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Thread: What Are Parents Teaching Their Children

  1. #1
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    What Are Parents Teaching Their Children

    I have just had the most frustrating week at work, and thought I would A) vent to all of you and B) pose a question for you to adress.

    I am the manager of a well known fast food establishment. I had 2 students who worked part time, both of whom knew that it was an evenings/weekend job at the outset of their employment. To make a long story short, both students were scheduled to work through this long weekend, as neither had asked for it off. On Tuesday, I had the mother of the male student paid me a visit at work. She felt that her son had "paid his dues" and shouldn't have to work all weekends. This would make a 5th straight weekend that he has worked. I explained to her that while I try to schedule the kids off at least one day during the weekends, sometimes it is nearly impossible, and also her son is infamous for picking up shifts. I explained that the other student had just been off for 2 weeks on a school trip, which unfortunately left me short staffed. I also explained that I had scheduled him off on the two Saturdays previous to those weekends, but that he had covered the shift for the other girl when she asked. I explained to her that the terms of the employment were weekends, and that there was little that I could do, other than encouraging him not to agree to trade shifts anymore, but rather to take his days off and enjoy them. She then told me that unless I was prepared to give him weekday evenings rather than weekends, he would no longer work there. He had made plans for the long weekend and it was unfair to him to have to cancel. I told her it was unfortunate that she felt that way, and I told her that I wished he had come to me and expressed his concerns, but that I cdould not give him weekends off. She proceeded to quit for him.

    As if the week wasn't bad enough, losing a staff member right before the long weekend, on Thursday I had a message on my answering machine from the other student stating that effective immediately she would no longer be employed there. I called her back at home and asked for an explanation. She then told me that she had been meaning to come in and ask for the weekend off, as she had plans with friends, but since she had forgotten to come in, she was just giving her notice. I explained to her that not only was I in desparate need of her for the weekend, but that her having taken the previous 4 weekends off, she had cost me my other student. She then put her mother on the phone. I explained that I needed more than one day notice, and that unfortunately, she couldn't have the weekend off. She asked about the lengthened shifts on the weekend, and I explained that because the other student was no longer working there, I had no choice but to give her 8 hour shifts instead of 4 hours. Her mother then asked why she had not been getting breaks when she has previously had to work a longer shift. I explained to her that the law states that the employee is entitled to a 30 minute break after 5 hours of work, but that if they are not able to leave the establishment (they work alone so this is impossible), they must be paid for their break, which she was. At this point the conversation came to a halt as she had another call that she had to take. Friday morning, she called me at work, and told me she had been in touch with the labour board, and it was not necessary for her daughter to provide notice, and therefore, consider this her notice.

    I am absolutely shocked that these parents would A) quit the job for their child rather than having them do it personally, and B) are teaching them that just because they don't get their weekend off (which they never even asked for), its ok just to quit your job.

    Would you ever do this for your child? I know when I worked during high school, my parents never interefered in my work, never spoke to my boss, nor did I ever ask them to. I am shocked at what these parents have taught their children this week.

    Thanks for letting me ramble.

    Canuck

  2. #2
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    I am torn. I've spent my fair share of time working the grease pits. It's left some scars.

    Of course, the parent should insist the kid live up to his responsibilities. The kids should do their own talking and work out their notice.

    However, there is a reason so many of those jobs are filled by teenagers. It's because the job doesn't pay enough to attract mature adults. The business benefits from this cheap labor and unfortunately [or maybe fortunately] also gets what it pays for. It's not your fault. Still, it's going to happen over and over, until fast food places start paying decent wages. [which will be never]

    Also, if the girl had signed on for 4 hour shifts, her hours should not have been lengthened without her approval. Otherwise, she doesn't have a legitimate gripe about that IMO.

