While most “Ask –INSERT NAME HERE-“ columns tend to consist of people asking mundane questions like “How do I get out of the friendzone?” and “Why does this yellow Gatorade bottle taste like pee?” (hint: because it’s pee), occasionally one will come along that’ll get the Internet in such a tizzy that it goes viral. Alison Green, the writer behind askamanager.org, had one such question roll in through her tip line recently, and goddamn is it a doozy:
A reader writes:
I manage a team, and part of their jobs is to provide customer support over the phone. Due to a new product launch, we are expected to provide service outside of our normal hours for a time. This includes some of my team coming in on a day our office is normally closed (based on lowest seniority because no one volunteered).
One employee asked to come in two hours after the start time due to her college graduation ceremony being that same day (she was taking night classes part-time in order to earn her degree). I was unable to grant her request because she was the employee with the lowest seniority and we need coverage for that day. I said that if she could find someone to replace her for those two hours, she could start later. She asked her coworkers, but no one was willing to come in on their day off. After she asked around, some people who were not scheduled for the overtime did switch shifts with other people (but not her) and volunteered to take on overtime from others who were scheduled, but these people are friends outside of work, and as long as there is coverage I don’t interfere if people want to give or take overtime of their own accord. (Caveat: I did intervene and switch one person’s end time because they had concert tickets that they had already paid for, but this was a special circumstance because there was cost involved.)
Oh, so because your other employee blew a few bucks on concert tickets he/she gets to go, but our employee in question spends THOUSANDS of dollars on her education and she has to stay and work? Sounds real fair to me. Make sure to take a shit on her desk too for when she comes back, just in case she didn’t catch onto your opinion of her from the blatant favoritism already. Maybe leave a sulfur fart in her coffee cup for good measure too.
I told this team member that she could not start two hours late and that she would have to skip the ceremony. An hour later, she handed me her work ID and a list of all the times she had worked late/come in early/worked overtime for each and every one of her coworkers. Then she quit on the spot.
Hell yeah she did. Can we hire this chick? She sounds like she doesn’t take shit, is a genuinely good employee and would be fun to have around to call out Matt Keohan for guzzling potato chips all day.
I’m a bit upset because she was my best employee by far. Her work was excellent, she never missed a day of work in the six years she worked here, and she was my go-to person for weekends and holidays.
Even though she doesn’t work here any longer, I want to reach out and tell her that quitting without notice because she didn’t get her way isn’t exactly professional. I only want to do this because she was an otherwise great employee, and I don’t want her to derail her career by doing this again and thinking it is okay. She was raised in a few dozen different foster homes and has no living family. She was homeless for a bit after she turned 18 and besides us she doesn’t have anyone in her life that has ever had professional employment. This is the only job she has had. Since she’s never had anyone to teach her professional norms, I want to help her so she doesn’t make the same mistake again. What do you think is the best way for me to do this?
Um, obvious answer: YOU DON’T. She quit. Why would you track her down to tell her that she quit “wrong”? There is no wrong way to quit, there’s just quitting like a pussy, quitting with swagger and quitting like a professional. Not only is this manager delusional, but she’s clearly shitty at her job as Alison Green notes in her response that “rigidly adhering to rules generally isn’t good management. Good management requires nuance and judgment” – aka the exact opposite of what we saw here.
Luckily for the manager her name was not included with the piece, as the Internet has taken up their pitchforks in defense of our hard-working employee:
Yikes. Let’s hope our recent graduate finds a better job…with a boss who isn’t a dipshit, ideally.
[Via Ask a Manager]