I know I haven't posted in a while, since I've been at school and not working retail, but I have a question for you all.
I have basically the longest winter break ever between semesters, so I've been working at the children's clothes store since mid-December that I worked at all through high school. My manager is a bit of a nut, but other than that, I truly enjoy most of my co-workers, so I don't mind going back.
However, while I try to be as flexible as possible and keep my schedule as open as possible for them, I do have a life and I try to do things with my family when I'm home, because I know that the time with them is limited once I go back to school.
This brings me to my question. On the schedule there are "on call" shifts. These are shifts only given to part time sales associates, and it is usually a four hour shift where you are supposed to call in one hour before the shift is about to begin to see if they need you. However, most of the time, you are not called in for your on call shift. Now, I have no problem with this if I don't have anything else going on, but I do fundamentally disagree with the thought process.
I don't think it's right to expect part time underpaid employees to clear their schedule for a shift that may or may not even happen. I don't think that's legal, actually. And usually it isn't an issue, but yesterday I got a call from my manager saying that they were going to call me in to my on call shift, so she'd see me at 2:30 today. Unfortunately for her, I made plans with my dad to travel to another state to see a sold out show, just two days earlier. The worst thing about this is that she had the gall to be angry with me for not being available for my on call shift.
I know this is not right, and I understand that she might be frustrated, but at the same point, I can't constantly be waiting by my phone for a shift that, in all likelihood, will not even happen. Does anyone have any advice on how I can communicate this with my manager, so that she does not try and say that I am in the wrong here? And is there any way that I can communicate this to my high school co-workers, so that they are not taken advantage of either?
I know there's a couple girls on staff who told my manager when she was hired that they could not work one day a week from 4-7 because they volunteer at the local hospital or something, but they are consistently being put on call those days, which frightens them that they could be fired for not being available during those times.
Can anyone please help me and my co-workers figure out a way to communicate our concerns with our manager?
Thank you so much, and may all the retail gods be in your favor.