  3. #3
    ~ Evgeni's Sex Bomb ~
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    This is why I got the hell out of retail. Nine years of scrambling to cover shifts because people can't be bothered to show up, or call in at the last minute or quit with no notice. It wasn't just the teenagers, it was many of the adults, too. (Though I must say many of my teenagers were incredibly responsible)

    Susanbeth brings up a good point. The wages really aren't that great in terms of inspiring employee loyalty. I begged, repeatedly, to be allowed to give decent raises to employees who proved themselves worthy, but we "couldn't afford it." Never mind that training a new employee costs WAY more than keeping a good one.

    But I also must say if the second girl signed up for four hour shifts, and you are now scheduling her for 8, that isn't fair, unless she agreed that this was okay. As the manager of my store, I often took over the cash register for extended periods of time if there was no coverage. It's part of being the manager.

    Now, I'm a teacher. I only have to rely on me.

    Laura

  4. #4
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    and the parents griping that it's your fault the kids aren't 4.0 students


    parents are too busy being their child's best friend... I quit my job on my own... mom wanted me to just tough it out, dad said it was my choice... but *I* had to call and *I* had to talk to the people in charge. (not a small task being as how my boss cusses "quitters" out)

  5. #5
    ~ Evgeni's Sex Bomb ~
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    Originally posted by Tonichelle
    and the parents griping that it's your fault the kids aren't 4.0 students
    Haven't had that happen yet. But it is "my fault" their precious angel failed. Especially since I clearly assigned work which junior failed to do, yeah, that's my fault. :D My favorite parents were the ones who thought it was hilarious their kid plagiarized his book report. "I always knew he was resourceful!" chuckled Dad.... (canuck...don't hire this kid....)

    Toni, I'm glad you owned up to your work situation and dealt with the matter yourself. (I would insert a thumbs-up smilie here if GS had one....)

    Laura

  6. #6
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    As a parent of two teenagers ages 14 & 18 I would never call their employer and quit for them. Having a job is a responsibility of the person who is working. How are we suppose to teach or children to take care of themselves if as parents we always do it for them. If those two kids are not mature enough to handle a job then they shouldn't be working. As parents we are there to guide our children not take over their lives for them.

    Little by little we have to let our children be responsible for themselves so by the time they are adults they can take care of themselves and not need mommy or daddy to do so for them.

  7. #7
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Canuck, I am assuming these were high school students and not college students? Tough call. I discouraged my kids from getting part time jobs during the school year, except one son was a baseball umpire for a girls softball league for a few months in the spring. They always had summer jobs, so there wasn't any conflict between work, school, and play. I'm not siding with the parents, but it could be that they didn't want their kids working anymore during the school year and took the initiative. Bad call. If the student applied and got the job, they should be the ones to give ample notice and quit, not the parents.........Have you tried to hire senior citizens? They make reliable and personable part time workers at the fast food restaurants around here.........42

  8. #8
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    Thanks all for your comments....

    To address a few issues.....

    1. There was no specified hours given. Generally they work 5 hour shifts, but there are 8's if the need is there, so as to the gripe that they were working prolonged hours, thats just not so. The young lady in question has worked exactly one 8 hour shift previous, but it was the issue of having to work 8's on this particular weekend when she had plans with friends instead.

    2. Yes, Show, these were High School kids. This wasn't an issue of working during the week and distracting from school. The kids were basically scheduled for 2 5 hour shifts on weekends ONLY. I always tried to give them one of either Fri, Sat or Sun off, as I feel it is important to have a life outside work and school.

    3. I told them at the beginning of their employment, that I am very reasonable, and that the my policy is that if you ask for time off, as long as reasonable notice is given, it will be granted on first come first served basis. I have even come in on my days off in order to ensure they could have their days off that they requested.

    4. In regards to the wages being not great, I have to agree, BUT, making $6.50 an hour is pretty good for a 15 year old kid, IMO. If you take into consideration it is a small town with extremely limited employment opportunity, I would say these kids were fortunate even to have a job in the first place. I know when I was in high school, I was absolutely thrilled with making $5.00 an hour - it meant making about $300.00 a month while my friends had to depend on parents for allowance.

