Disrespects Me Cuts Hours

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being disliked and cut hours: If I am scheduled on the same time as his shift, he cuts my hours and sends me home.

My manager tells my coworkers that he doesn’t like me and refuses to give me shifts when he is working, which is almost every day. If I am scheduled on the same time as his shift, he cuts my hours and sends me home. I work my hardest and never stop while I’m working. Being a teenager I want to report him. What can I report him for?

Signed, Desperate

Dear Desperate:

Yes, it’s frustrating to hear gossip that your manager doesn’t like you, and even more frustrating to not be assigned to as much work as you want. You blame your boss and want to report him. So what should you say and to whom should you report him? These are natural questions. You wish reporting him would make it right.

When you were a child, you might have told a parent that someone didn’t like you and was mistreating you. You wanted that parent to make it go away. In a similar fashion, you are so unhappy that you signed you question to Ask the Workplace Doctor as “Desperate”.

You say you are in your teens, and at this young age, I sense that you are learning that the world of work is not like a walk in the park. In our first few jobs, we learn from both good and bad experiences with coworkers, bosses, and with the many requirements of a workplace. It’s impossible for this Workplace Doctor to know if it is a fact that your manager doesn’t like you and to understand why you are not given the hours you want to work, but in light of your question,

I can propose several things you might consider and lessons you might learn:

1. I can tell from what you write that you see yourself as a responsible person, willing to work hard. That’s good.

2. It’s also good that you want to be liked and realize that being liked influences how those who manage make assignments.

3. Seeking advice is wise, and if the suggestions I make don’t apply, do feel free to seek advice elsewhere; however, avoid gossip about your complaints with co-workers and don’t become so obsessed with your boss that you bore your family or friends with complaints. In short, don’t allow your frustration to turn you sour. I say this because you sign your note to us as “Desperate”. There are other unhappy things you probably will encounter in life, but the trouble you describe about your boss, even if true, doesn’t mean you are desperate. The test of character and ability to cope hinges on being cheerful in spite of what isn’t perfectly what you want.

4. Apparently one or more co-workers workers told you that your manager doesn’t like you. Unfortunately gossip about one’s boss is too often common and believed. Perhaps your manager doesn’t like you. But as you get more work experience, I predict you will learn it’s not wise to gossip, especially about your boss, and it’s not wise to trust what you’ve been told by co-workers. Even if it is true that your manager doesn’t like you, it isn’t smart to see her/him as an enemy who should be reported. The only time managers should be reported is there is ample evidence that they have stolen, broken company rules, bullied or discriminated against those they manage, and/or have endangered those they manage. It’s a mistake to complain about and/or bypass a boss.

5. Forget about reporting your manager. It’s a manager’s job to make assignments. If you think your boss is shorting your hours and/or doesn’t like you, go to him or her and ask, “How am I doing on the job? What are my strengths and what can I do to improve?” This should result in a conversation about hearing he’s told others he doesn’t like you and his evaluation of your work. You will learn from him what your manager expects from you. This should then evolve into occasional conversation between the manager and you about what you are doing well and your career path.

6. You are working while in your teens. See this job and every job as not just a job but as an opportunity to learn skills, to soak up knowledge about each particular job, and about different kinds of work. As you acquire job experience, you will learn what additional training you need to quality for the kind of work you like. Finding a job that is right for you and hopefully one that you like often is a process of learning what you don’t like and of which you are not capable.

Do these thoughts make sense? I hope so. You have weeks, months and years ahead of you that can be an adventure. That can begin with the kind of coping skills you learn from this day forward. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, my signature sentence, is meant to motivate you to think about how you can add value to whatever you do; to your current job and to your little circle of the world in the future.

William Gorden