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Thursday, January 28, 2010

old schedule won't work for new job

A reader writes:

I was promoted last week to a lead. I will be relocating to another store shortly in 1 week within the same company to work in this new role.

I am enrolled at a community college and notified my manager of it. She had no problem and took me off the schedule for Mondays. I have only two classes on Monday and I can work every day even weekends. Nobody in the interview process asked me about school or other jobs. It didn't seem like a huge deal because I already had that schedule with my current boss.

My new store manager was told today that I have requested Mondays off for college. She was mad and told me that she would be contacting the district manager to see what will happen, or what she should do. She told me that I need to have open availability and that the district manager will be mad. I might just stay at my store and they will take back the position that I got. My pay has changed and I am ready for the move and don't know what to do. Help!

Unfortunately, you should have mentioned it during the interview process. The people interviewing you probably assumed you were available during normal business hours and that you would mention it if you needed a different arrangement.

It sounds like you assumed that since it was the same company, knowledge of the arrangement would be passed along and it would be fine. I'm not beating you up for that -- I know that people are often kind of mystified about what they do and don't need to raise in these situations. But for the future, err on the side of raising anything at all that's non-traditional, because you can't assume they do know or that something that was fine in one area of the company will also be fine in another.

As for what to do now: It doesn't sound like your new manager necessarily objects to this schedule, but instead that she's concerned the district manager won't like it, probably because it hasn't been done before. Plenty of things can be approved when they make sense, even if they haven't been done before, as long as you make a rational case for them.

So the best thing to do is to explain how it worked in your other position, how you think it'll work in this one, and what you're willing to do to make sure things go smoothly.

However, it's possible that after it's discussed, they'll tell you that it's just not workable in this new role. If that happens, you would need to decide whether you want to turn down the new job, or drop the classes so that you can accept it. But the most important thing is to discuss it candidly now and figure out if it can work for all sides. Good luck!


Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I teach at a CC... and versions of this happens to my students all the time.

It might help to remind them that they're getting someone who is ambitious and having an educated employee is good for them. Also, explain that you've already paid tuition and - if y'all can make it work this semester, you'll consult them before you register next fall.

A couple of alternatives --If they tell you that Mondays off won't work, see if your instructors have evening classes or on-line sections you can join. Generally, it needs to be the SAME instructor.

If you can't make it work -- make sure you formally withdraw. You're unlikely to get your money back, but having a W on your transcript is much better than an F.