    In addition, because it is a small town, the store is not particularily busy. Both parents said the kids really enjoyed working there.... Gee I guess so - I made it clear I had no problems at all with bringing homework to work, reading books, bringing Game Boys, whatever they wanted to do to entertain themselves during the slow times as long as their work was done.

    The reason I guess I am so bitter is that these parents didn't have their children quit because the job was interfering with school work or family, but rather because it was a long weekend and they wanted to enjoy it with their friends. I just get so frustrated that these kids have so little responsibility. The law says they do not legally have to give notice, BUT responsibility dictates that they should. It is particularily aggravating in the case of the young lady who has just had 4 consecutive weekends off, and quits because OOPS, I forgot to ask for this one off too!

    Show, as for your suggestion that I hire senior citizens - I have 2 grown women who also work for me and are reliable to a fault. When I was a student, I welcomed the opportunity for a job, as there are so few out there for students in small towns. I like to give kids the opportunity to get some work experience - Guess that was my first mistake, lol!

    Thanks all for your comments and suggestions.

    Canuck

  9. #9
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    hmmmmm if I had a way to get there I'd apply... I need a job and no one likes me here! *sob*

  10. #10
    cranky girl guinevere's Avatar
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    I am totally appalled at both of these moms for quitting on behalf of their kids. Heh - I almost wonder if the first mom even told her son he no longer had a job, since he wasn't involved in the conversation at all.

    As for the girl, her mom should have made her work, to teach her that she can't just "forget" to put in a request like that.

    In both cases I wouldn't be surprised if the plans the kids had involved the whole family, and the family did not want to be inconvenienced by the teenager having to work.

    OT to Laura - my sister was a college professor until recently - she had students try to bribe her for a better grade on their paper, call her at home and harass her, and argue with her that they should get extra credit for handing in a shorter-than-required paper on a subject that was not assigned instead of what was really due. Be greatful you've got young'uns!! :D

    guinevere

  11. #11
    Tripping on the Podium
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    I see it as a work ethic thing. Seems like such a concept is in short supply these days.

    If you were to let one of them go immediately without cause, with no notice (such as the two week standard), then you would no doubt once again have an angry parent in your face and perhaps even a lawyer!

    When I was growing up, it was understood that an employee owed his employer a similar courtesy; if I wanted out, I'd give at least two weeks notice so that they wouldn't be left hanging.

    This would also be more likely to give me a positive reference for my next job!

    While it's no help to your current situation, you can at least let these quitters know not to count on you as a reference.

    It probably dates me, but if I'd have tried that crap, my mom would have wrung my neck, and dragged me back to work herself! (And stood there while I apologized.)

    Best of luck.

  12. #12
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    yeah now that's considered abuse

    though my parents would probably force me to apologise if I blew up at work... thankfully I have never had that problem I get along with people

  13. #13
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I think when I was a teenager if I wanted to quit a job because I wanted to have fun on a weekend, my parents would probably let me know they were disappointed, but would likely let me make my own decision. However, there is no way they would ever call my employer for me!

    P.S. sk8tngcanuck, good luck to you sorting out shifts for the long weekend!

  14. #14
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    sk8tngcanuck:

    I agree. These parents certainly are'nt doing their kids or themselves a favour by helping them get out of responsibilities the easy way.

    With jobs hard to come by these kids are not learning the value of holding a job and earning their way. When they get out on their own are they going to phone up mom and dad to bail them out when they are unhappy with their work schedule?

    It put you in a tough spot as well! I don't blame you for being upset.

    A managers position is not an easy one. All the best to you!

  15. #15
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ptichka
    I think when I was a teenager if I wanted to quit a job because I wanted to have fun on a weekend, my parents would probably let me know they were disappointed, but would likely let me make my own decision. However, there is no way they would ever call my employer for me!
    If RG Jr. pulled such a stunt on me and wanted to quit a job for a weekend of fun, I'd tell her, "Yeah, right, like THAT'S gonna happen!" If she had to quit for other more valid reasons (e.g. school problems, etc.), no way would I call on her behalf. That would have to be her responsibility.

    Well, she's only 10, so I've got a while before we get there!
    :D

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