen minute break. I just looked at her and asked "How would you react if I just walked away right now and didn't come back for a quarter of an hour?" She pursed her nips and nodded, looking very sad.