I have a little problem. Let’s see if you can help.

Let’s say that you are the kind of worker who likes to be amenable, to be flexible, to say “whatever you need, I can do it.” You believe that this is the best way to make the work experience go smoothly, and you also believe that it is the best way to show respect for your boss or manager. Let’s further say that you are one week into a new job and you really like your manager. Let’s say you were hired to decorate cakes, which is something you’ve always wanted to do and therefore a pretty big part of why you took the job. Let’s also say (boy, you talk a lot) that you were hired to work a specific afternoon shift and you were promised a certain number of hours per week.

Now let’s say that your boss calls you the day before you go in to work your second week and tells you that you are not going to be decorating cakes, you are just going to be doing “general stuff, whatever needs to be done.” Your boss also has scheduled you for the exact opposite of the shift you were hired to work, and makes it clear that this is the shift you will always have. (Let’s call that shift “ass o’clock,” for brevity’s sake.) Let us postulate that the shift in your job description and work schedule means that you will be taking a cut out of an already meager paycheck. Finally, let’s say that instead of the promised numbers (X = 20), you will instead be working some lesser number of hours (Y = 13).

… What would you do? My first instinct was to go, “Uh, sure, whatever you need,” but I am very irked by this bait-and-switch. I really need a job, but this job has just turned from awesome to utter crap. I am faced with having to leave my son with someone else three days and two nights out of the week, because there is no way I can get him up at 4:30 in the morning and drop him off somewhere at 5:00. Changing Michael’s work schedule so that he can be home on these mornings is out of the question. Not to mention: pay cut, fewer hours, no cake decorating, etc. I feel like my manager just needed someone cheap to do grunt work, couldn’t find anyone who would take the job as stated, so she changed the statement to trick me into taking it.

It is unlikely that she will address any of these issues, as this is about the lowest level of unskilled labor. I am fairly certain that if I ask to switch schedules, or insist that I be kept on cake decorating, I will be told that I can either do what she asks of me or leave. Advice would be welcome.


3 Responses to Dilemma.

  1. Anne says:

    As a very new employee, I would probably do as she asks, but if this keeps happening, let her know that you’re not doing the job you were hired for and ask why. If she doesn’t have a satisfactory answer and she doesn’t change things, you’ll either have to leave or just put up with it.

  2. Anne says:

    Oh, I just saw that she told you would always have this new, wrong shift. So you need to remind her that the shift you were offered and accepted is the only one that can work for you, and see what she says. At least raise this now, and then if she doesn’t listen, you can resign – and if you’ve proven to be a valuable employee so far hopefully she will not want that and listen to you.

  3. Alicia says:

    Definitely raise the shift issue immediately. She hired you for a specific shift — she doesn’t even know for a fact that you can actually work this new shift that she decided on. I probably wouldn’t make an issue out of the rest of it but would tell her that she needs to honor the shift she hired me for.

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