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I’m a 16-year-old girl who has worked for a retail store for a little over a year. I didn’t work the past two weekends due to illness and a family trip. I only work weekends, but I’m now scheduled to work from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on a weekday. I told my manager a month ago that I cannot work eight-hour shifts on school nights, as I must catch a bus at 6 a.m. She agreed and didn’t give me any evening shifts on school nights until now. She was upset because I missed two weeks, and now she does this. I think I want to quit, but I don’t know how. My plan is to go in and tell her that I’m working my shift, but that I’m just not going to stay any later than 9 p.m. If she refuses, I’ll walk out. Do you have a better idea?
Yes, I have a better idea, though we need to tread carefully with this one.
First, this woman hired you knowing that you had a full-time gig at school. Second, this woman hired you knowing that as a child, you go where your parents go, and as such will not always be available to work.
Those two realities will not change, and any employer who gets upset about them should not hire students.
That said, with you missing the last two weekends, your manager may be strapped for help. It is dangerous to make a habit of missing work, not just to build your work ethic, but also because those who miss a lot of shifts can earn the label “slacker.” Now, “slacker” comes off as a cool term in the movies and TV. But in real life ‘” the kind where you don’t get paid if you don’t work and you don’t eat if you don’t get paid ‘” you don’t want to become known as a slacker.
Your manager may also think that school is out. Many districts end the school year this week. So far, I wouldn’t classify your manager’s request as unreasonable, so don’t be quick to cry foul.
If you like the job and you want to keep it over the summer, don’t quit just because you’re upset. And whatever you do, don’t go in and expect to leave before your shift ends without giving notice. Nothing angers an employer more than scheduling someone for a shift, then finding out at the last minute that they can’t work the whole shift.
Try talking to the woman. Not on the phone, but in person. Go to the store and let her know that you’re sorry about the missed weekends and you’re looking forward to your next shift. “But I won’t be able to work until close because I have to go to school. You know I don’t normally work weeknights during the school year, but I’d be happy to stay until 9 p.m. this time. And don’t worry, I can start closing next week, after school is out.”
If your manager refuses to alter your hours after your talk with her, you can still quit if you choose.
Is it ethical to let your kids eat Mini-Wheats?They’re alive in that TV ad, with faces and everything.
Did Mayor McCheese keep you from scarfing down cheeseburgers as a child?
Seriously, those television ads with the walking, talking pieces of cereal do creep some people out. And from a distance, the idea of happy bundles of wheat and sugar willingly serving themselves up to be eaten does seem strange. But we have been anthropomorphizing our food in commercials for decades, and the Minis simply represent the latest attempt to help children play with their food before it is consumed.
Mini-Wheats have a fair amount of fiber and less sugar than many other sweetened cereals. Plus, kids tend to enjoy them. Let your kids eat hearty.
Just try not to think about the cute little squares smiling at you.
Thank you for reading today’s Q&A. Check back here tomorrow for another installment of the Ask The Dad advice column. If you’d like to submit an Ask The Dad question, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.